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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I didn't expect to see this mess . I'm renovating an old building I bought a few years ago and working on it in my spare time . I removed all the stucco from the outside and this is what I found .......nothing .It's a slab on grade with no footings,the old 2x4s sat on top of the sandy soil and had rotted completely out . The slab was poured by previous owner and stopped short of the exterior 2x4 walls :rolleyes:
Didn't bother to put in the footings so that's what my question is . I'm thinking if I dig down 48'' for the footings that the slab is going to be undermined a bit from the excavation . I'm also thinking to put in 16'' sonotubes every 10' and then a steel beam across the tops of the cement tubes and bolted down . I would need to do this only on one side for about 25' and only have 3' to the fence so It's all going to be hand dug .
 

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Why only one side? How big is the building?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Why only one side? How big is the building?
Building is aprox. 20'x30' . The other sides have proper footings , I dug down to check and surprisingly they were there . I'm also thinking to use an exterior lam instead of steel . Easier to work with and cheaper .
 

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You didn't say if this is a bearing wall or not. That could make a difference.

The sonotubes and beam don't make sense to me. If your going to put in a proper footing/stemwall, remove the existing wall framing, excavate, pour then rebuild the wall with structurally sound materials.

Backfill will be an issue only if you have no gap at all by the slab/stemwall. If you have a small gap you can fill with sand, wash it in, then do it again.
 

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Depending on what the building is used for, living/non living space, heated/not heated, etc. I might put some thought into doing that one wall as a wood foundation.
The soil you say is sandy so it probably is not subject to much in the way of frost heave. Apparently it has not heaved yet and it is just a slab.

Shallow foundation of only gravel, compacted, about 16" deep, 3x6 PT ground contact sill on the gravel.

A hell of a lot less expensive than concrete and all that work.

Other details needed of course but I can't give away all my secrets.

Andy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
You didn't say if this is a bearing wall or not. That could make a difference.

The sonotubes and beam don't make sense to me. If your going to put in a proper footing/stemwall, remove the existing wall framing, excavate, pour then rebuild the wall with structurally sound materials.

Backfill will be an issue only if you have no gap at all by the slab/stemwall. If you have a small gap you can fill with sand, wash it in, then do it again.
I will be rebuilding the exterior bearing wall after proper footings are in . Like I said the slab was poured right up to the exterior 2x4 walls maybe 10 years ago . Before the slab was poured they used sleepers on top of dirt and t&g on top of the sleepers and it's been like that since 1885.The exterior 2x4 wall was laid right on top of a sandy soil . The sand is the only reason I could think of why it lasted this long. So someone came along and poured a slab without footings. I guess you can say hacks existed back then also .

I have no gap at all between the existing slab and exterior 2x4 wall. The rest of the building was done properly. So the issues are that and no room for a proper excavation .
 

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this old place is a pretty crazy mess. thanks for posting. I'm always impressed how resilient even improperly build structures can be. good luck! it'll definitely be satisfying when you get it all straightened out
 
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