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  • foundation floor repair or re-do

    My husband seems to think that he's great with power tools. I know he could be, but could use some guidance. There are three inches of concrete poured over our foundation in the basement. This means we almost have to hunch over to walk down there- We'd like it to be a finished basement. What can we do to redo this (I mean, take down the floor for added head room) without hiring a contractor? Is it possible to jackhammer on our own? What problems may we run into? Anyone?

  • #2
    Re: foundation floor repair or re-do

    You need to know why it wasn't done full height in the first place. There is probably a reason.

    If your going to hammer out the floor you need to know about and pipes or conduits running through it.

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    • #3
      Re: foundation floor repair or re-do

      How do I find out why concret was poured over the concrete foundation? I mean, who would have that information, other than previous owners...

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      • #4
        Re: foundation floor repair or re-do

        What can we do to redo this (I mean, take down the floor for added head room) without hiring a contractor?
        without hiring a contractor
        contractor
        Ma'am, are you aware of the fact that you are asking a forum full of contractors on how to take work away from us?

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        • #5
          Re: foundation floor repair or re-do

          Originally posted by justcheckin'montana View Post
          How do I find out why concret was poured over the concrete foundation? I mean, who would have that information, other than previous owners...
          Also, the first thing that comes to my mind is either one of two things:

          The first, is that it might have been a dirt floor basement at one time, or the original pour, over the years, degraded into such bad shape that a second pour was much more feasable.

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          • #6
            Re: foundation floor repair or re-do

            Originally posted by justcheckin'montana View Post
            How do I find out why concret was poured over the concrete foundation? I mean, who would have that information, other than previous owners...
            Call your county recorders office. They might have a informational report on the nature of the extra concrete that was poured in your basement. I believe it is part of the Freedom of Information Act. Some counties might have a C.D.R. as we in the trade call it. It is also known as a Concrete Dissemination Report.
            Last edited by Tyman; 11-01-2009, 08:43 PM.
            Anyone can tear a man down, few can build one up.

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            • #7
              Re: foundation floor repair or re-do

              Check with your local code but you likely need 8' of head room for it to be legal not just enough to stand upright. You cannot just lower your floor without redoing your footings as well. Depending on your type of construction it may be easier to separate your home from your foundation and jack the house up a couple of feet. Even if your husband feels he can do it himself, the least you should do is hire an engineer to see what your possible choices are.

              Mark
              "Somewhere a Village is Missing Twelve Idiots!" - Casey Anthony

              I never lost a cent on the jobs I didn't get!

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              • #8
                Re: foundation floor repair or re-do

                Originally posted by justcheckin'montana View Post
                How do I find out why concret was poured over the concrete foundation? I mean, who would have that information, other than previous owners...
                You hire a contractor with experience in such things. Years of experience leads to have a good educated guess or knowing who to ask.

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                • #9
                  Re: foundation floor repair or re-do

                  It was very common on older homes to dig down leaving some area to to support the existing foundation, IN most instances this was done in areas where only a "Crawl space" was put under the house. but in many older homes the "basement" was not that deep,
                  and in your area it may just have been a dug out crawl space, as I am guessing your freeze depth could easily be 5 foot, but one would need to leave an area to support the out side existing wall,

                  IN our area it is very common to have the floor poured over the footer, of the wall, as it helps support the wall from moving in from the pressure of soils against it on the out side,

                  As far as jack hammering it out, a Bosch electric jack hammer should do the job, get a hole started and clear it out and make some room for the concrete to move, and take about 4" sections, and putting the point of the Jack hammer about ever 4" some times hammer a few seconds and move over, until you have a string of started holes, and then work back over it by stitching (is what I call it) you create a crack line and usually on the return pass, if under 4" thick it should break off in to manageable chunks,

                  as stated depending on the plumbing you may discover pipes just under the concrete or even in the concrete, and with out and deepen on the depth of the sewer main they may or may not go any deeper,

                  unless you know where your sewer lines are, and if there under the concrete, I would have them located and depth estimated, as it would be a bummer to hammer all the concrete out and then discover that you can not re pour the floor any deeper,

                  a project that shows some dug out and the shelf or back set to support the excising foundation,
                  http://paddockconcrete.com/medinah.htm

                  attached are some photos, is of a dug out basement with the wall set in so the existing soils can support the existing footer, note: the set back from the original walls,
                  also the last is of how many basement floors are poured in comparison to the footer,

                  any time one changes or does work like this, one may damage the structural of the building, one needs to under stand the danger that could be created by changing the structure and the foundation of the building, and how the foundation is supported, so proceed at our own risk, if one miscalculates and the foundation collapses you my lose the house and your life in the process.
                  and if in doubt in any way pull in trained persons, structural engineer, even soil experts, and foundation experts.
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                  Last edited by BHD; 11-01-2009, 11:44 PM.
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