DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum

DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum (
-   Concrete, Stone & Masonry (
-   -   DIY foundation footer? (

WillK 05-15-2012 10:17 AM

DIY foundation footer?
I'll briefly reintroduce my house - I have a house built in 1917 in SE Michigan, it was built as a house with a dirt floor crawlspace and does not have a proper foundation. The balloon-framed structure does have 3 spread footings under an original built-up triple 2x6 beam under the center of the original 22x22 portion of the house. Later another 10' was added on the back with no beams, joists nailed to the last floor joist perpindicularly. Everything except the beam supported by single stacks of concrete blocks is supported by various stacks of concrete blocks sitting directly on dirt. Additional columns have been added, sometimes including concrete blocks, often including other materials and debris.

I've owned the house about 18 months now, and I'm nearing completion of
a project to replace the stacks of junk sitting on dirt with built up triple 2x10 beams (4 beams) supported on 6x6 wood columns set on spread footings, following or exceeding plans specified by an engineer.

My intention has been all along to also have a foundation wall installed on the perimeter. I have a contractor selected and the job is quoted, but the cost will require financing or waiting a few years to save the money for it.

So there's the background. The question that I've been pondering is whether it might be worth considering whether I could do the foundation myself. I know it sounds crazy, but digging to 42" to form and pour the foundation starts sounding like my current spread footings project is almost as big. I have the advantage that most of the crawlspace is already excavated to 18" below grade, so digging to 42" below grade is a matter of going down another 24" - and I've already been through digging
down 12".

Obviously I know I'd need to dig away on the outside too, but relative to excavating in a crawlspace, I think that might be the easy part.

So maybe I'm a little unsure what my question is. I'd ask if I'm crazy, but the answer might be yes. Maybe my question is more like why not.

In particular, I'm thinking this becomes practical if I am digging and pouring the footer, then building block wall foundation up from there. The quote I had was for poured concrete up to grade then block wall up to the structure. Is there anything I should know in terms of why block wall up from the footer has disadvantages?

CplDevilDog 05-18-2012 10:17 AM


Sounds like you will have the entire perimeter of the house supported on temporary cribbage for some period?

That's serious DIY (Not impossible, but not for the faint of heart)

concretemasonry 05-18-2012 12:32 PM

Are you wishing to improve the current piers or change to a strip footing with either block of concrete walls?

As I recall, the arear is fairly flat or level.

The choice if the material for the foundation walls (block or concrete) is not critical from a structural standpoint for a shallow foundation with minimal unbalance load, since the foundation materials could weigh more than the entire home. Going deeper for a full basement could make a difference on the reinforcement to resist the lateral soil loads.

Often in a shallow cribbing or low foundation wall, block is more pratical because of the problems with ready-mix access and getting room to pour over the forms.

The few piers inside the exterior wall supports may not have to below your frost level, depending whether the engineer and building official recognizes the protection and latent benefits of the soil.



WillK 05-20-2012 06:04 PM


Originally Posted by CplDevilDog (Post 924002)

Sounds like you will have the entire perimeter of the house supported on temporary cribbage for some period?

That's serious DIY (Not impossible, but not for the faint of heart)

Well... What exactly would I take pictures of?

Yeah, I'd have the entire perimeter supported on temporary cribbage, although I was thinking about doing one side at a time. This would be a strip footing, but I don't think I'd be doing the whole perimeter. There is a slab at the back of the house which would be a break in the footing, and there's a concrete stoop at the front which would probably be a break in the footing, so I'd probably do one side at a time.

At this point, I do have spread footers under beams that don't go to 42". The pads are 12" thick and the bottom is at most 30" below grade.

It's something of a non-structural issue I'm trying to adress. No bank will mortgage the house with pier and beam foundation - not an issue in and of itself if we were going to live in the house, but it's a serious drawback for resale or using refinancing to fund major projects (in particular, ones where I'd hire a remodeller to do the work instead of dragging out the project so long that I get divorced)

At any rate, I thank the answers I've gotten, I realize this is a project that is extreme for DIY.

The lot is fairly level.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:08 AM.

vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
User Alert System provided by Advanced User Tagging (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.

Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.1