Questions tagged [foundation]

The base on which a house or other structure is built or installed, connecting the structure and transferring its load to the ground. Questions using this tag should include additional tags to identify the type or material of the foundation.

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33
votes
11answers
12k views

Is this cracking foundation under a jack post a problem that requires repair?

I am buying an already-built new home. I find this in the basement. The builder says it's okay, but I am really concerned. Is this really a big issue? What steps would be required to repair it? This ...
22
votes
5answers
11k 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 ...
18
votes
1answer
18k 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 ...
14
votes
1answer
4k 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 and ...
14
votes
3answers
90k 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 ...
12
votes
2answers
990 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
1answer
19k 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
237 views

In a house fire, how hot does the foundation have to get before it too has to be replaced?

Not long after the Oakland Hills fire in the early 90's I was talking with a homeowner. I ignorantly said that at least he can still rebuild on the same foundation. He said that at about 2,000°F the ...
10
votes
1answer
3k views

Foundation for structure on bedrock

We have the mixed blessing of a giant swath of exposed Canadian Shield on our property in Ontario. Literally a big flat area of exposed rock, no soil whatsoever. Scale is hard to see, but a ...
8
votes
2answers
605 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
3answers
11k 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
10k 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 ...
7
votes
4answers
4k 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
6
votes
4answers
42k 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
27k 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
1k 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
833 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
5k 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
2answers
9k 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 I'...
6
votes
2answers
25k 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
3k 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
12k 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
19k 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 (http://www....
6
votes
3answers
2k views

Concrete foundation repair

My home was built in 1914 (Portland, Oregon). In 1948, the house was moved 200 feet to its current location. The 750 square foot house has a concrete basement with a concrete floor. The concrete ...
6
votes
2answers
35k 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
3answers
1k views

Can this water damage be explained by lack of gutters and grading issues?

We are currently midway through a major renovation to an old house. Part of the renovation was digging out a new basement and adding a new foundation around it. The basement has a ceiling height of ...
5
votes
4answers
804 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
1answer
542 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
166 views

Will the concrete slab in a partially heated shed conduct a lot of heat to the unconditioned area?

I have a barn-garage type outbuilding (I believe it was a small barn originally; it has that kind of tall, roomy upper loft). It's about 40 by 20 feet. It's got a concrete foundation and the lower ...
5
votes
3answers
29k 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
3answers
3k 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
154 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 x,...
5
votes
1answer
635 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
138 views

What is this panel in basement wall of 1940s house?

When I removed a cabinet from our basement wall today I discovered the panel in the photo below. The panel is metal, approximately 2 ft wide and 1 ft high. It has five 1.5 inch holes in it, each one ...
5
votes
5answers
3k views

Destroying a wasp nest

Wasps have made 2 holes beside the foundation of the house: My dad wants to wait until winter, but I rather destroy both nests before they start stinging people. How should I go around destroying ...
5
votes
2answers
181 views

How to go about building an aquarium into a wall?

I plan to install a 180 gallon aquarium in my basement. The dimensions are 72" x 24" x 25" About 2000 pounds after sand and decorations when filled How should I go about doing this without having ...
5
votes
1answer
3k 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
7k 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 complex....
5
votes
1answer
1k 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
32k 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
3answers
1k 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
3answers
2k 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
4answers
34k views

How many concrete piers do I need to support a 10 x 10 wooden floor supporting a 1600 lb shed?

Aptos, CA, United States. As you've probably noticed from my prior post, I'm in the process of building a foundation for a garden shed. My specific county/region does not have strict restrictions/...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

Do I need a hydraulic jack to do main beam jacking?

I am planning to do some minor jacking of the main beam of my house (two stories with a lot of furniture and books) and some of the joists in order to correct a sag of about 1/2" and replace old "...
4
votes
2answers
5k views

Soil grade is above foundation

Our soil/landscaping grade is between about 4" and 8" above the foundation. I've read and been told that this is a problem. I believe the soil should be ~4" below the foundation line. We have a ...
4
votes
1answer
7k 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
193 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
406 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. ...
4
votes
1answer
6k 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 ...