Foundation problems keep a Gulfport family out of their home - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Foundation problems keep a Gulfport family out of their home

By A.J. Giardina – bio | email

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Dr. Nievas and his wife were living in a Gulfport home that was built around 1900. Nievas hired Structural Solutions in November of 2005 to do foundation work after Hurricane Katrina swept through the area.

Structural Solutions began the foundation work in January of 2006. The cost was $45,000.

Dr. Nievas said, "They jacked the house up and put block under, no concrete, no rebar and they walk away."

After the work was completed, the city of Gulfport inspected the foundation on two different occasions. 

"When the inspector came he said he could not approve it that way."

Until the foundation work passes code, Nievas can't receive a certificate of occupancy.

Nievas contacted the State Attorney General's Office, but was told the inquiry was a civil matter outside the jurisdiction of that office.

In March of 2009, Nievas hired Willie Walker of All-Phase Construction to redo the foundation at an additional cost of $40,000.

"When we came over to inspect it and jacked it up, we found that there was no substantial footing, no re-bars and the pillars were sinking," Willie Walker said.

Walker said if another storm hits the coast, the cinder blocks that Structural Solutions built won't hold up.

"As you can see right here you don't even have a quarter inch of rebar to strap the house down," Walker pointed out. "So if they have a flood to come through here, the house is just going to float right off and float away."

Walker said almost every cinder block column that was built has serious problems, beginning with small pieces of rebar.

"It doesn't even go all the way through the cinder block and as you can see, it's not going to hold a house," Walker said.

"I can rotate the pier to show that it's not concrete whatsoever to hold it in place," Dr. Nievas said.

WLOX News contacted Structural Solutions engineer Robby Kight in Ridgeland, Mississippi.

A.J. Giardina asked Kight by telephone, "Dr. Hugo Nievas had a foundation done by you guys. I was trying to find out have y'all ever been back there to take a look at the work that was done?"

Kight had no comment.

A.J. continued, "It wasn't done properly and he never did get a permit from the city because they weren't done properly. I mean, is that the type of work that you guys do?"

Kight hung up the phone.

Dr. Nievas admitted, "This has been a nightmare to us."

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