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43

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 ...


24

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 ...


23

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' ...


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 one ...


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

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 ...


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 footings,...


12

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 ...


12

The information is incorrect, the temperature at which concrete becomes unsafe for re-use is significantly lower, 570 degrees F actually. The 'telltale" sign is if concrete that was not charred from nearby combustibles turns a pinkish hue. That color change is due to chemical changes in the iron-containing compounds in the aggregates used in making concrete ...


12

You've really got a two-step question here Would a lack of gutters and grading explain the water? The simple answer is yes. That's the source here. Even without gutters and proper grading, should the foundation walls still be water proof if they were constructed correctly? It's that second question that will get you. Your basement walls comprise an ...


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 ...


9

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 ...


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 ...


9

If your gut is telling you to run then run. But if you are still thinking about purchasing the house I would make sure that the builder gives you something in writing to back up what he/she is saying. If they are wiling to put it in writing then all is good, as long as they can be found if something does go wrong. Also ask the builder for the compaction ...


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

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'd have no concerns about doing what you describe. I've seen it done many times here in frigid Minnesota. Build your walls (using treated lumber and suitable nails where it contacts the slab), insulate the walls and ceiling, and line the entire thing with 4 mil poly sheeting. Yes, you'll lose a bit of heat through the floor, but since your heat source is ...


6

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 ...


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

The first step is to look at the foundation that supports that the walls of the garage. If the walls have foundations separate from the garage floor slab and those foundations are similar in construction and depth to those of the main house then this is a good indicator that you are in a good position to proceed with the remodel plans. On the other hand if ...


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.


6

This may be a problem or non-problem depending on the foundation construction. You'll be much better off consulting an expert who knows how foundations are built in your area and how to diagnose them. One option is that the foundation is designed with separate large thick concrete pads that bear the load and then the space between them is filled with ...


6

No this is not okay - especially for a new house. If the builder is saying it is okay, run away from this house because you have no idea what else they have screwed up. You can't put a post on a slab if it is structural (i.e. not decorative). A concrete slab is not designed (and shouldn't be) to handle structural loads like this. The concrete looks fine. ...


6

Someone built on rock because the rock was where they wanted to put the house. This mighf reduce foundation cost, too. You repair the foundation the same way you repair any brick or fieldstone foundation -- mortar in new pieces if necessary, tuckpoint to fill in eroded-away mortar, etc. Think of the ledge rock as a natural foundation slab and work from ...


6

FWIW, that's technically called a "raised patio" rather than a deck. At 40' long, your challenge will be to prevent cracking...so I'd count on putting in expansion joints. If you want to ensure a solid base, you need to use crushed rock and add it layer-by-layer mechanically compacting each layer before adding the next. That's going to be some work to get ...


6

You have several issues: 1) Hold your building up, 2) keep your building stable (lateral stability) 3) freeze/thaw, 1) I would be careful to calculate the number of piers required to support such a heavy load as a log cabin. The piers have a small bearing area (perhaps as small as 12”x12”) and your load is tremendous. The benefit of a continuous footing ...


6

mortar is not really structural, I would go with steel, perhaps half-inch plate and some washers


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 ...


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