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18
votes
4answers
1k views

Is it OK that the frame of my house doesn't line up with the slab?

My new house is being framed. I saw that the frame extends 1-2" from the foundation: Click photograph for full size The builder told me it happens often and the city inspector will catch it if this ...
13
votes
1answer
4k 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 ...
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 ...
12
votes
2answers
592 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 ...
11
votes
3answers
24k 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 ...
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 ...
8
votes
2answers
514 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
464 views

What are these vents in the foundation mortar for?

Throughout the interior side of my 1925 brick foundation are little metal vents embedded in the mortar at irregular intervals. Neither our home inspector nor our real estate agent knew exactly what ...
7
votes
3answers
259 views

How best can I seal up an old coal door?

Alongside my house is an old coal door that was never properly sealed. Some caulk was added around the metal exterior door, and a piece of plywood nailed over the interior opening (more to keep out ...
6
votes
3answers
306 views

What's the easiest way to cut a chunk out of a buried railroad tie?

I'm in the process of digging holes for concrete piers (for a small deck - nothing fancy) and on my last hole I came across what appears to be an underground railroad tie (or some other huge piece of ...
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 ...
6
votes
3answers
2k views

How can I tell where my inground sprinkler hoses are?

I'm going to be building a deck next week in my backyard! I'm very excited for the project, but I'm concerned about one thing: digging the foundation holes. I have an inground sprinkler system, and ...
6
votes
2answers
4k 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
6k 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 ...
5
votes
4answers
500 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 ...
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 ...
5
votes
2answers
3k 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
329 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
121 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 ...
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
1answer
241 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
2k views

What's the best approach to repair a wedge/corner crack in my foundation?

I've got a wedge/corner crack on one corner of my foundation. I'll try to post a picture of it as soon as I can, but here's a sample image of what I'm talking about: However, my crack is more ...
5
votes
1answer
147 views

Am I using the correct concrete blocks for the base of my shed and how many do I need?

I'm building a Suncast Sutton storage shed, see here: http://www.homedepot.com/p/Suncast-Sutton-7-ft-3-in-x-7-ft-4-5-in-Resin-Storage-Shed-BMS7791/203702042. I followed the instructions ...
5
votes
1answer
242 views

Re-Pointing Fieldstone Foundation [duplicate]

I purchased my 110 year old colonial house 6 months ago. It has a field stone foundation that looks completely original (with a few small repairs). The house is located in North Eastern Massachusetts ...
4
votes
4answers
9k 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 ...
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
1answer
637 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
919 views

How do I build a basement that does not leak when I have a high water level?

How do I insure a basement will not leak when the site has a high water level?
4
votes
3answers
458 views

Kind of contractor to hire to install new basement window, where there was none before?

A family member is interested in getting their basement finished, and one of the things they'd like to do is have an additional bedroom in the basement. The bedroom should have a window. However, ...
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
3answers
393 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
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 ...
4
votes
1answer
303 views

Crack spanning several tiles

I've got several tiles in my dining room that have a diagonal crack running across them. Since it's a pretty straight line across several tiles, I'm guessing it's a foundation issue. The room is at ...
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 ...
4
votes
1answer
540 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
176 views

How can I reduce or eliminate flaking from a limestone basement?

I have a 1902 house that was built on a limestone foundation. In the basement, the limestone blocks flake a bit which gets to be somewhat annoying having to sweep/vacuum it up from time to time. Are ...
4
votes
2answers
241 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
0answers
76 views

Should I be worried about tears in my foundation wrap?

I recently moved into a newly built house in an area still in construction. My house was completed before my immediate neighbours. While they were excavating, they took large chunks of our foundation ...
4
votes
2answers
11k 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. ...
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 ...
3
votes
2answers
632 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 ...
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 ...
3
votes
2answers
265 views

Things to look for while entering the crawlspace of a house I'm considering buying?

I'm going to examine the crawlspace under a house I'm considering buying. What type of things should I look for? Here's my list so far: Water, moisture, and dampness -- finding it's source. ...
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 ...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

How do I determine if my basement leak is a foundation problem

I have a basement leak that happens every other year on average, after either a very heavy rainfall, or melting of a lot of snow. It occurs on only one wall of the basement, and I've detected water ...
3
votes
1answer
218 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
2k 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
1answer
145 views

Can I convert a basement window to a door?

We have a poured concrete basement, serving as the foundation of our home, which was built in 2008 in central Minnesota. The basement has 3 vinyl windows, the sills of which are around 1' above ...
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 ...