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Old 04-20-2009, 10:55 AM   #1
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Foundation issue


I am planning on adding a second floor over an existing one story home. The existing foundation is for a first floor only. There is no basement.
I would want to keep damage on the first floor to a minimum. I am thinking that ther may be a way to float the second floor over the first using pads and beams This would be more preferable over removing stucco and reinforcing existing exterior walls . I need to use the existing foundation foot print as there are restrictions. This home is in Los Angeles.

Is there such thing as a floating frame that can support the 2nd floor that will act as a foundation?

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Old 04-20-2009, 11:26 AM   #2
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Foundation issue


I've personally never heard of a floating system as your proposing. I think this is a case where going to a structural engineer first is money well spent. Your existing foundation can be acessed for load bearing, & may be sufficient for a second story already. We worked on 2 projects last year that went from ranch to 2 story with no alterations to the foundation, other than any new point loads.

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Old 04-20-2009, 11:27 AM   #3
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The building codes of the area would dictate what is needed. The architect drawing up the plans would be the source for this answer.
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Old 04-20-2009, 11:32 AM   #4
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Being in Los Angeles and given the situation you described, you need you a good engineer and a good contractor. You're in a very high seismic area and doing any thing of this scale on your own is very very dangerous, in my opinion. I'm pretty sure that the code officials and your insurance company will have the same opinion.

The floating 2nd floor is possible, but the amount of detailing that will be required to keep you safe during a seismic event needs to be done by a pro. This would probably be more expensive than reinforcing the existing structure.

Last edited by wildcat; 04-20-2009 at 11:35 AM.
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Old 04-20-2009, 11:33 AM   #5
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These guys are right, see an engineer or architect first. Plus you answered your own question yourself. The house is in Los Angeles! EARTHQUAKES???!!!
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Old 04-20-2009, 03:52 PM   #6
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Thanks all for your advice.
I was wondering if any one has done someting like what I described. i like to be informed before I talt to the pros. Itssmart to ask the right questions.

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