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4
votes
2answers
234 views

What should I do about a horizontal crack around my porch slab?

This crack runs all the way around my porch slab but doesn't go into the foundation where the basement starts. The ranch house was built in 1956. The porch was framed in and our office is in there ...
4
votes
3answers
375 views

How can I prevent my hoop house from being uprooted by strong winds?

I am installing a 20' x 100' hoop house with 5' spacing between each of the hoops. The arch is about 10' tall. The hoops are galvanized chain link fence top rail. 3 rails inserted into one another ...
4
votes
1answer
478 views

How do I cut a new crawlspace access in a brick foundation?

When my house was built, the crawlspace access was put on the high side of the property, which I'm sure gave the subcontractors the easiest access for HVAC, wiring, etc. But there is very little ...
2
votes
1answer
65 views

What do I need to consider when enlarging a basement apartment by opening up an attached garden shed?

I would like to open up a wall made of cinder bricks between a finished basement (back split) and the garden shed that is an original part of the house. I would then have the garden shed space ...
6
votes
2answers
5k views

What should I do about a crack in the concrete slab in my living room?

We purchased the house about 2 years ago. The house is about 50 years old. Today we removed the carpet and the hardwood floors under the carpet. We found out the slab has an approximately 10ft long ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

What should I consider when cutting/making window in concrete foundation?

I am thinking about putting in another window for my basement apartment. I would like to know what do I need to consider before trying to find a contractor to do this. I have uploaded a picture of ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

Would adding new basement windows jeopardize the integrity of the foundation?

We are finishing our basement and would like to install 4 new hopper windows onto the front side of the house. My question is what is the largest reasonably sized window that can be cut from the ...
2
votes
2answers
1k views

Should I be concerned with my back flow valve pit filling with water?

I have never had foundation or ground water problems in my basement but I did have a sewar problem and as part of a recent replacment of that, I had a back flow valve installed that looks like this: ...
2
votes
2answers
7k views

Could this cracked drywall be caused by a shifting house?

We are in southern Illinois and last Sunday my wife noticed a crack above the kitchen cabinets. We started looking around and have found cracks all over the house in different areas that were not ...
3
votes
3answers
1k views

How do I fix the cracks in my brick foundation?

I have some cracks in the foundation of the house I am about to buy. The house is 100 years old, there doesn't seem to be water leaks. The cracks don't look to be offset. Attached is the picture ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

Is it wise to cut a long trench in concrete slab foundation?

I've got a two-car garage (4-inch concrete slab on grade) that I'm turning into living space. I want to put a bathroom out there but I need to get plumbing through the floor. I didn't think it was ...
2
votes
1answer
2k views

How to properly close a chimney hole in the basement

I recently removed the old unused wood stove in my basement. I now want to properly condemn the chimney. I found this question which answers what to do with the chimney outside, but I am still unsure ...
2
votes
2answers
728 views

What are some good concrete and foundation books?

I've done all sorts of home repairs and projects, but never concrete work. I've been looking for a good book to help me learn how to build concrete foundations for a home, and how to pour and finish ...
4
votes
1answer
1k views

How can I tell if a slab foundation can be built on?

I am purchasing a small one-story home built in 1955. I want to turn the garage into living space. The home sits on a crawlspace, but the garage is on a slab that was added to the side and abuts the ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

Should I be concerned about my house settling?

I bought my home about a year ago (September 2011). It's a split-level ranch built in the mid-70s. I have a couple of spots, especially on a wall going perpindicular through the center of the house ...
13
votes
1answer
1k views

What are the disadvantages of having electrical conduit penetrate my foundation below-grade?

I'm having an electrician wire a lamppost in the backyard. His initial proposal was to do something like this picture shows: (The diagram is from this article.) The conduit's rise from the ground ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

Door sticking, frame no longer square, is this serious?

I'm a rookie home owner. My "mudroom" door (never heard that term before this house) has started to stick. The house was built in 1952. At the time it was just the house, and the garage and mudroom ...
6
votes
2answers
3k views

Is it normal to find cracks in new concrete?

I'm having a house built and they just completed pouring the slab for the foundation a few days ago. When I inspected it today I noticed several narrow (but sometimes long; one or two do them appear ...
9
votes
1answer
4k views

How difficult is it to repair or replace a preserved wood foundation?

I am looking at buying a house that has a PWF (Preserved Wood Foundation) foundation. Though there are some benefits to having one there seems to be varying opinions on such a foundation. I'm ...
2
votes
2answers
1k views

What packing material to use between a brick and house beam?

I'm replacing a damaged beam under my house with bricks under each floor joist. The bricks are 15mm lower than the original beam. I've been told to use roof slates to pack the rest of the height. I'm ...
2
votes
1answer
251 views

How can I protect a house foundation from weather conditions?

I started building a house and had to divert my money into another situation which was urgent. It might take some time to retrieve the money so the building is on hold. Only the house foundation is ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

What is the best way to fill a 3 inch gap under my concrete front porch?

I'm in need of some help with my concrete foundation. As I was leaving the house this morning I discovered two or three skunks crawling into a gap under my porch. The hole is on the bottom of the ...
0
votes
1answer
409 views

After repointing a fieldstone foundation, should I backfill with gravel?

I've repointed a fieldstone foundation wall, but now I'm not sure how to backfill around the wall. Everyone I've asked has said I should now backfill with 3/4 gravel, so water drains quickly down ...
5
votes
1answer
237 views

What can I do about lead paint on fieldstone foundation walls?

I have an old field stone basement (1870's) that is crumbling but not just the mortar, the stone itself. We have tuck pointed the mortar areas with some success. Our problem is: the previous owner ...
2
votes
1answer
3k views

What technique(s) is recommended for waterproofing exterior foundation walls?

I have a late 70's split-entry, so my basement foundation wall is roughly 4 feet under the ground. The basement is finished with wood framing, spray foam insulation, and sheetock. Recent heavy rains ...
2
votes
1answer
293 views

Is this hole at the corner of the foundation major issue?

I am in the process of purchasing a home. I found the perfect home but of course, I found water stains in the basement walls (mostly close to the floor). I also noticed a small hole at the corner of ...
1
vote
2answers
482 views

Faulty grade and pest infestation

My house has a faulty grade (the top of the foundation if at or below the ground level in many places). It's a very old house (1920 built). The foundation concrete is not steel-reinforced. The ...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

Who to call about sinking porch and mud room?

I live in Massachusetts and have a porch and mud room that are sinking. I was stupid enough to think they had "settled" when I bought the house, but now I can see that they're still sinking, which is ...
3
votes
1answer
779 views

How should I build a skid foundation for my shed?

I am planning a 14 x 20 shed, going to build on a 4x4 skid foundation, I can only get 16ft 4x4, what is the best method for the 4 feet left? Should I make all the joints at one end or use 2, 10 ft ...
3
votes
2answers
5k views

Renovating interior stone basement walls

We have a 100 year old house, and I would like to finish the basement but leave the stone walls exposed. I believe the stone can look great, but the mortar needs some work, and I am mostly focused on ...
5
votes
1answer
119 views

What is the timeline for broken plumbing to cause damage to a house's foundation?

Assume a plumbing main breaks for whatever reason, and sewage begins to leak into the foundation of a house. What is the typical timeline for events to play out? For example, plumbing breaks on day ...
13
votes
1answer
3k views

Is my rapidly failing foundation dangerous?

I'll be succinct. I'm afraid we're having a full structural failure. Over the past week, crack after crack has been appearing in our plaster and walls. I'm honestly concerned for our safety. Our ...
5
votes
1answer
324 views

How to repair mortar that is crumbling?

The interior of my stone basement foundation wall has been mortared it is starting to sand off. What is the best way to seal it off so I can paint it again? The home was built in the 20's and has no ...
12
votes
2answers
582 views

What should I keep in mind when building my house myself?

I inherited a piece of land and want to build a house on it. Nothing fancy: one floor, 2-3 rooms. Since I don't really have the money :D to build it "in one go", I'm going to build it over a longer ...
2
votes
1answer
772 views

How high should the siding be above ground level?

To word the question another way, how much of the foundation wall needs to be exposed below the siding? My neighbor isn't the best at home projects and decided to install a brick pad so that the soil ...
5
votes
4answers
486 views

Would upgrading my basement with sandstone blocks be worthwhile?

Having a look at an old farmhouse that is for sale in the area, and as with most houses in the area of this age the foundation is built on red sandstone blocks, around five feet deep, with a dirt ...
4
votes
3answers
7k views

What is the best way to fill a hole in a concrete basement floor?

My basement floor has a hole cut where the water line enters the house. This hole is around 2ft square, and digging down a little I hit dirt and small roots. I'd like to seal this hole as I believe it ...
4
votes
4answers
8k views

How strong are bolts compared to welding and what qualities to look for in foundations?

I'm planning on building a home climbing wall, made from a mild steel subframe. It will probably be around 10 feet tall approx. I was thinking along the lines of using mild steel angle, cutting to ...
3
votes
1answer
216 views

Heat causing concrete to heave

I mostly hear about this happening for roads on very hot days, but I'm wondering what about the heat causes the concrete to heave? Is there any concerns for foundations/garage floors/drive way heaving ...
4
votes
1answer
125 views

Very small foundation pour

Going to have to pour a very small 3'x2' foundation. I know that I should go easy on the water to prevent spalling problems, etc., but I'm looking for something better than chicken wire for ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

Setting posts for a sturdy garden fence

So spring has arrived, and we have decided to build a 20' x 40' enclosed area in which to place a garden (we have many deer, rabbits and other garden veggie thieves in the area). The plan is to build ...
3
votes
2answers
617 views

Repair Hole in Concrete Foundation

The previous owner of my house had a sprinkler system installed and had it run off the main water supply in the house instead of a separate meter. I had a new meter installed, so I do not have to pay ...
4
votes
2answers
10k views

How do I properly jack up one side of my house?

As I write this, I have a slight lean as I walk on my floor in some parts of my house, and it's even worse on the upper floor. In some parts upstairs, it feels almost like you have to grab something. ...
4
votes
1answer
629 views

How do I quickly address my foundation issues?

I own a post and beam home built in 1955 with a foundation issue which is causing a ½ sag on the floor as read by a level and tape measure within 3 feet of the foundation and outside wall. This is ...
2
votes
2answers
1k views

Fixing a sagging foundation

We are currently renting our house and considering purchasing it from the owner, but it is sagging, and in some rooms it is rather significant and noticeable, with the worst parts being approximately ...
8
votes
2answers
511 views

Is a sagging floor possibly detrimental?

I live in a house built in the early 1900's. The dining room, which is in the center of the house, sags enough to where you could set a marble in the middle and it will always roll to one side. The ...
1
vote
1answer
515 views

Sealing a small crack in poured concrete foundation

I have a small crack in my foundation that started seeping water when there was ice on the ground. The water is flowing along the foundation under my fireplace bump out. The cause of the problem ...
11
votes
3answers
23k views

What kind of mortar should I use to point a fieldstone foundation?

What kind of mortar should I use to point a fieldstone foundation? The old mortar is crumbling, and sandy mortar is falling out onto the basement floor. I plan to remove the crumbling mortar (see ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

How do I remove crumbling mortar from fieldstone foundation?

I have a fieldstone foundation. As with most such foundations, the mortar is crumbling, and the sandy mortar is falling out onto the basement floor. I have just read that I need to remove crumbling ...
5
votes
2answers
5k views

How do I build an on grade foundation for a shed?

After asking a couple of questions about what type of foundation to place an 8x10 vinyl shed, I am now ready to build an on grade foundation. Can someone point me to detailed instructions for how to ...