underpinning nightmare!?


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Old 05-11-06, 02:49 PM
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underpinning nightmare!?

Hi guys, can anyone help me out? Am thinking about buying a house to rennovate but i've found out that it needs 'underpinning'. Is this a big job? Can I do it my self? If i have to get someone else in will it cost the earth? will it affect my house insurance? how much disruption and mess will it cause? how long will it take? is it a one off job or is it the sort of thing that needs redoing after a certain period of time? anyone that can offer any words of advice would be a great help as it's causing me lots of headaches!! hope your diy projects aren't causing you as many sleepless nights as mine!!!
 
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Old 05-11-06, 03:00 PM
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underpinning nightmare!?

I assume you have a good reason for thinking it needs underpinning.

It is definitely not a DIY project.

To get an idea, call a contractor that does a complete underpinning and get a price. This will let you know how big a job it is.

For the questions you posed, ask him and he will give a good idea of what to expect.

Underpinning will not effect your insurance and a god job will extend the life of your home indefinitely.

The contractor will be looking at YOUR house so you will get a good idea of the scope.

After the price shock and answers to you questions, you may be able to come up with options than may reduce the cost without endangering your home.

If you are thinking of buying the home the quote could help you in geeting a good enough price so you can do it right. In all cases get a home inspection for the other items.

Dick
 
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Old 05-11-06, 03:36 PM
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I agree... definately not a DIY project. I ought to find the article I read once where a contractor was underpinning a garage that was built on sandy soil... the entire garage collapsed into the area that had been excavated... with a laborer inside the garage at the time of the collapse. Finding the article would be next to impossible, but it gives you an idea of the forces at work and the potential for disaster. You need to be experieced to do something like that.
 
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Old 05-11-06, 05:29 PM
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It depends upon what they mean by "underpinning". Around here the term is used for the skirting on a pier and beam house and is very easy to do with simple three-coat stucco. If they mean that the house is structurally unsound and must be jacked and leveled, then it is a walk-away project.

edited for spelling.
 

Last edited by Tscarborough; 05-11-06 at 05:54 PM.
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Old 05-11-06, 09:11 PM
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In areas where frost is an issue, underpinning refers to installing a footing and foundation wall that is below the frost line underneath a structure that does not currently have such. For example... a house built in 1890 that was set on 2ft of red chalk brick in an area where the frost line is 3 or 4 ft... or a garage that is built on a slab that is now being connected to a structure that is on a footing below frost. The garage would need to be underpinned.
 
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Old 05-26-06, 11:11 AM
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I just had an underpinning job completed in my home..

I just had this project completed on my home. I converted a crawl space (450 sq ft/3 ft height) to a full basement with 8 ft of stand-up headroom. The contractor doing this work is absolutely critical as so many things can go wrong structurally (as you might imagine). I was lucky to to find a very capable and experienced concrete construction firm to complete the job. First you'll need an architect to develop your plans and include an underpinning schedule (it's done in stages, like a puzzle), get your permits then schedule the job. It took 1 month for my job to be completed. It was all hand-dug and very little work was done from outside (they had to make an opening to remove the dirt). The only repair work needed was 400 Sq ft of sod at the removal site. There was only a little dust in the house during this project. I am told, the house has appreciated greatly in value as a result. A lot of concrete contractors claim to be capable of doing this properly. As I found out, very few can. Focus in on someone who works on comml foundations.
 
 

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