Flower Box issues

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Old 03-23-15, 06:22 PM
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Flower Box issues

My house was built in 1954 and has this flower box out front. Last year, I noticed it was separating/pulling away from the house. I hired a landscaping firm for among other yard work, to fix this issue. The dug it out and determined that it had no gravel in it for drainage. So, it was filled 1/4 way with gravel and back filled with dirt. They also dug down to the bottom of the outside and determined it is attached to the foundation. They tried to use a machine to carefully attempt to lift it back and it would not budge. So, they filled the gap with Quikrete. The other day, my wife was outside and texted me saying it had pulled away again. Now it looks worse then ever and feel my only alternative is to take it down before nature takes it down for me.

My questions are:

How should I go about dismantling it?

About a 1/4 way down inside, its just cinder block, not the nice stone that it is made of or is on the house. Can the stone some how be added on to the house to make it look better over the cinder block?

What kind of costs should I be looking at with this?

Any other comments or suggestions are welcome

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Old 03-23-15, 09:52 PM
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If it were my house and since it seems to be tied to the foundation, I might call a foundation repair company and let them look at it and give an estimate.

I wish I could be more help but this is not in my area of expertise. Good luck.
 
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Old 03-24-15, 02:21 AM
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Thanks Piddler! I will look in to that.

Can any one with expertise in this area chime in? I just think it should probably come down and I am not too interested in saving it at this point.
 
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Old 03-24-15, 04:58 AM
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Get rid of it, never should have been there in the first place.
It's just forming a holding pond for water against the side of the house.
Someone with a skid loader and a dump truck could have it all gone in a couple hours.
Sure looks like it's just butted up against the house, not attached to it.
No drainage, and improper footing caused it to fail.
 
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Old 03-24-15, 07:06 AM
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I'm with Joe in thinking that it is not attached to the house. On the end that has pulled away from the house, I would run a stiff wire, like a coat hanger, down the gap, top to bottom, and suspect that all you will find is air and dirt, no rod or other connectors. If that's the case, I would bet that you could darn near pull that right corner out from the wall, and half or more of the front would come with it. Can't see the other end to know if it is pulling out too, but it's most likely secured, or not, the same. Hard to say for sure what they did for a base or footing, but you or they can deal with that once the rest is out of the way. With a steel rod or shovel you should be able to get an idea of how deep it is, but, other than to work on removing it, I don't think that I would be too keen about standing in front of it with the dirt behind it.
 
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Old 03-24-15, 02:10 PM
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i'd grab up a bosch sds max chipping gun w/undocumented worker on the ' go to work ' end,,, he'd have it demo'd in a day he might even have amigos who can lay stone to veneer the front IF its attached via a brick ledge or rebar into a conc bsmt wall, he can easily chop off the rebar too
 
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Old 03-24-15, 02:39 PM
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Guys, it IS connected to the house

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And on the back side is cinder block. Here is a pic of when it was dug up and empty

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How should I go about dismantling it?

About a 1/4 way down inside, its just cinder block, not the nice stone that it is made of or is on the house. Can the stone some how be added on to the house to make it look better over the cinder block?

What kind of costs should I be looking at with this?
 
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Old 03-24-15, 08:24 PM
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It may be connected to the house, but not even close to being properly connected, or constructed. If it was mine, I'd tear it completely down and start over. For your climate, a corbeled foundation wall or deep footing first, followed by anchoring (doweling) the new walls into the adjacent house walls. Reinforced, solid concrete walls would perform better than CMUs, as they could more effectively resist the lateral pressures of the freezing soil inside of the planter. I'd also line it with an impervious, rubberized membrane, with washed rock covered by fabric in the bottom for drainage, and weep holes to allow excess water to escape. To have it done professionally could cost 4 or 5 grand; you could do it yourself for barely a tenth of that.

If you just want to remove the thing, use a brickset and 3-lb. maul to carefully break the stones' mortar joints. Starting at the top, take them off, course by course. Using a demolition hammer as recommended by others, is likely to damage the stones to the point they can't be re-used.
 
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Old 03-25-15, 05:37 PM
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Im not interested in saving it or rebuilding it. How can I use the stone and attach it to the house?
 
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Old 03-25-15, 07:28 PM
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Keep in mind that eliminating it will reduce the value of your house, come time to sell the place. But reinstalling the stone directly on the front wall of the house shouldn't be too difficult, especially if you have any masonry or stone work experience. The stones will project from the plane of the front wall, so be prepared to deal with that. A slightly-sloped capstone at the top, in a complementary stone style would work, and should be available from your local stone supply place. You want it to overlap the field, to look right. Installing some decent flashing between the top field course and the capstone will minimize any future problems caused by water intrusion. You'll need to install a stone ledge to support the stones, either by pouring a doweled-in reinforced concrete ledge, or using a heavy (1/2"-thick legs, minimum) steel angle, firmly doweled into and anchored to the basement wall. If the bottom of the existing planter is still intact, and consists of decent concrete, you might be able to utilize part of it for your stone ledge. The existing stones can be laid up with conventional mortar, making generous use of galvanized steel brick ties for firmly attaching them to the wall--every other course, and every 3' or 4' horizontally, should do the trick. Remember that you'll be holding several thousand pounds of stones, so don't skimp on the attachment materials.
 
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Old 04-04-15, 01:53 PM
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How will it devalue the house?

I have no masonry or stone experience
 
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Old 04-04-15, 02:14 PM
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Talk to any realtor--they will tell you the difference in value (and curb appeal) between a house with a plain, partial stone front wall, vs. one having a nice, well-constructed and functional stone planter. Women buyers, in particular, will be attracted to having a planter, where they can show off their green thumb while they beautify the front of the property.

If you don't have any masonry experience, you might want to shop around for a tradesman who can help you. Getting a few quotes for what you want done would be worth it. Trying to wing it on your own might not work very well.
 
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