Foundation Restoration thoughts please

Questions, answers and advice for people who own or work on houses built during the 20th century.

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Foundation Restoration thoughts please

Post by RockinEQH »

Hi, hopefully you guys can give some insight on the subject. We have an older home built around 1900, most of the wall structure is in excellent condition, however the foundation is now sitting on the ground and rotten. We are hoping to restore without paying a fortune, that we do not have. What are thoughts and suggestions on jacking up the house and removing and replacing the foundation? I will get pics soon so that you can all better understand why we want to restore the home so badly.

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Post by bogfrog »

Please clarify if your home is brick or frame? Any evidence of termites?

S Melissa
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Location: Canton Michigan

Post by S Melissa »

And are you talking about the "sill" or the stones/block foundation that the sill is sitting on? Is the rot all around the house or in spots? Have you had a structural engineer look at it to give you an idea of what is involved - do you need footers? Do you need interior supports? Is there a crawl space or an excavated basement?
Canton, MI
1860 Italianate - Reuben Huston Home

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Post by RockinEQH »

The home is frame, no evidence of termites. The dry laid stone foundation has to be replaced as it is compromised, it will need footers and all new block around the perimeter as well as replacing the main support beams as the are what is rotten from sitting on the ground. The home appears to have been built with the lay of the land, therefore the front of the house is 40" off ground level but the rear is about 2". Some of the sills could stand to be replaced, but all are level and intact. The center load bearing girder has decayed in the rear of the stucture and needs to be spliced/ replaced to bring the center of the house back up to level with the sills.

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Post by tevita »

We are in process of adding a foundation and basement to our house. Our 28' by 40 ' 2 story wood frame house was built in 1906, with a post and pier crawl space. I can give you our approx costs so far, and budgeted cost (most likely will double, with my luck), but probably won't translate well to your project due to differences in house, project, and region...

Cost $8500 to get the house leveled (one side up ~3-4inches) by people who knew what they were doing, (as opposed to me) and supported on 4 cribbing piles 6-8 feet tall. We only supported one long side, the other is supported by a foundation wall poured in the 40's. I did all interior excavation by hand to get cribbing piles down to approx footing grade.

Misc. Jack posts and timbers ~ $ 1000.00

Approx 1/3 of the foundation excavation is done (we are pouring the foundation in 3 stages, one side at a time), cost $2600 to dig down 8 feet X 5feet wide X 35 feet long. (I did all excavations for footing under house that excavator couldn't reach. I project the addtional excavation for foundation will be 2.5 times that cost (house sits on a slope, so rest of excavation is shallower).

Rebar, foundation anchor bolts and holdowns for footer and 8 foot tall basement wall required for Seismic region D (we live in seattle) are Budgeted for around $5000.

Foundation forms are ~$6000.00, but we are using ICF forms. They stay in place for insulation, and are much lighter, so easier on my back. You can make or rent forms for much, much, much, less...

Concrete, for footers and 8'tall by 8" thick foundation, but not slab, is budgeted as $8000.
Keep in mind that we are adding an 8 foot basement, so if you are just adding a stem wall foundation, your costs will be much less.

I didn't include misc. material/tool costs, as I really haven't tracked them.

We still haven't figured cost of windows or foundation waterproofing, or basement excavation, slab, and interior finishes. If I did that I think I would just give up.

We are doing most of the work ourselves, with some help from my father, who lucky for me is a carpenter, but unluckily lives 1500 miles away.

I'm no expert, but I have thought alot about our project, so I have some thoughts on your project.

Sounds like you have no crawl space or basement. That complicates the work, since you will be working under the house to shore and excavate, with very little clearance.

I don't have experience with dry laid stone foundations, but would think (hope) that there is a good chance it is quite wide at the bottom, so if you are planning on removing it, that increases time, and cost. It also would complicate your shoring, as you will have to set your shoring so it is not undermined by that excavation. I'd check with a structural engineer to see if you need to completely remove it, if you can pour the footer on top of stable stone, it would save you alot of time and effort.

Do you really need to use a block foundation? You will have to lay the top block under your sill plate, and then fill it with concrete or grout,and then use high strength grout between your sill and that top course?. You could slide a sill plate in after the last course, but you have to figure out how to anchor foundation to the sill. Use anchor straps? Seems it would be easier to place your anchor bolts first and then pour a concrete foundation right to the sill plate. I'd put a waterproof membrane between the sill plate and concrete before the pour, so sill doesn't rot out.

Before you do anything, I would get a structural engineer out to look at the house and discuss your plans/ideas. They don't cost that much, and they may be able to save you some money and or grief. I'm happy I did. Then, I would hire an experienced house mover/lifter to support your house on iron girders and cribbing. If your house is fairly symmetrical, it may be easy to needle it and raise it. That just involves sliding the I beams under the house, raising and supporting it on cribbing. It will be very stable, and you will only have a few cribbing piles to worry about undermining, and the extra room will save you money and time in the long run. Keep in mind you will have to temp. disconnect the house from plumbing, gas, and maybe electrical lines...
People may tell you that your house will have substancial cracking/frame damage from the lift, but that is not my experience. They lifted one side of our house 3-4 inches in one day, and some plaster and tiles cracked. But the only major damage was to the drywall the previous owner recently added. The old plaster had minimal damage that was easy to patch. Masonry brick fireplaces and chimneys may complicate the lift though.

The up front cost is high, but the project will be safer and more stable (make sure they have adequate insurance though).

Here is a link which my wife sent me after we paid to have our house professionaly lifted. The consequences can be high if you make a mistake jacking and shoring. They are very lucky no one was injured. ... PMD2L1.DTL
If you don't get professional help shoring the house, I would do each side in sections, definitely not more than one wall at a time. I was told it is best to do a corner first, but I'd check with a structural engineer first.

Also, expect way more rot damage than is apparent to the eye. Every wood post in our crawl space was rotten to some degree, but most looked fine until I removed them.

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Re: Foundation Restoration thoughts please

Post by trackrealty »

Please elaborate your question. What is the need to restore the foundation. After knowing the reason we can give you the suggestion. And also let us know about your location because location is very important in term of health of human and house as well.

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