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FallenAngel 11-13-2006 11:07 AM

Basement - need to bust up about 1 ft deeper
Hi all! Hubby and I have been looking for a new home. We found one this weekend we absolutely fell in love with - only problem is the basement.

The house is a rancher, I believe the back half of the house was added on. The basement is walk out level, and the back yard slopes down so water would run away from the house.

I can walk thru the basement no problem but I'm only 5'3. I believe we'd have to dig down about another foot to make the space usable, then repour concrete.

I am clueless about construction and stuff but was searching the internet last night to read up on if/how it can be done, and I believe they "retrofitted" part of the basement a while ago. Reason I say this is that there was what I thought a built in bench running along all walls in what was the original basement (I believe the back half of the house and basement were additions)

I want this house but if we can't dig out the basement to make that space usable we'll have to pass.

Does anyone know if and how this can be done? The basement is approximately 55 ft wide, maybe 30 ft deep?

concretemasonry 11-13-2006 12:04 PM

Basement - need to bust up about 1 ft deeper
It can be done, but it is messy and costly. - Not really a DIY project. The floor is a portion of the structure of the home since it can prevent the wall from sliding inward. An engineer should give you some advice on your actual situation since you have a full basement on one end and a wak-out on one wall.

There are two methods:

1. Dig out the center portion of the basement and leave a portion around the edge at the present elevation. Pour a "curb" or wall where the two levels met about a foot ot so from the wall. With this method, you will have a curb.

2. Support the house and replace the footing and walls with new. You can actually go more than one foot, which would be good for finishing and using the basement. This is obviously more costly, but it provides you with the most usable space.

Neither is cheap. If you really want the house, get a professional to look at it before you make an offer. Everyone else looking at the house probably sees the same problem with the height.


FallenAngel 11-13-2006 12:29 PM

thanks concretemasonry. I've been looking in the yellow pages to find someone but not really sure who I should ask. Foundation contractors? Excavators? Engineer?

concretemasonry 11-13-2006 12:36 PM

Basement - need to bust up about 1 ft deeper
You could call either a foundation contractor or an engineer. You will probably get a more impartial view from the engineer, since he will not be trying to sell you a new basement or basement floor.

Since you do not own the house, you cannot sign a contract for the work. There many other things you will have to consider like steps, footings for any posts, floor drains, furnace elevation, etc.


birman builders 11-13-2006 08:19 PM

a buddy of mine did his where he dug it out down to the footing then stoned and poored. If the ground is bad you can run the risk of your foundation walls pushing in at the bottom, but be warned it's a horrible amount of work unless you can get a machine in there.

Dave L 08-15-2007 04:56 AM

Deeper Basement
I have the same dilemna. Mine is an old field stone foundation with a dirt floor. Someone once told me that the foundation is most likely piled stone since its 107 plus years old. I dug down in a shovel size area to the bottom on the inside wall. Though you still cant tell this from there. I need to lower it 8 inches to a foot to match the furnace level. I was thinking of pouring a butt wall 6 inches to a foot from the existing wall by driving 3 or 4 feet of rebar vertically, and tying all together horizontally, then pouring 3" thick slab of concrete to fill in the gap bewteen the new and old wall. I am not a civil engineer but this sounds pretty stout. My only concern is the soil below the hard pack is like hourglass sand.

Ron6519 08-15-2007 08:18 AM

The built in trench might be a french drainage system. Ask the owners about it. The basement can probably be dug out. Best to call a local contractor to see if it can be done in this case and the associated costs involved.

KUIPORNG 08-15-2007 09:09 AM

two options:

1. forget about having a basement
2. find another house

it just too risky/costly to do it...

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