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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

I'm working on a disgusting pit in my old house this weekend.. basement has an old door sealed up with expanding foam which is just a giant eyesore and I'd like to remove it and replace the blocks.

The wall will not bear any more load than the door frame before it, and there will not be any earth pressed against it (just the open pit outside).

My basement has stairs to main of house as well as door exit to garage/outside so egress points shouldn't be an issue (not that the door is functional now lol)


I am really curious about the best method for attaching the new block wall to the blocks on either side of it. Any recommendations? Everything else looks pretty straightforward to me at this point.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
As of now, my plan is to drill into mortar on both sides and seat a section of rebar 4 inches inside with Sika anchor fix adhesive, then build up the blocks and fill with concrete as I go. Will Drylok on outside twice then paint to match as needed. I think this should be more tha enough considering nothing will be pressing against the wall but air. (feel free to point out of I'm wrong ha!)
 

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Concrete & Masonry
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"If" you never see it being backfilled with soil, you don't need to tie it together at all. I still would though, and I'd use a 3/8" rebar on each side every couple course, as it should fit in the mortar joint with minimal block alteration.

I have to ask though, why not knock out the steps right away and just fill the "pit" in?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
"If" you never see it being backfilled with soil, you don't need to tie it together at all. I still would though, and I'd use a 3/8" rebar on each side every couple course, as it should fit in the mortar joint with minimal block alteration.

I have to ask though, why not knock out the steps right away and just fill the "pit" in?
The outside pit (and contained sump pump) is very effective in keeping water out of my basement, moreso than the pit I have in my basement (also with pump).

I appreciate the input, got my material list ready and will get started soon.

I am digging the pit a bit deeper tomorrow (23 inches from top of poured foundation, so about 10" lower) and setting up a proper basin / drain rocks.

Once the wall is completed, I'll attach a metal grate to either of the concrete sides from the remainder of the stairs and regain the use of that walkway (there is no walk space between the neighbor fence and my house that isn't that pit).

There's also no way to get materials to the hole other than a couple of buckets at a time due to crazy slope. It'll look OK when finished, and more importantly, won't let any damned water/slugs/bugs into my basement.
 

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Bill Kearney
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I'm wondering about a bigger picture approach to the problem. One where you continue with your walling-in the doorway, but backfill the old stairs entirely.

Where's the water coming from and how would that be affected by the stairwell being in-filled? As in, would the water then remain more of a surface issue? Which could then be handled differently? Perhaps by leaving a 4" drain pipe leading down from a catch box at the surface to your pit on the inside.

It's common in new construction to have a drain like that surrounding the house and leading back inside to a pit. The idea being, collect the water and get it to the pit, where it can be pumped away quickly. Rather than letting it sit against the foundation walls, eventually leading to leaks (hydrostatic pressure, etc).

So what if you blocked in the wall, waterproofed the outside of it, put a drain line from the inside pit up to a surface box and then filled in the stairwell?
 
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