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    waltero's Avatar
    waltero Posts: 68, Reputation: 5
    Junior Member
     
    #1

    Feb 7, 2019, 11:55 AM
    Faulty foundation, Unearthing the ground below the footings.
    Hello, I have a two story house with 4 foot deep footings and a floating slab.
    I want to put in a underground furnace room on the back 'side' of my house, but I'm afraid once I start to dig below the footing depth, my foundation might shift, fall etc. My foundation has a slight problem, whom ever built the house put 2x4's vertically into the footing foundation. I assume they were part of the forms that were used in construction of the foundation. Anyway, they seem to be placed every four feet. Not only that there has been some shifting and cracks where the 2x4s have been places (almost like a controlled break). Is there anything I can do other than digging 2 feet (would two feet prevent a catastrophe) away from the foundation?

    The foundation is 24 feet long, I'm wanting to build another foundation about half that length.

    ma0641's Avatar
    ma0641 Posts: 15,681, Reputation: 1012
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    #2

    Feb 7, 2019, 02:05 PM
    Even though I have a construction background, I would not try to answer such a question without a visit and have a structural engineer do the evaluation. With known issues you should be seeking professional help.
    waltero's Avatar
    waltero Posts: 68, Reputation: 5
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    #3

    Feb 11, 2019, 12:20 PM
    That's what I was afraid of. I've had more than one structural engineer come to lake a looksy. I see no need to invite any more "engineers" to this house.
    Common sense plays a bigger role than any engineer.
    ma0641's Avatar
    ma0641 Posts: 15,681, Reputation: 1012
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    #4

    Feb 11, 2019, 02:45 PM
    "Common sense plays a bigger role than any engineer". Try to explain that to a permitting office when you tell them what you want to do. I have shut down jobs for things much more minor than your issue. RULE#1-don't go ahead without a permit if one is needed. I have pictures of a house that has had an exposed wall totally open to the elements because the owner decided that he would add an addition with the foundation supported by wooden posts. Started without a permit. Now he is saying it is too much money to remove the posts but a footing cannot be poured over them. What have the people that inspected your property indicated?
    waltero's Avatar
    waltero Posts: 68, Reputation: 5
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    #5

    Feb 12, 2019, 12:48 PM
    I've had other issues, Nobody has given me a definitive answer as of yet (on the other issues).
    I believe you are right, project would be a "go" contingent a Engineer signing off on it.
    My point being, an Engineer is the last person you want to call. I like to call on my friends and general contractors first, trying to gain as much understanding of said project as possible. Once I have a full understanding I will take it to an engineer. Keeping in mind that an engineer will most likely overkill (not to say its a bad thing, specially on this particular project). this project is much too complicated. I haven't got much insight from contractors and the like so I don't think I will even confront this project ( much less an engineer) any further. I was just probing, I knew the answer already.


    Years ago I had a engineer come and take a look at my 50 year old trusses. The trusses did not have substantial gussets.
    The engineer suggested I take off the existing sub-par gussets and replace them with proper gussets.
    Although the trusses/gussets was not the question I invited him over for.
    I already knew I had truss problems, I was surprised he had suggested such a thing.
    Do you know what might have happened if I had tried to rip off those old gussets?
    I questioned him if it be better I fur out the old gussets and then add new (proper) gussets, that was a hell of a project!


    Sometimes on job experience provides better understanding.




    waltero's Avatar
    waltero Posts: 68, Reputation: 5
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    #6

    Feb 12, 2019, 01:03 PM
    Have you heard the story about a truck that got stuck under a bridge? It is said that a box truck was attempting to pass under a large bridge. As the truck driver approached the structure he felt there was enough room to clear the bottom of the steel and concrete deck of the bridge. But as he was passing under, he suddenly hear a loud screeching noise! The screech turned in to a grind and the lurching truck came to a dead stop! It was now locked under the bridge and could go neither forward or backward. Putting the transmission in reverse, or one of the forward gears was to no avail as the vehicle was now firmly lodged directly under the bridge. Traffic came to a complete standstill and naturally the local authorities were called out to examine the situation. How would they get the truck out from under the bridge?A tow truck was sent out to try to pull the vehicle free. A county engineer arrived to examine this difficult situation. There were deep discussions and many measurements were made. Various calculations were performed to determine how much of the truck or bridge would be destroyed if the vehicle was simply yanked or pulled out! If too much of the bridge’s concrete was broken in the process, it might cause the bridge to become unsafe. What if road equipment was brought in to cut a grove into the road under the vehicle tires to lower it? What if heavy equipment was brought in to lift the bridge just a few inches? Traffic continued to back up and discussions raged on as frustrated workers and authorities pondered this difficult problem. A crowd also gathered around the scene to watch all the exciting activity and hubbub. Then something funny happened as a worker was walking by part of the crowd and surveying the situation. A little boy who had previously been riding his bicycle, and had stopped to glare, said to the man, “Why not let the air out of the tires?” “What?”, stated the worker in incredulous shock! “What did you say?” The boy repeated, “Why not let the air out of the tires?” From this simple observation and statement, an easy and effective solution was found to a difficult problem that had confounded some very bright and energetic people!
    Specter1's Avatar
    Specter1 Posts: 85, Reputation: 2
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    #7

    Aug 31, 2019, 07:03 PM
    As long as you are not undercutting the existing footings then you should be fine, although I question why you don't just put the furnace under the house. If your footings are 4 feet deep then you live fairly far north and probably have a full depth basement or a deep crawlspace and should have room to include the furnace without the additional trouble and expense of a separate furnace room. A horizontal furnace is usually about 18 to 24 inches tall and can fit in the tightest of crawlspaces, but just make sure the return air filter(s) are located inside the living space, not at the unit.

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