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Old 04-25-2008, 04:05 PM   #1
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Concrete Block Foundation Questions


I have been getting quotes for raising my house to add 3 courses of block for increased headroom. So far, the quotes I've gotten from the house lifters seem reasonable. My basement is finished (albeit poorly and many decades ago) and I am in the process of gutting it for the raise (as is required by all the companies who came to look at it).

I'm in the process of getting masonry bids, and sorting out the code issues. One requirement of the city is that the new foundation meet all current codes, which calls for core fills every 60" with rebar, as well as a horizontal bond beam in all the new block work. I didn't think this was a problem, as my house has no sill plate and I figured the joists were just sitting on the tops of the blocks.

After tearing out the ceiling, I found that the CMU cores have been capped off with what looks like regular concrete sloping from basically flush with the interior edge of the top course to a couple inches high at the rim (12" wide blocks). The joists sit on bent sheetmetal pieces to keep from contact with the cement. I assume these are just caps, rather than actual core fills with grout? Is there any way to tell, as I probably won't be able to get up in there to chip one away until the house is raised. I also see some insulation looking stuff at the seam between the block and cap. I assume they would have stuffed something in the top blocks so that the concrete didn't have to fill the whole core? Also, the rim joist and floor isn't insulated at all so I don't know where else it would be from.

In addition, how would the masons be able to lay block flat on top of the existing top course with all these caps in place? I assume that if I need to chip them all away it will be a major undertaking (170 lineal feet of foundation).

The house was built in 1954- is this typical construction for that timeframe? I'd appreciate any advice you could give me while I obtain quotes for the foundation work. I am obviously going to need to get masons out here to look at it, but wanted to get some ideas in the meantime. Also, I'd appreciate any references for masons with experience in adding to foundations in the Minneapolis, MN area.



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Old 05-09-2008, 09:16 AM   #2
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Looking to lift house and replace basement

Project Guy,
I'm also a newbie. Our house was built in 1900 and has an 18" thick limestone rock foundation which has moisture problems. The floor has apparently two layers of concrete and has hairline cracks all over the place and has lots of moisture seeping up through the cracks. In addition, if we get a serious rain (2" or more in a short time period or several days straight of rain) water somes right up through the cracks such that we have actual streams of water running to the center floor drain. We need to have the house (roughly 30' x 32') raised and remove the old foundation walls and flooring removed, and a new one constructed. Have you any suggestions, recommendations, hints, warnings, etc.?


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