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Old 09-03-2012, 03:38 PM   #1
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Need a foundation in my laundry room


Hi. We own and are currently renovating a 1901 house. The house has a wrap around porch on the front and 2 additions on the rear. There is a shed addition across the rear. I had already planned to remove the floors to repair the rotten sills along the back of the main house. After we pulled the sheetrock, plaster, plywood, and wal mart bag insultion I decided to completely reframe these rooms and only save the roof.

Now for the room that is my current problem. The laundry room is built off the end of the house and connects onto the shed dormer. The roof in this room is and has been leaking. When we pulled up the floor we found it was framed wioth pressure treated 2x6's! The room is 14x13 and the floor is spanned the long way. When we removed the joists we found large (9"x9") sills that are not pressure treated and under them.......dirt. That's right dirt. No foundation at all. I decided that we should throw the room away and continue the renovation without it! After some time to think (and discuss this with my wife) we have decided to rebuild the room.


The original house is built on a cut stone and rock foundation and pier set up. What do you suggest for a foundation for this room? I am thinking of building it like you would a deck with a room on it. We will dig 4) 2x2 holes 30" down and fill the holes with stone. Kind of like what they do with rubble trench foundations. On top of this we will pour 6" thick reinforced concrete pads to mount 2 beams on. I was planning on spanning the beams across the 13' sides 12' apart. Does this sound like a good plan? Do I need 3rd beam and 2 more footings? Would you do it another way.
Please do not give me the standard answer of "ask an engineer" or "check with the county permit office". We live way out in the country and have no permits for anything in our county. If you file a plan for a septic system you can build an entire house here. That is one of the reasons we moved here. We bought the house with cash and are fixing it up with cash also and our budget is super tight. So we will not be hiring anyone for anything. If you are a professional or just a DIYer I will value your opinion. Thanks Harry


Last edited by sweetfarm; 09-03-2012 at 04:06 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 09-03-2012, 03:53 PM   #2
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Need a foundation in my laundry room


Here are some pictures of the room. I will also be lowering the grade and raising the floor 5".
Attached Thumbnails
Need a foundation in my laundry room-2012-08-10_16-31-48_280-1.jpg   Need a foundation in my laundry room-2012-08-10_16-31-40_319-1.jpg   Need a foundation in my laundry room-2012-08-10_16-31-36_249-1.jpg   Need a foundation in my laundry room-2012-08-10_16-31-27_650-1.jpg   Need a foundation in my laundry room-2012-08-10_16-31-14_881-1.jpg  

Need a foundation in my laundry room-2012-08-10_16-31-06_240-1.jpg  

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Old 09-04-2012, 09:14 AM   #3
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Need a foundation in my laundry room


I spent some time at the house digging around yesterday. Underneath the untreated beams are some rocks that appear to still be level. It looks like there was an air space under the beams. They then installed plastic across the ground and up onto the beams.

Then someone retrofitted a hot air furnace into the house. They dug thru the plastic barrier and threw the dirt up onto the plastic right along the beam. It broke the plastic and rotted the untreated beams. Even though there are rocks there I dont think this changes anything. I still need some kind of foundation under the room.
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Old 09-04-2012, 03:49 PM   #4
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Need a foundation in my laundry room


My recommendations:

Step #1) Call Building Department and check/verify local codes
Step #2) Call Structural Engineer to design foundation/framing system
Step #3) Obtain permits as required
Step #4) Hire a contractor to install designed foundation system
Step #5) Ensure all necessary inspections are performed and approved
Step #6) Pay the contractor(s)/designer(s)
Step #7) Live happily ever after
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Old 09-04-2012, 04:09 PM   #5
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Need a foundation in my laundry room


What is your frost situation there? That determines how deep you must go. If you use pad footings I would go larger than 2 x 2 the load is concentrated in one spot instead of spread out as with foundations. I don't even use them for lally columns. You could do a three sided strip footing and place sonotubes on that for more support. whichever way you go the footings should not exceed 8' apart. You also have to enclose anything above ground to keep it from freezing underneath.
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Old 09-04-2012, 04:12 PM   #6
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I know that it's hard to believe for someone who lives in New England but we have no codes or inspections! There is no country building department. This is why we moved here from Massachusetts. I know that places like this are few and far between but there still are places with no codes. And please don't tell me that homes have no value here as there are 2 houses for sale for over a million dollars less than 10 miles from our house.
With that said how would you DIY this room? This is the DIY chatroom right?
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Old 09-04-2012, 04:18 PM   #7
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What is your frost situation there? That determines how deep you must go. If you use pad footings I would go larger than 2 x 2 the load is concentrated in one spot instead of spread out as with foundations. I don't even use them for lally columns. You could do a three sided strip footing and place sonotubes on that for more support. whichever way you go the footings should not exceed 8' apart. You also have to enclose anything above ground to keep it from freezing underneath.
Our frostline is 30 inches here. Very little of the original foundation goes that deep though. I was worried that overbuilding the foundation for this room will not allow it harmonize with the movement of the main house. The house was built in 1901 and is still incredibly level. Thats why I was leaning towards the rubbel trench style supports.
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Old 09-04-2012, 04:38 PM   #8
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if it was me, I'd place a concrete footing with a frost wall. then I'd place a concrete slab. if you have HE washer/dryer you get a lot of vibration when they spin.

with a slab I don't have to worry about how close I am to the ground, shrinkage and twisting of pressure treated wood or how to ventilate under the floor. some polystyrene insulation under the slab and on the frost wall.
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Old 09-04-2012, 07:30 PM   #9
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Since 1901 the house has probably settled as much as possible. Anything new you build will always compact the soil as you add weight etc. Trying to compensate for frost movement depends on many things that would have to match exactly; Soil type, weight of structure, even moisture content of soil. Water in soil can expand up to 30% the Army Corps of Engineers says. You would probably have to wait many years to see if you got it right.
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Old 09-05-2012, 09:51 AM   #10
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I know that it's hard to believe for someone who lives in New England but we have no codes or inspections! There is no country building department. This is why we moved here from Massachusetts. I know that places like this are few and far between but there still are places with no codes. And please don't tell me that homes have no value here as there are 2 houses for sale for over a million dollars less than 10 miles from our house.
With that said how would you DIY this room? This is the DIY chatroom right?
It's not hard to believe, just didn't think Ohio has that...and the value of a home is determined by how much someone will actually pay for it, nothing else...

That said, this is a really tough DIY job because you can't really do it YOURSELF...you'll need a crew, jacking equipment, cribbing, temporary support structures, excavation equipment, and concrete forms. It's alot to be done/coordinated by one person who doesn't know where to start from. As said above, though, a slab-on-grade monolythic pour is your best bet.

If you were to do it all by yourself you'd have to use a mass concrete underpinning method. This would be laborious and very lengthy as far as schedule. Here's a general description of the process: http://www.neilfoundations.co.uk/pdf...derpinning.pdf
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Old 09-05-2012, 01:31 PM   #11
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Need a foundation in my laundry room


A couple of point just to be more clear. I have decided to move the "laundry " part of the room to another part of the house. Doing this will centralize all my plumbing in one small area.
As for needing help I disagree. I have 2 sons who work with me everyday and several friends who help when we need more people. As for jacking and temporary structure; we are already doing this in the other room (34'x10') that we are rebuilding.
I do like the idea of the slab but time and money had already ruled that option out. I already own all the framing lumber, floor joists, sub floor, and sheathing to rebuild the room. When I realized we would need to reset grade and dig, I made the decision to tear the room down completely. The only work and expense this added is the roof and associated framing. It will be worth the expense because I can make some changes to the roof pitch and dimensions.
I never said that I don't know where to start. I have a plan to rebuild the room but I am interested in other ideas or concerns that I haven't thought of. Thank you for the input. I really do appreciate the opinions and ideas of those on here. I just get the feeling sometime that people want you to "just tear down the house and rebuild it correctly ".
I had planned to build a house from scratch but I bought this for the price of a lot. I am trying to improve the house that I have and not necessarily replace the house that I have.
I completely agree that a house is only worth what someone will pay for it. The people who lost the house to the bank had a mortgage 10 times greater then what we paid.
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Old 09-05-2012, 03:55 PM   #12
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I also wanted to add that we had a deck built to code by a contractor in Massachusetts. The deck was overbuilt to code and inspected every step of the way. 2 years after it was built it settled unevenly. We just jacked it up and re-leveled the deck. It really wasn't very hard to do. Even with a 5000lb hot tub on it. If the room does settle over time it won't be the end of the world. Ideally it will stay level. But it can be re-leveled in the future.
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Old 09-05-2012, 04:05 PM   #13
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Settling isn't the biggest problem, it is the settling of a room that is attached to a structure that may not. That usually doesn't stay level
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Old 09-06-2012, 07:49 PM   #14
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Does anyone have any experience with rubble trench foundations or footings? I have read a lot about them but have not had the opportunity to speak with any one who has used one.
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Old 09-06-2012, 09:49 PM   #15
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my only experience is with additions onto existing structures with rubble stone foundations. I myself would never do a rubble stone foundation. Would be a lot faster placing a concrete footing and at a minimum layout block. Would come out straight and level and give you a means of secure your building to the foundation with anchor bolts. Starting out straight and level makes construction a lot simpler.

my humble opinion, good luck!

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