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Old 08-06-2010, 01:48 AM   #46
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Why does this contractor need to know where my footings are?


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Originally Posted by Willie T View Post
Idealy, they should be running a compactor across the backfilling at every 8". But no more than at layers of 12" between compaction passes. A really conscious contractor will just have a man in the ditch the whole time running the compactor. Might be something you want to keep an eye on.

Sounds like you have a good man to work with there, but it never hurts to keep an eye on things.
This is a really stupid question, but is a compactor a machine that compacts the dirt as they fill it? What do you mean run the compactor at every 8 inches?

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Old 08-06-2010, 05:31 AM   #47
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Why does this contractor need to know where my footings are?


Not a stupid question. Here is a video:
(If you first turn the volume way up, you can almost feel it )

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rlZFr...eature=related
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Old 08-06-2010, 08:00 AM   #48
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Why does this contractor need to know where my footings are?


An 8 inch layer of loose dirt gets evenly spread across the entire bottom of the trench.
Then it is compacted down.
Another 8 inches of loose dirt is evenly spread on top of that compacted layer.
Again, the compactor beats it down a couple of inches.
Then another 8 inches of dirt.....
More compacting to pack it down.
Repeat and repeat till the trench is filled to the top.

8" is preferred because the compactor is relatively effective at packing the dirt to that depth. Much deeper, and the vibrations are dampened and really don't do as well way down in there.

Soils with high clay content are best compacted with a "tamper" type compactor such as Bob's video shows. More sandy soils respond better to a vibrating "plate" type of compactor. That one operates a lot like running a lawnmower... the big, wide vibrating plate on the bottom makes it slide around the dirt as you hang onto a lawnmower type handle.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HMhFY...eature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QLhOu...eature=related
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Old 08-06-2010, 04:06 PM   #49
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Why does this contractor need to know where my footings are?


Just a precaution, have you taken pictures of your basement wall? If not it might be a good idea to have them just in case. Just a thought.

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Old 08-07-2010, 04:38 PM   #50
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Why does this contractor need to know where my footings are?


I spoke to the contractor and he has had a soil engineer to inspect and they have been told to angle the digging in the area that is close to the home.

They have dug 3 feet away from my foundation wall. They said that this would not disturbe the soil and compromise my foundation. The soil is very hard.

Yes, I have take pictures of my basement wall and also the interior walls on the first floor and the second.


Thanks for all your help. I will post some pics of the digging so far.
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Old 08-10-2010, 02:07 PM   #51
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Why does this contractor need to know where my footings are?


Does anyone know how much further down can my neighbour dig his foundation before it would be considered dangerous.

The hole is 9 feet. Are they below my footings? Do my footings become compromised?


Thanks
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Old 08-10-2010, 03:45 PM   #52
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Why does this contractor need to know where my footings are?


This is a rough estimate, but they should be able to go about the same distance below the bottom of your footing as they went from the grass surface downward to reach your footing bottom.

In other words, they can probably dig down double the depth of whatever your footing is....... but they will have to stay the same distance away.

Most will play it safe, and make the distance below your footing half of the upper depth. Or else they will move further away from your house.

As I said earlier, I'm not an engineer, so this is honestly just a WAG based on what I've seen over the years. Please don't rely upon my comments here as gospel.

A good test is to look and see if the wall of dirt is remaining solid and stable. That's really all you need if no rains are involved. Here is a VERY basic idea of what the A of R is and why it is respected...
http://activerain.com/blogsview/1593...oundation-work
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Old 08-10-2010, 05:31 PM   #53
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Why does this contractor need to know where my footings are?


Typical around here for that age house would be an 8 ft basement wall and footing of 8 to 10" thick. If yours is somewhat similar and you have about 2 1/2 ft of basement wall above grade then the bottom of your footing is approximately 6 to 7 ft below grade.

You can check your dimensions to verify everything except the footing thickness. Your basement slab likely covers part of the wall but since it is a block wall you can simply count the rows of blocks and multiply by the height of one block plus the mortar thickness. Subtract the height of the block wall above grade outside. Add 8 to 12 inches for the footing depth and you should be able to get within a few inches of the actual depth of your footing.

If he is 9 ft down he is well below your footing unless you have very tall basement walls. Since he is only a foot or so away from your footings (they stick out 4 inches or more past your basement walls) then if he is 3 ft below the footings that would make me nervous - especially with groundwater in the hole. On the other hand everything he has done and told you makes me think he is a competent and careful contractor.
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Old 08-11-2010, 12:40 AM   #54
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Why does this contractor need to know where my footings are?


Thanks very much for your help.

We have voiced our concerns with the contractor and he has assured us that it was signed off by an engineer. They have done the forms for the footings and they are in a hurry to do their wall and back fill asap.

The contractor has been very diligent about our concerns and is always available if we need him.

What would be the worse case scenario? My walls would crack?

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Old 08-11-2010, 01:11 PM   #55
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Why does this contractor need to know where my footings are?


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What would be the worse case scenario? My walls would crack?
... and then leak, but like Willie, I'm thinking you will be fine. Sounds like the GC is doing it right.
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Old 08-21-2010, 12:15 AM   #56
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Why does this contractor need to know where my footings are?


Today the put in rocks and sand as back fill.
I thought that back fill was dirt? That is what was there before.
I have not had a chance to talk to the Contractor but I will certainly do so.

Here is a picture of what it looks like.

How would this affect drainage? What possible reason would there be for this type of back fill?

Thanks for all you help.

Why does this contractor need to know where my footings are?-img_0619.jpg
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Old 08-21-2010, 12:51 AM   #57
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Why does this contractor need to know where my footings are?


I imagine you'll get better drainage away from your property with that fill. Did you happen to notice if there was any obvious sloping runoff on the bottom of the ditch, or if they had any 6" or so piping paralleling their foundation?
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Old 08-21-2010, 10:39 AM   #58
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Why does this contractor need to know where my footings are?


Thanks Willie.

Yes they had plastic drainage pipes, I guess that is what they are called, all the way around the foundation, which was sitting on gravel.

Thanks Willie, you have been a great source of information.

Thanks y'all.
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Old 08-21-2010, 11:12 AM   #59
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Why does this contractor need to know where my footings are?


Glad its all filled back in
That must be a relief
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Old 08-21-2010, 11:55 AM   #60
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Why does this contractor need to know where my footings are?


Yummy, I think I would sure consider that contractor for some of your renovation work. He sounds like a keeper.

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