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Old 07-04-2012, 11:04 PM   #1
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Best idea ever? Lowering basement floor


Ton of work right - gotta break through the existing concrete / rock, then dig TONS of clay and haul it out through the house.

Or do you?

My idea: buy / rent one of these: NorthStar Semi-Trash Pump

Then I could use a 1hp pump to run water from my river to my basement.

So, you'd flood your area, use a shover / tiller to turn it all to mud, then suck out the mud.

Would that work? I mean, the stone you'd still have to deal with, but if you could get 1000 gallons of soil out of there, it might be worth it?

They don't make a machine that does this, do they? Like a super-vacuum attached to a tiller?

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Old 07-04-2012, 11:15 PM   #2
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Best idea ever? Lowering basement floor


You may want to go take a look at this: http://www.dslreports.com/forum/r272...eno-gone-wrong before you get carried away!

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Old 07-04-2012, 11:36 PM   #3
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Yeah, I'm staying in from the footers, and only doing a 'small' section. I do feel a little bad for the crooked house though =/
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Old 07-05-2012, 10:12 AM   #4
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Best idea ever? Lowering basement floor


Sounds like a big mess to me. here are some alternate ideas.
Rent a small conveyor belt and shoot the dirt out the window.
Get one of those things for shooting hay bales into the barn and modify it with buckets to shoot the dirt out.
Get one of those ladder things the roofers use to shoot shingles up onto the roof.
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Old 07-05-2012, 11:54 AM   #5
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Best idea ever? Lowering basement floor


Even staying in from the foundation, if you start sucking material out the surrounding soil is going to start heading toward the void and especially if you wet it as you planned.

It seems to me you are going to have to take your foundation to the new depth before you start hollowing the space out. I think you should consult a structural engineer or architect before you go too far with this.

You are most certainly going to need permits for lots of things in conjunction with this.
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Old 07-05-2012, 08:30 PM   #6
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Best idea ever? Lowering basement floor


You cannot just pull that much soil out from under the house without an engineered plan. You absolutely DO NOT want to be liquefying the soil! That'd pretty much guarantee the soil shifting and the house falling down on top of you.

If anything just rent a conveyor to handle getting the soil up out of the basement. Make a window larger, put in a stairwell, or whatever. Given the scope of a job like this you're going to need a way to get a lot of new materials in there afterward.

Do not just half-ass this job. It's not a DIY project.
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Old 07-05-2012, 09:31 PM   #7
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You did not state how far down you want to dig. You did not indicate the condition of your foundation. You made vague mention about clay soil underneath your slab. Perhaps you are hell bent to dig out your slab, for whatever reason (you did not mention why you wanted to do this project), but as a safety measure you really should consult with someone who actually understands the mechanics of foundations. This might be an engineer, a contractor, the building inspector, or an architect.

Foundations are not as simple as they seem, they resist a lot of different forces, and anytime you undertake a project such as the one you describe that is certain to result in substantial changes to the load on the walls, you absolutely need to analyze the resultant stability. This is NOT as simple as it sounds, there are numerous examples of projects such as yours that go horribly wrong. I personally have inspected several houses where the walls fell inward due to unbalanced soil loading, fortunately resulting only in catastrophic structural damage, and no human injury. It would be unfortunate if you became another statistic.
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Old 07-05-2012, 10:56 PM   #8
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Best idea ever? Lowering basement floor


Quote:
Originally Posted by Daniel Holzman View Post
You did not state how far down you want to dig. You did not indicate the condition of your foundation. You made vague mention about clay soil underneath your slab. Perhaps you are hell bent to dig out your slab, for whatever reason (you did not mention why you wanted to do this project), but as a safety measure you really should consult with someone who actually understands the mechanics of foundations. This might be an engineer, a contractor, the building inspector, or an architect.

Foundations are not as simple as they seem, they resist a lot of different forces, and anytime you undertake a project such as the one you describe that is certain to result in substantial changes to the load on the walls, you absolutely need to analyze the resultant stability. This is NOT as simple as it sounds, there are numerous examples of projects such as yours that go horribly wrong. I personally have inspected several houses where the walls fell inward due to unbalanced soil loading, fortunately resulting only in catastrophic structural damage, and no human injury. It would be unfortunate if you became another statistic.
Well, I want to lower part of the floor 4 inches, which I'm actually thinking means 7 inches, because I'll need to pour another slab. I'd like 2 pour the new slab 2" thick if I could get away with it.

Will cracking be an issue is there isn't and real temperature fluctuation? The existing floor isn't even 2" thick, doesn't have control joints, and is probably 70-100 years old - so I'm thinking I might just be over thinking it.

BTW - I've decided against my water idea, just a diamond bladed saw, shovels and a wheelbarrel =/
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Old 07-06-2012, 01:12 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by tibberous View Post
Well, I want to lower part of the floor 4 inches, which I'm actually thinking means 7 inches, because I'll need to pour another slab. I'd like 2 pour the new slab 2" thick if I could get away with it.=/
Why only 4" after all that set etc and how big is that area?

Quote:
Originally Posted by tibberous View Post
Will cracking be an issue is there isn't and real temperature fluctuation? The existing floor isn't even 2" thick, doesn't have control joints, and is probably 70-100 years old - so I'm thinking I might just be over thinking it.

BTW - I've decided against my water idea, just a diamond bladed saw, shovels and a wheelbarrel =/
What we do on these job site is we use a demolition hammer with a large tile chisel to break out the clay/dirt in chunks. If you jack out the dirt in full controlled depth every time you sink that chisel, this already levels out your dig out so little scraping. The large Tile chisel now being used for a depth gauge as you jack the dirt out,

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Old 07-06-2012, 08:38 AM   #10
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OP, you seem hell bent on doing this yourself and without consulting the professionals you need to to make this a safe project. Encouraging you or helping you further without seeing your project or consulting a specialist is leading you into dangerous territory that could cost you your house. What more do you want from us if you are not going to listen?

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