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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello all, great site.
I am in the process of starting a remodel on a two story farm house that was recorded in the county in 1924. The frame of the structure is very sound but the basement walls are concerning to me. They appear to be deteriorated from years of water infiltration. They do not appear to be bowed in any way and the sill is sitting square on the top of the wall. With that said the interior of the walls are very loose. I am able to dig fairly effortlessly into the walls with my pocket knife. My question is whether it is prudent or even possible to repair these walls, or would we be better off jacking the house up and repouring new? Pics are below. Thanks for any insight.

Also, forgot to mention that in various places along the top of the wall there have been newer concrete blocks added at some point. I assume to shore up the wall, but i don't know the history/story on that.
 

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If you want to know if foundation structurally safe, you should consult with a local Engineer and have him evaluate structural integrity of your foundation.

With that said, the crumbling lose stuff you see could be built up layers of salt which separated the layer of paint (if it was painted) or this could be just the surface of the concrete itself, because in those days the concrete was mixes on site and it looked like sand with pebbles.
Use heavy duty steel brush and remove lose particles, wash down the walls with good quality concrete cleaner that will remove the excess salt deposits, let it dry and see what happens... and if the wall is sound you can simply repaint with waterproofing paint like drylock.

If you pick any place on the foundation wall, and you can pick a hole in it to the other-side with a pocket knife, defiantly contact an engineer.

Good luck
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the reply Greg. I had an engineer out to the site a week or so ago to inspect the walls but he left much to be desired. I thought he would do some type of testing on the walls but no such luck. What you are saying makes sense, but the problem is drying it out. That leads to another question. I'm fairly scared to dig down the outside of the foundation to put drainage in for fear of the wall or walls collapsing. Is that a valid concern? Part of me thinks that the walls would be ok if I could drain the perimeter properly and put some type of waterproofing on the outside. I just worry about causing a collapse while excavating down to get that done. Any thoughts?
 

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plaster inside walls, 2 in's of a tixotropic, fiber reinforced, polymer bi componente concrete repair mortar,
then dig away. I personally like BASF's products
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
To give you a cost comparison... From the estimates I have been given, to jack up the structure and pour new walls, waterproof outside with "bubble wrap", and install drainage is going to come to a little over 20k. This does not include excavating the old walls. Still working on how to even go about that. The house is located in Southern Indiana if some of you are familiar with pricing in certain areas.

Edit: Another detail I forgot to mention is that the walls don't appear to have reinforcement, which I'm sure most of you assumed given the age of the house but I wanted to mention this as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
plaster inside walls, 2 in's of a tixotropic, fiber reinforced, polymer bi componente concrete repair mortar,
then dig away. I personally like BASF's products
When you say dig away, do you mean start digging around the perimeter to install the drainage and waterproof? Are you saying that the 2 inches of product will reinforce the walls enough not to worry about collapse when excavating?
 

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yeah, basically. But only you can access the situation.
also look into structural repair mortars and grouts
 

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To give you a cost comparison... From the estimates I have been given, to jack up the structure and pour new walls, waterproof outside with "bubble wrap", and install drainage is going to come to a little over 20k. This does not include excavating the old walls. Still working on how to even go about that. The house is located in Southern Indiana if some of you are familiar with pricing in certain areas.

Edit: Another detail I forgot to mention is that the walls don't appear to have reinforcement, which I'm sure most of you assumed given the age of the house but I wanted to mention this as well.
When you say dig away, do you mean start digging around the perimeter to install the drainage and waterproof? Are you saying that the 2 inches of product will reinforce the walls enough not to worry about collapse when excavating?
Who's going to build the forms? What kind of contractor gives you a quote for lifting a house and pouring new foundations without including the excavation? No mention of footings? Are you a contractor? That price and that description don't make any sense to me.
 

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Who's going to build the forms? What kind of contractor gives you a quote for lifting a house and pouring new foundations without including the excavation? No mention of footings? Are you a contractor? That price and that description don't make any sense to me.
Yeah, maybe it's the way it was worded. House lifting and moving is BIG business here....Usually the lifters will excavate for the shoring, lift, and excavate....removing and hauling the old foundation. Foundation contractor will then pour footing, walls for basement (always basement here with lifts) and slab.

Here, it's a good fix for 200+ yo foundations on multi-million dollar houses.......Indiana? I have no idea if it's cost effective......

I'm looking at a job on the Cape, small house, maybe 850 sf, excavation contractor wanted 17k for lifting and excavating (full basement) Foundation/slab etc. will likely come in around 14,15. 20 sounds like he's missing something, just don't know what.....
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Sorry, I should've specified that the 20k is from adding the house lifting bid and the concrete bid. To lift the house I'm being told 7500. The concrete appraisal/drainage and waterproofing was a hair over 13k. We have some of our own excavation equip(skid steer, back hoe, small high lift) so thought it may be possible to do our own demo of the old walls. Talked to lifting company today and was told 3k to do that part of it.


Yeah, maybe it's the way it was worded. House lifting and moving is BIG business here....Usually the lifters will excavate for the shoring, lift, and excavate....removing and hauling the old foundation. Foundation contractor will then pour footing, walls for basement (always basement here with lifts) and slab.

Here, it's a good fix for 200+ yo foundations on multi-million dollar houses.......Indiana? I have no idea if it's cost effective......

I'm looking at a job on the Cape, small house, maybe 850 sf, excavation contractor wanted 17k for lifting and excavating (full basement) Foundation/slab etc. will likely come in around 14,15. 20 sounds like he's missing something, just don't know what.....
 

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You need to know if they concrete is good or not. Keep calling people until you get someone with experience testing concrete.

Me personally I would just bash at it with a 5' wrecking bar, whatever its called, and if I felt like it was strong enough then it was strong enough.

But im not "an expert".
 

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You need to know if they concrete is good or not. Keep calling people until you get someone with experience testing concrete.

Me personally I would just bash at it with a 5' wrecking bar, whatever its called, and if I felt like it was strong enough then it was strong enough.

But im not "an expert".
I think that’s what an expert would do, so I think you are an expert JB :laughing:

But then, I'm not an expert on experts :whistling
 

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Hey Slick, I’ve got a few questions and concerns here.

First, what have you been contracted to do? Have you informed the homeowner about your concerns with the foundation? Is the home owner prepared to invest in whatever you were contracted to do and put a new $20k foundation under it?

Is the basement to be finished? Is the HO happy with the basement as it is? If there are no plans to finish the basement, have you looked into piers (either pins or helical)?

It seems to me that a 1924 farm house in Indiana (I’m originally from Indiana) isn’t really a novelty. I don’t think the Indiana Historic Society is too concerned about running out of them in the near future. Have you looked into scraping it and building a 2014 two story farm house on a 2014 foundation?
 

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To give you a cost comparison... From the estimates I have been given, to jack up the structure and pour new walls, waterproof outside with "bubble wrap", and install drainage is going to come to a little over 20k. This does not include excavating the old walls. Still working on how to even go about that. The house is located in Southern Indiana if some of you are familiar with pricing in certain areas.

Edit: Another detail I forgot to mention is that the walls don't appear to have reinforcement, which I'm sure most of you assumed given the age
How to demo/excavate the old walls? Around here the lifters come in and get the house off the old foundation, teetering on some beams on a bunch of piers. Once it's up, you excavate a ramp down one side of the house, drive a bobcat down there and have at it, trying not to bump into the piers. There's usually hand digging, near the piers.

That price seems low to me for the foundation and drainage work, but it could just be the difference in markets. What's the footprint of the building?
 

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There's lots of house lifting around here, too. Usually the lifter and the foundation guys are separate subs. If it's all one package it's from the foundation contractor. The foundation contractor usually offers to do the excavation, too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I'm the owner of the house. We farm and purchased the property with the house on it a few years back right before the previous owner passed away. He had updated the windows, put new vinyl siding on, updated the electrical and it has a new metal roof. The structure of the house is in very good shape. We have it stripped down to the studs with all of the old lat and plaster gone. It will be like a new house when finished. The way I figure the cost of framing a new house alone would out weigh the extra cost of paying to jack up this one. I would have to pour new walls whether building a new house, or repouring new under the existing structure.

Hey Slick, I’ve got a few questions and concerns here.

First, what have you been contracted to do? Have you informed the homeowner about your concerns with the foundation? Is the home owner prepared to invest in whatever you were contracted to do and put a new $20k foundation under it?

Is the basement to be finished? Is the HO happy with the basement as it is? If there are no plans to finish the basement, have you looked into piers (either pins or helical)?

It seems to me that a 1924 farm house in Indiana (I’m originally from Indiana) isn’t really a novelty. I don’t think the Indiana Historic Society is too concerned about running out of them in the near future. Have you looked into scraping it and building a 2014 two story farm house on a 2014 foundation?
 
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