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28

I'm not familiar with USA house construction methods (I live in the UK) but speaking as a mechanical engineer, I wouldn't even stand near that thing while debating how safe it was. That bolt is presumably supposed to be fixing the post against it popping out sideways. I suppose it was meant to be bolted to a metal beam underneath the concrete. So either ...


21

No, it's not ok. For one thing, by the time the city inspector looks at the fully framed building, it will be a little too late to fix it. Secondly, the builder's attitude seems very questionable. Either his framing crew or the concrete sub messed up. At the very least their job is not done in a workmanlike manner. They shouldn't wait and hope things 'slip' ...


17

This should make the hairs on your neck stand-up. What my first thought was is the sand fill that the concrete was floated on has been undermined. Is there a sump pump well in the basement? And if so, do you live in an area that gets a lot of rain? Also, what's missing from that photo ( that hasn't been installed) is a concrete footing of some sort to ...


13

I think you need to get a structural engineer out there ASAP to investigate; I would be worried too! Your city's by-law office might be able to refer you to someone who can help. It might also be worth getting in contact with your insurance company - they might have their own engineer come out. If you think it's really about to fall over you might opt to ...


13

I'll assume that the hole is there because concrete was put onto unrammed gravel. The current state is left on the picture Now assuming you've got rid of the animals you have to stabilize the existing concrete and the gravel beneath it. The easiest way would be to excavate some of the gravel until you reach some stable foundation (I'd guess it's around ...


12

Call in a pro. This site can help with a lot of problems found in and around the home, but in some situations a problem cannot be diagnosed and solved effectively on the internet. Some problems just have to be looked at, and inspected before a proper solution can be proposed. Comment converted to answer


12

There is a lot to know. Shortest answer: you should let experts handle anything you're not sure of. You need to comply with local building codes (This also means you need to know what those are. Inspectors don't accept ignorance as an excuse.) The design needs to be approved by an architect or structural engineer. There are strict requirements on ...


11

My house has the main electrical come in below grade (built in 1967 before they knew better). I would get some small leakage coming in around the conduit where it came through the concrete and later hydro-static pressure pushing water right up into the main breaker box which, though inside, was also below grade. With a un-floored crawl space, some water ...


10

OK this is easy. The answer is NO. The construction has issues: There are no bolts for the sill plates. 2.The sill plates should be spaced on the slab so that wall plus exterior finish meets slab. It looks like this house is getting brick or thick stone given the 3 inches or so from the edge. I am not sure about your situation. You are having a ...


9

If the mortar is crumbling and flaking, it MUST be removed. It is a tedious job, bit to assure a good solid surface, you have to remove all loose mortar, key it, and point all the joints. Let it cure a few weeks, be absolutely it is dried, then go for the finish. If you don't get to a solid base, you will be wasting your time and paint. Remember, the right ...


8

Unless your holes match the bolt size very precisely (like, you have to hammer the bolts home), you will get racking, which will weaken the joint over time. Likewise, the bolts will loosen up (use lock washers and check it frequently). It's something you'll have to watch for; as the holes get stretched, you'll need to figure out what to do. Think about how ...


8

Let's not over complicate this little project. I have seen these open sump holes hundreds of times. I am absolutely sure there are no structural issues here, how long has the house stood without concrete in the hole? There was probably not a concrete floor when it was built and for many years after. If you want to simply keep stuff out and hide the dirt ...


8

This is done all the time in slab-on-grade houses. The slab is there to give you a nice surface to park on, but is not required for the structural integrity of the garage. So, sure, go right ahead.


8

I've used a sawzall type reciprocating saw with the 14" long demolition style blades for similar type wood removal in the ground. Be prepared to replace the blade a few times as cutting into dirt can mess up the teeth after a while. With the saw like this you should be able to cut completely through the old timber without having to do any chiseling in ...


7

A welded connection can always be made the same strength as the original steel by using a full penetration but weld but this all depends on the quality of the materials used for the welding and the quality of the welding itself. Therei s a very good reason why there is a lot of non destructive testing used when welded joints are being used for structural ...


7

You have a couple things going on here: 1) The posts. an engineer would have to evaluate to be sure, but it's most likely that you will not be able to remove the posts without providing beams of some sort to span the space between the walls. Their irregular arrangement probably lines up with walls that they are supporting in the first story, which in ...


7

I am in Maine where climate is similar. There are very few Preserved or pressure treated foundations here. I have seen them on out buildings, barns and some summer camps. They are rarely used for dwellings, with good reason. Wood and water do not mix, regardless how well they have been treated. Even though some have been in used for over 50 years, every one ...


7

Definitely get a home inspector to look over tbe place; there may be other damage from this subsidence... If the price is attractive enough that you'd consider trying to have this redone properly, I'd suggest getting an engineer who know the local soil and hydrology to look at it and tell you what it'd cost to redo this properly. Better to spend a few ...


6

This looks to be an excellent tutorial: http://www.finehomebuilding.com/how-to/articles/firm-foundation-backyard-shed.aspx


6

I spent a couple summers in college installing underground sprinkling, so I know a little bit about this. Typically you will have a large valve box somewhere in your yard. These will usually have an access hatch (or several small hatches) for maintenance, so they should be easy enough to find. Typically a pipe will run from the water supply to the valve ...


6

Never use chicken wire or fiber glass meshing, they don't do anything. When it comes to non rebar reinforcement you have some options. In your case I would add fibers. This type of reinforcement is called FRC or Fiber Reinforced Concrete. Steel fibers add tensile strength and have no weak points like rebar does because they are spread throughout the ...


6

If it's not a huge pipe, hydraulic cement would probably do the trick. Hydraulic cement is designed to expand as it cures and is used for reparing foundation cracks.


6

The answer to your question is that there is no answer - there are just so many variables that it's really impossible to answer with anything quantitative. The biggest variable is how much water is going down the drain. If you had a clog but very little water usage, it could be days before you saw anything on your basement floor. If you have a family of 8 ...


6

I'm not 100% clear as to whether you bought the house with the cracks and the popped out nails, or whether it has happened since you bought the place. If it has happened since you bought the place then I would be concerned and have it looked into. If it was like that when you bought it the damage could have been there for decades, there's no way to know for ...


6

If you want to install it yourself, great. But I suggest you start by having an engineer look at the application and calculate your requirements. Could be well worth the investment.


5

I have been working on my field stone basement as well (170 years old), and here is what I have learned: Having hired an actual stone mason (that's right; they still exist) to repair an area of wall that was very decrepit I learned some things that are helping me now, and I have also learned that some of what he was doing was not necessary. I have begun my ...


5

There are a few different ways I've seen this done. The best way is to trench around the outside of the foundation down to the footer, seal the outside of the wall, and install a drainage system (gravel and pipes) at the footer to redirect the water to a sump pit where it can be pumped out. Next best way is to do basicly the same thing, but on the inside ...


5

I would start with Architect or Structural Engineer because for that kind of work you're going to need permits, which means detailed drawings for the applications. They would probably have recommendations for a General Contractor that would be able to do the job (with or without subcontractors).


5

For my on grade shed, I first built a bed of crushed limestone for it to rest on. This will allow drainage and breathing room below the shed. I used some landscape timbers and made a "retaining wall" for the limestone just slightly larger than the footprint of the shed (like 2' around each side). I then filled this rectangle landscape timber area with ...


5

You can do it. Certainly. There was a recent episode on this for "this old house". They basically suggested cleaning out the loose fill and then replacing the old mortar with fresh mortar. It looked tedious more than anything else - but doable by a homeowner. I've re-mortared and chinked stone foundations. It's a surprisingly high maintenance experience ...



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