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Old 05-03-2013, 03:14 PM   #16
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Basement Foundation DIY


Quote:
Originally Posted by RWolff View Post
I added a small, about 9x12 modelling room on the back of my house in 2005, I hand dug down the whole space about 7 feet down, and dug for the footing which I poured with my cement mixer.
I embedded rebars in the footing and laid the first 2 courses of block on, and then filled the cavities of the blocks with concrete and tamped it down nicely, and built the rest of the block walls up, putting rebar down in the cavities and filling the cavities with cement. I also embedded long threaded rods into the top for attaching the plate, and filled all level with concrete.
The outside of the walls have plastic sheeting and 1" styrofoam board insulation.
I only needed 3 walls since the room was put in a corner between existing.
I also added a center footing and wall to run perpendicular to the joists.

I anticipated I would have 1,000# to a ton of clay stacked in a corner at any given time and wanted a good solid everything under it, so it's all a lot beefier than usual.

The block wall works fine for small projects like my room- the wall was only about 7' high and 12' long with a perpendicular wall in the middle. I had to do a similar block wall in another area- under the kitchen which never had a foundation at all, but for an 8 foot high wall or longer foundation poured concrete would be better I'm sure.

http://i.imgur.com/Hhig2WW.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/MvAlvVR.jpg

I had to add a sump pit which can be seen, as there was an old drain pipe 8 feet down that tended to collect ground water from the field, my house was built over 2 of them in 1930 and they just took the sections of pipe out, so every spring melt my basement got water. I dug 50' of the pipes up with an excavator 3 years ago when the city and county said they had no record of such pipes and it's older than 1880. Since then I had no water come in from them.
http://i.imgur.com/ealISmW.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/dXPGmPW.jpg

I've never heard of any chemical bonding dry stacking blocks, sounds like the lazy man's way to built a temporary building to me, use mortar.

Thanks for your post, RWolff. I have some questions. That is some nice work IMO. Though the room was small, and not 'super deep' it seemed nice. Say I wanted 7' ceiling in basement, I would need my sheetrock up 7' but I also need to account for duct work and floor joists. So technically...I'd be at least 8' basement walls, assuming duct work ran parallel to my floor joists, otherwise even more than 8' if perpendicular since I wouldn't be fond of notching out room.

I think that would mean 6' underground, then maybe 2' above grade. It seems most basements are like that, yeah?

My footings would be 6' below grade. I think I could build my own wall, using the technique RWolff did. I am curious about single runs of rebar instead of ones every two blocks. Would a sill plate be anchored properly if I have rebar or carriage bolts ~1.2 feet in cement?


----

@itsreallyconc - I dunno, the reason I have was given earlier about termites, plus the technology is fairly new. I have seen solid pour concrete and concrete block foundations that are many..many years old. Old foundation methods with what appears to be similar sized stones and clay between have problems I know. And even old concrete block ones may. I think today with the option of a rubber external coating, and/or a sealed install of wrap would solve those issues.

----

@jomama45 - I don't see all of the energy efficiency gain when there is already earth around basement walls. I know it saves on other insulation methods, but it really is not a hassle to use rigid foam down the road when you can afford it to insulate walls.

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Old 05-03-2013, 07:36 PM   #17
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Basement Foundation DIY


ANchor bolts should be covered by code, but typically, it's something like this: 1/2" anchor bolts on 6' max. centers, no more than 18" of the corners, and no less than 2 per wall. They need to be imbedded 7" into the block/concrete/grout. This usually means you need 1/2" by 10" hot-dipped galvanized bolts.


IMO, stick with 96" wall height as a minimum, you won't regret it. The beam, whether it be wood or steel will also hang below the floor joists, likely lower than any heat trunks.

You don't need 1/2" rebar at 32" centers, you'd be far better off using 3/4" rod every 4' or so, and sticking the anchor bolts in the grouted cells. Your code could certainly have all the info you would need on pilaster sizing and spacing as well .As for the grout, it's ideal to have a small stone "concrete" that's relatively weak and extremely wet (think soupy) when placed. This is one place where stronger certainly isn't better.
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Old 05-07-2013, 01:40 PM   #18
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I spoke with a trusted concrete contractor / mason, and got an estimate for a 34' x 36' basement, 8' tall, 2 standard window bucks, and 2 egress window bucks, he does block only, no excavation or water plumbing figured...he guessed around 24,000. That is more than I had ever figured. I gave him dimensions a bit bigger than what my floor plan is for, just to account for inflation and price of labor going up...

I think I want to really learn how to lay concrete block and do my own foundation. Even if the idea is far fetched, if I can save 16-18 grand...I think it is worth every bit of hassle.

For Jomama...or someone who has worked with block : Why is the 10" easier to work with? Just because there is more real estate for mortar or something else that I am missing? When working on the dimension of the house, would I kill myself for going 34 x 36 rather than the initial smaller house of 32 x 34...it would be an extra 64 square feet of block...I certainly don't think that'd be too noticeable after doing the previous 1056 square feet of walls?
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Old 05-07-2013, 07:51 PM   #19
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by FAR, we see more leaking bsmts & repair issue w/block bsmt walls tha conc,,, what you save now WILL be repaid w/MUCH interest

IF you want to learn how to lay block, go work for free under as a mason's apprentice im-n-s-h-fo, you won't even know what errors you make til its too late down the road,,, too often one's romanticism overweighs logical thought & economic sense
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Old 05-07-2013, 08:37 PM   #20
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AlphaPilot -

The 10" wall thickness in WI is a local and traditional throw-back from the the amount of block machines could make per cycle that were commonly used in WI years ago that could not make 12" two at a time, so the labor and investment made a wider block much more expensive, so the tradition started. That was before people recognized that masonry was based on a 4" moulse dimension thta worked with other materials (ever seen a 40" sheet of a wood panel or studs at 10" or 20" on center?). Now, 8" foundation walls are also promoted because they can be as strong as 8" poured wall ans 10" masonry walls are not really cheaper than 12" walls.

The 10" dimension does not work with any details today because it is old and is like swimming upstream. - Just look at corner details.

All my relatives are from WI, so this is just personal experiences from relatives in construction and supplying materials in WI.

Dick
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Old 05-07-2013, 09:18 PM   #21
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,,, ' 8" foundation walls are also promoted because they can be as strong as 8" poured wall ' ? ? ? cmu walls can be as strong as poured conc ? ? ? pardon ? by far, we see many more problems w/block walls than conc but that's probably because they were laid back in the day what say you, dick ?
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Old 05-07-2013, 09:40 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by AlphaPilot View Post
I spoke with a trusted concrete contractor / mason, and got an estimate for a 34' x 36' basement, 8' tall, 2 standard window bucks, and 2 egress window bucks, he does block only, no excavation or water plumbing figured...he guessed around 24,000. That is more than I had ever figured. I gave him dimensions a bit bigger than what my floor plan is for, just to account for inflation and price of labor going up...

I think I want to really learn how to lay concrete block and do my own foundation. Even if the idea is far fetched, if I can save 16-18 grand...I think it is worth every bit of hassle.

For Jomama...or someone who has worked with block : Why is the 10" easier to work with? Just because there is more real estate for mortar or something else that I am missing? When working on the dimension of the house, would I kill myself for going 34 x 36 rather than the initial smaller house of 32 x 34...it would be an extra 64 square feet of block...I certainly don't think that'd be too noticeable after doing the previous 1056 square feet of walls?
That's an insane amount of money for such an elementary basement in "THESE" parts.

As for the 10" block, It's far easier to keep them from tipping, especially for a DIY'er. Also, you can get away with less grouted pilasters, which will save money and time.........

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AlphaPilot -

The 10" wall thickness in WI is a local and traditional throw-back from the the amount of block machines could make per cycle that were commonly used in WI years ago that could not make 12" two at a time, so the labor and investment made a wider block much more expensive, so the tradition started. That was before people recognized that masonry was based on a 4" moulse dimension thta worked with other materials (ever seen a 40" sheet of a wood panel or studs at 10" or 20" on center?). Now, 8" foundation walls are also promoted because they can be as strong as 8" poured wall ans 10" masonry walls are not really cheaper than 12" walls.

The 10" dimension does not work with any details today because it is old and is like swimming upstream. - Just look at corner details.

All my relatives are from WI, so this is just personal experiences from relatives in construction and supplying materials in WI.

Dick
Actually Dick, the vast majority if the block I lay on foundations/additions are 12", but most of them we do are 13+ course "castles". I only suggested 10" to Alpha because I don't know the soil type, and he made it sound like there would only be about 6' of foundation in the ground.

Perhap's I'll have to look up some of your kin-folk some day and see if they'd like to go out for mustriepen........

BTW, the block machines are slowly dying here in WI, shapes and sizes are quickly becoming extinct. I may have to join the poured wall guys soon, or find another career.............

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,,, ' 8" foundation walls are also promoted because they can be as strong as 8" poured wall ' ? ? ? cmu walls can be as strong as poured conc ? ? ? pardon ? by far, we see many more problems w/block walls than conc but that's probably because they were laid back in the day what say you, dick ?
We tend to use twice the rebar in a CMU wall than the competitor's poured wall, which wasn't the case in the 50's, 60's 70's etc... Don't blame me for the shoddy work done back then, I wasn't even alive.......
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Old 05-07-2013, 11:46 PM   #23
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Pardon me, but I am a bit confused about the talk of 10" not as cheap as 12" walls. I was saying 10" wide, and asking why it was suggested. Jomama followed up with an answer though, explaining why it is better DIY.

The walls would be 6' or possibly 6' 8" below grade. The soil type seems to be clay, no tests done yet as to the true tech terms. I've dug in it, and what I have dug has been your general clay that is crappy for growing trees until it gets amended. (from a landscaping point).

I too figure 24,000 was pricey. I am guessing around 5 to 7k for materials. Including 10"W x 8"H x 16"L block @ 2.50 a piece, and just a random number for mortar, string line, and plumb bobs. Rebar around 40 cents a running foot, which I am sure that depends on the type. (quick question - is #5 like 5/8th of an inch and #3 3/8th of an inch when looking at code?)

I have seen various people wrinkle their nose at the idea of block over solid pour walls. I think today with the idea of one of many forms of exterior coating from waterproofing, tar paper, rubber coating, spray foam, or even rigid foam that having leaks and such is a thing of the past. Especially if one were to have a weeping tile system, right?

So - if you found some ambitious person wanting to block their basement...what advice would you give or would you try your hardest to detour them and suggest they contract it out, or pay someone for a solid poured wall?
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Old 05-08-2013, 04:43 AM   #24
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you'se confused ? well, i'se ALSO confused,,, someone who don't know how to lay block want's to build their own home on TOP of block they laid about which they have to ask online forums for advice/responses/how-to's ? & that person wants to build his family's HOME on top of that foundation just because he can save a few bucks but its worth the risk to his family's safety, health, & well-being ? lateral soil pressure's the BIG reason block walls fail as their compressive strength's good enough,,, IF you want a foundation that's ' good enough ',,, reminder - ALL the house foundations we repair were BUILT TO CODE RQMTS ! ! ! any questions now ?

shirley you can see how i'se easily confused,,, even ' type of rebar ' are you thinking epoxy-coated ? usually only a rqmt in certain parts of some bdge work & hgwy load transfer devices for the avg contractor,,, i'd suggest saving $ by cutting back on the designer kitchen & knock-your-socks-off mstr bathroom than f yourself by skimping on a decent, solid, & safe home's bsmt walls,,, then again, its YOUR family & YOUR house
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Old 05-08-2013, 04:52 AM   #25
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,,, GOT IT ! A NEW IRC RESPONSE POLICY !
# 6: do not respond to posts that are only wile shots in the dark,,,
# 7: remember the op's mission is to confuse & aggravate responders while ' sandbagging ' the ' REST OF THE STORY ',,,eg, i want to build my own ( insert project description & couple questions ) then, after several respond w/best advice based on op, say something like ' just wondered if my contractor ( is doing it right - trying to f' me - has no idea wtf he's doing )

don't know why this never occurred previously,,,certainly would've saved lotsa headbanging

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Old 05-08-2013, 07:45 AM   #26
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you'se confused ? well, i'se ALSO confused,,, someone who don't know how to lay block want's to build their own home on TOP of block they laid about which they have to ask online forums for advice/responses/how-to's ? & that person wants to build his family's HOME on top of that foundation just because he can save a few bucks but its worth the risk to his family's safety, health, & well-being ? lateral soil pressure's the BIG reason block walls fail as their compressive strength's good enough,,, IF you want a foundation that's ' good enough ',,, reminder - ALL the house foundations we repair were BUILT TO CODE RQMTS ! ! ! any questions now ?

shirley you can see how i'se easily confused,,, even ' type of rebar ' are you thinking epoxy-coated ? usually only a rqmt in certain parts of some bdge work & hgwy load transfer devices for the avg contractor,,, i'd suggest saving $ by cutting back on the designer kitchen & knock-your-socks-off mstr bathroom than f yourself by skimping on a decent, solid, & safe home's bsmt walls,,, then again, its YOUR family & YOUR house
Hey, if you know all the answers why are you just attacking my ideas for wanting to do something myself with your comic sans size 3 font? I would build a traditional wall to code with 8" block. Instead I am asking about better alternatives to the standard code and 8" block. According to you, they fail. But according to you it is the old block walls that are failing. I can not rent concrete forms to walls here, instead I would have to have it contracted out. What is wrong with wanting to build my own wall if it is safe and sound and to code. It won't pass inspection if I do shoddy work. Shesh.

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Old 05-08-2013, 08:43 AM   #27
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The walls would be 6' or possibly 6' 8" below grade. The soil type seems to be clay, no tests done yet as to the true tech terms. I've dug in it, and what I have dug has been your general clay that is crappy for growing trees until it gets amended. (from a landscaping point).

If you looked at the link to the building code "HERE" that I attached earlier in one of these threads, you'd see there's "PSF" columns depending on your soil. The way it works here, is you assume the heaviest PSF unless you get a soil analysis taken.

I too figure 24,000 was pricey. I am guessing around 5 to 7k for materials. Including 10"W x 8"H x 16"L block @ 2.50 a piece, and just a random number for mortar, string line, and plumb bobs. Rebar around 40 cents a running foot, which I am sure that depends on the type. (quick question - is #5 like 5/8th of an inch and #3 3/8th of an inch when looking at code?)
The "#" for rebar is in eights, so a #3 is 3/8", and a # 12 is 1.5".
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Old 05-08-2013, 02:05 PM   #28
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Okay, I just wanted to make sure that was right with the code. And after I figure out what it is here, I likely will do what you suggested or do yourself where you assume it's the heaviest PSF and work with that. Better safe than sorry.
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Old 05-13-2013, 08:21 AM   #29
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Would you rather : Block your own basement in 8" or 10" blocks 8' high....OR spend money on lumber to make your own forms to do a solid pour? Both DIY.

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