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rjpj 09-04-2012 12:51 PM

Smooth Clay Tile Founation
I have a smooth tile foundation, believe its terra cotta, its an addition built onto the house in the 30's, main house has a field stone, incredibly strong 2foot thick foundation, its amazing to work with, but this terra cotta, not so sure
I've been raising up the foundation where its below grade, very below grade, theres a 30inch tree trunk on grade, i'm assuming the house was barried over the years and no one bothered to maintain the errotion of the hill behind the house, (house is built in the middle of a hill)

originally looked at regrading it down, but don't think i will with out compromising the foundation because its very well compacted, only about 2 inches of actually loose soil rest is clay, so this has been below grade for years. sill plates and studs were either dust of heavily damanged the first 6 inches up the wall, so i raised up the foundation 2 feet and put in a new sill on top of that and sistered all the studs, worked great. Used 8x8x16 block, filled them in with mortar and concrete and put in anchor bolts.

in the addition the deteriation is even worse, half of the load barring wall i want to raise 16" is floating and a quarter of it is nonexistant about 25 inches up the wall, the back corner, whats left of it, looks like cardboard.

Not all easily fixed, bout ready to start jacking it up a hair a piece at a time, but after unearthing the foundation its smooth 8x8x16 clay blocks, that are hollow, i want to put in 2 row of 8x8x16 concrete block, wondering if that won't just crush that terra cotta, terra cotta looks to be in great shape, mortar missing in some places but overall not bad.

plan right now is to raise the foundation 16 inches, then remove all the joist and fill in the 8inch crawl space with gravel rebar then 4 yards of 4000psi concrete to create a slab inside the foundation, which will also be the floor(planning to just paint it)

(gravel, moisture barrier, concrete with rebar is the layering scheme we have in mind, planning to have it pumped up since its 50 feet from the road...up hill)

but my question is, how strong are terra cotta foundation, would i be able to to build up the foundation with concrete block or would i need to track down terra cotta blocks (they do tear down alot of houses in my area), or would I just need to jack up(a hair, i don't go more then a hair, never seen a reason to go higher then just tight enough to shift the weight) and replace the entire foundation.

If I have to contemplating putting in some pillars and using 6x4s and 10 tons jacks to hold up the addition and removing the foundation and forming it up and pouring in a slab foundation under the house. Rather not do that though...

Canarywood1 09-04-2012 03:46 PM

You want to be extremely careful making any changes with terra cotta block foundation,if i were you i'd get a structual engineer to look at it before i did anything.

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