I have a question about the footers on my house and how to move forward on a construction project. I live in Maryland and have a 1950's brick and block cape cod built on mostly clay soil. I'm thinking about adding onto the house on the side of the house where the soil level is just about even with the basement floor (I have a walk out basement with no steps). (The soil around the house tapers significantly from one side to the other). In my efforts to document the current house dimensions and along with this, the dimensions of the footers, I dug down to where I thought I'd find the pour. Instead of a 24" x12" concrete pour, I found what appears to be a footer that was poured into a very shallow trench (maybe 8 inch deep V), and the basement brick and block were laid right on top. The house has not had settling crack problems so I guess this technique worked, but now I'd like to add onto the house. I'll need to get some sort of foundation poured and want to design this so that I don't disturb the current "foundation". Any thoughts on what type of person I should speak to about design guidance? Is there such a person as a foundation engineer?
Yes there are engineers who work with foundations and footings. As far as what you are wanting to do though it sound like a pretty standard addition. Are you going to be doing the footings and walls yourself?
I'd like to do the entire project, but with a full time job and the learning curve of this task, I'll never get it finished. I plan to hire a General Contractor to do the foundation and shell, and I'll take care of the interior.
I have a design for the addition in a PC design package but will need to go to a design draftsman to get the concept formalized for permits etc. I'm sure that this person will have experience on how to tie together the old and new foundation, but this seems like one of those things that if done wrong, can really cause big problems immediately or long term. I'd like to get an engineer's advice, then go to the designer and get his opinion and work out the differences from there.