Gaps in block wall, now under driveway grade- how to fix?

Reply

  #1  
Old 04-04-14, 05:35 PM
E
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: USA
Posts: 4
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Gaps in block wall, now under driveway grade- how to fix?

So, we just bought a foreclosure that was flipped (maybe 10 years ago?), and it was done poorly. The one surprise we found so far, is that the concrete driveway that extends along the whole N side of the house must have been at a much lower grade in the past. There were two walkout basement doors on this side which have been framed in with wood and wood siding and then the grade of the driveway raised above the basement floor level and a cement slab installed. Obviously, the couple feet below grade rotted and is a pile of mush that we found when we removed the paneling in the basement. I've attached a drawing that explains that corner of the house. The grade of the driveway needs to be raised for better drainage, so the windows mentioned will be below the new grade at the bottom, and we'll be putting in a flower bed instead of cement right up to the house. I assume everything below grade needs to be filled with cement block tied to the existing block walls, which we'll do ourselves. My question is, what's exactly holding the house up, and how to we accommodate that as we do the work? There must be some serious headers (right word?) above these huge gaps in block, and a post of some kind in the corner indicate between the windows... I hope the 2x4 framing and windows aren't holding the upper floor up??

My questions are, what procedure should we use for safely tying in cement block without letting the house fall down? Assuming we leave the corner windows in place, what should be holding that corner up between them? Any suggestions about the design of what we put in place?

I think I understand about the basics of filling in a gap in a block wall, with wall ties. I'm more concerned about the structural integrity and design, and the order of steps. Anything would be helpful!
 
Attached Images  
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 04-04-14, 07:14 PM
P
Temporarily Suspended
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: NY
Posts: 10,986
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
You would be better off posting actual pics of the inside & outside, of the house. Off the top of my head, a temporary header would have to be built close to the north wall while it is repaired. There maybe a way to use ICFs instead of cement block but the driveway would have to be chopped.

Insulated concrete forms | ICF | NUDURA Insulated Concrete Form Products
 
  #3  
Old 04-08-14, 11:27 AM
E
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: USA
Posts: 4
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Alright, I got some pictures after I pulled off most of the paneling in question. You can see the rotting framing and siding in both pics where they filled in doors, and the cement driveway slab a couple feet up from the floor (in the laundry pic, you can see the plastic we're using to cover the holes in the siding- that's laying on the driveway). That whole silver section in the laundry is wood too- it must have been a garage door or something.
 
Attached Images   
  #4  
Old 04-08-14, 05:56 PM
P
Temporarily Suspended
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: NY
Posts: 10,986
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
I think that it's starting to make sense. If the walls behind the laundry section was a garage door, does that mean that the house was built as a high ranch or a split level? If that's the case, my guess is that the major changes that were made, to the house, should be on record with the building department. I know that talking to them could open a can of worms but it might pay, to ask for the plans. That would depend, on when the house was built & in what neighborhood it's located. In other words, if it's a remote area, plans & permits may not have been needed. Otherwise, you should be able to obtain that info. The reason that's important is that you want to be able to add support without excavating outside.

Another idea would be to hire an architect or structural engineer, to take a look. I wonder who the architect was who designed the changes, in the first place. If it's on record with the building dept, it will show that information.
 
  #5  
Old 04-08-14, 09:21 PM
BridgeMan45's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: USA
Posts: 3,196
Received 1 Vote on 1 Post
Why not just build as many temporary, short 2 x 4 framed walls that are needed (no sheathing necessary) to support the appropriate ceiling joists as you remove the existing framing and replace it with block? By the term "gaps," am I correct in presuming that you're talking about openings that were framed for the windows and doors?

While you're at it, you might consider cleaning up the existing block work--it looks like it was done by a one-armed blind man. At least re-tucking all interior mortar joints, as what's visible looks rather porous. Also, I wouldn't install flower beds up against the foundation, because you or the Frau will be watering them frequently, and any excess water will seep down and work its way into the basement.
 
Reply
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description: