There's this layout (view from above).

enter image description here

There's a log house supported by very weak foundation raised from ground level and there's a cellar right next to the house. The cellar is about 1,8 meters deep (blow the ground level) and lined up with steel sheets held by metal rods and pipes.

The problem is some foundation needs to be crafted to support the house. All other places are easy - slowly lift the house with hydraulic jacks, put it onto temporary supports, then dig a pit about 0.8 meters deep and construct a concrete or brick column. This is mostly done by now.

This corner is special - if the foundation column rests on the ground just 0.8 meters below surface it means there'a a pit next to it which is extra one meter deep and lined with weak steel sheets and the column will likely slide into the cellar when loaded by the house weight. Even if the column is built from the level of the cellar floor the ground from the cellar side will be pushing it to the side and bend it which may become a problem.

How can this corner be permanently supported? Maybe two pieces of I-bar, one (shorter) outside the cellar and the other (long enough to be mounted on the cellar floor) inside the cellar and a third piece put horizontally on those two?

enter image description here

Would this work? Any better options?

  • 1
    This is one of those situations where you'd be best off to pay an engineer to examine the site. Commented Oct 8, 2015 at 14:19
  • @ChrisCudmore Not an option in that region.
    – sharptooth
    Commented Oct 8, 2015 at 14:25
  • He lives in Alaska, probably saw him on discovery channel too. Hows the internet speed there?
    – Piotr Kula
    Commented Jan 16, 2016 at 19:16
  • @ppumkin Very Eastern Europe, not Alaska. Internet speeds vary greatly.
    – sharptooth
    Commented Jan 18, 2016 at 5:50
  • Very Eastern Europe, Siberia then :) Sorry, not trying to make fun but It sounds like you don't have access to allot of materials. I can only suggest making the corner stronger by driving long, large poles 2 or 3 metres into the ground to avoid subsidence. But you need a big machine for that.
    – Piotr Kula
    Commented Jan 18, 2016 at 8:46

1 Answer 1


Option 1: Post

  1. Shore up the corner temporarily by any means
  2. Remove metal sheets and rods at corner
  3. Dig out corner enough to be able to dig out a footing at the celler floor level
  4. Pour footing in corner at cellar level
  5. Install post
  6. Reinstall metal sheets and rods and backfill

Option 2: Wall

  1. Remove metal sheets and rods on side at house
  2. Shore up the side temporarily using multiple post
  3. Dig back entire side of cellar in about 8" down to cellar floor.
  4. Shotcrete a 8" thick foundation wall under entire side.
  5. Reconcile corners where shotcrete meets cellar.
  • How do I address side pressure from the ground which is under the house?
    – sharptooth
    Commented Dec 17, 2015 at 9:09
  • That is a whole 'nother question; something not possibly answerable in a comment. Each point could actually be a series of questions with LONG answers. None of this should be taken lightly.
    – Damon
    Commented Dec 17, 2015 at 16:27
  • Yeap, that's why I asked the question in the first place. Do you see any problems with the two beams as in the question?
    – sharptooth
    Commented Dec 18, 2015 at 9:12
  • Not theoretically if everything is shored up and sized right. The cellar walls being next to the house and possibly caving in over time is the bigger problem. Also, if the shorter post outside of the foundation is too close to the cellar, it will want to cave in more than what you have now. Getting the support under the foundation and the footing at or below the level of the cellar helps reduce cave-in, and if the cellar does cave in, the house is supported separately. The best option is getting a shotcreted wall under the house to solve both shoring and support problems.
    – Damon
    Commented Dec 19, 2015 at 13:49
  • But even a shotcreted wall needs tied to something or it can wall over too.
    – Damon
    Commented Dec 19, 2015 at 13:50

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