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CCHanna05 07-05-2010 10:01 AM

Concrete reinforced block foundation repair questions
Purchased slab home with concrete block basement addition. The builder of the addition (done in the 1950's) added a rim of concrete around the exterior perimeter of the addition to the home that is 18 inches out from the foundation and 6 inches thick and about 2 inches below ground level. They also constructed a cellar step "container" (similar to a bulkhead) with steps that have become so deteriorated as to be unsafe.

The section of the foundation I am working on is 16 feet wide and has the basement egress and "bulkhead".

Question 1: In your opinion is there any problem with my removing a 4 foot section of the "concrete rim"? This section runs under a small window that needs to be replaced and have a window well added. I do not know (yet) if there is rebar in the concrete or how it might be tied into the foundation. The concrete is VERY hard.

Question 2: What is the best material and replacement method for bulkhead cellar stairs? I do not know if the block foundation would withstand the weight of concrete steps or how much upgrading would be necessary to get the blocks to be able to hold the weight.


Brickie 07-05-2010 11:52 PM

When it comes to foundation work, I highly recommend getting reputable contractors to do the work.

CCHanna05 07-06-2010 03:57 PM

I would be happy with a comment on how often you see something like this...
I would be happy to have a licensed contractor work on the foundation but I would like to know more about the problem we have and the options available.

I would not do anything with the stairs personally, except maybe demolish part of them. Replacement would certainly be done by a professional.

Adding a window well is something that can be done by a handy owner, assuming there is not a lot of water problems.

I would say that seeing the concrete band around the rear of the house was something we were not expecting (house is in Massachusetts). I have never seen something like this on a block foundation and was hoping to get some response on what the idea would be for having it (besides the obvious one of wanting to have some support).

It would make me wonder though since it is above the frost line that is might cause a problem with cracking of the foundation from stresses from frost heaves. I did notice some cracking on the inside along the seams of the blocks just above the top of the concrete.


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