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Adding a basement to an existing house?



 
 
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  #1  
Old January 7th 07, 02:08 AM posted to alt.home.repair
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Posts: 13
Default Adding a basement to an existing house?

Just curious as to the probability of adding a basement to an existing
house. It was built in 55 and is a ranch style single story 3 bedroom
1000 sq. It has a 3 ft crawl space all the way around. I have a drywell
and well also, no city pumbing at all. Any thoughts on this? Thanks

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  #2  
Old January 7th 07, 02:20 AM posted to alt.home.repair
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Posts: 5,834
Default Adding a basement to an existing house?


"JLagg" wrote in message
ups.com...
Just curious as to the probability of adding a basement to an existing
house. It was built in 55 and is a ranch style single story 3 bedroom
1000 sq. It has a 3 ft crawl space all the way around. I have a drywell
and well also, no city pumbing at all. Any thoughts on this? Thanks


Expensive. Two ways to do it. One it to move the house off the foundation,
dig the basement, pour the walls, etc, then move the house back. Another is
to cut a hole in the floor and start digging by hand and bucket the dirt
away.

I just has to be cheaper to move to another house, but maybe you have
special circumstances. I can see it costing 100k to do this, but it also
spends on the type of soil, ground water table, etc. It may be a better
investment, not cheaper, just to build a new house and tear down the old.



  #3  
Old January 7th 07, 02:23 AM posted to alt.home.repair
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Posts: 930
Default Adding a basement to an existing house?


JLagg wrote:
Just curious as to the probability of adding a basement to an existing
house. It was built in 55 and is a ranch style single story 3 bedroom
1000 sq. It has a 3 ft crawl space all the way around. I have a drywell
and well also, no city pumbing at all. Any thoughts on this? Thanks



Yes it is totally doable.

When I was a kid in the early 60's a neighbor nearly finished one but
he died of a heart attack just before completely the dig.

The guy who bought the house from his widow got a nearly completed
excavation, he finsihed the project & had one of the very few basements
in the area

SoCal is not noted for full size basements even in the 60s......maybe
the random ultilty vault but once slab constr took hold as rare as
bsements were they became extinct.

My dad & I toyed with the idea (60's bomb shelter) but never executed

A buddy's uncle dug a bsaement; buckets & a pickup truck....... took
him a LONG time

If you're serious you've got think it through.....you can easily
undermine your foundation. You've got to support the dirt supporting
the foundation or dig far enough away.

I've thought about it for my house but I've got post & pier
construction; the project is daunting.

cheers
Bob

  #4  
Old January 7th 07, 02:37 AM posted to alt.home.repair
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Posts: 13
Default Adding a basement to an existing house?


BobK207 wrote:
JLagg wrote:
Just curious as to the probability of adding a basement to an existing
house. It was built in 55 and is a ranch style single story 3 bedroom
1000 sq. It has a 3 ft crawl space all the way around. I have a drywell
and well also, no city pumbing at all. Any thoughts on this? Thanks



Yes it is totally doable.

When I was a kid in the early 60's a neighbor nearly finished one but
he died of a heart attack just before completely the dig.

The guy who bought the house from his widow got a nearly completed
excavation, he finsihed the project & had one of the very few basements
in the area

SoCal is not noted for full size basements even in the 60s......maybe
the random ultilty vault but once slab constr took hold as rare as
bsements were they became extinct.

My dad & I toyed with the idea (60's bomb shelter) but never executed

A buddy's uncle dug a bsaement; buckets & a pickup truck....... took
him a LONG time

If you're serious you've got think it through.....you can easily
undermine your foundation. You've got to support the dirt supporting
the foundation or dig far enough away.

I've thought about it for my house but I've got post & pier
construction; the project is daunting.

cheers
Bob


Thanks for the input folks. I live in Michigan around Battle creek.
There are a few places around me that have basements even walkout
basements. A neighbor actually got under his house and pulled out the
dirt with a 5 gal bucket! took a while for that one. Also would it be
better to use the cinder blocks or actually using forms or is there
really a choice.

  #5  
Old January 7th 07, 02:56 AM posted to alt.home.repair
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Posts: 5,834
Default Adding a basement to an existing house?


"JLagg" wrote in message
Also would it be
better to use the cinder blocks or actually using forms or is there
really a choice.


One method is to use insulating concrete forms. You can DIY and you end up
with a well insulated basement, a must in your area. Check out
www.standardicf.com or www.integraspec.com

You can also put a portion in the ground and a portion above grade and have
what is known as a "raised ranch" and have better natural light in the lower
level.


  #6  
Old January 7th 07, 03:05 AM posted to alt.home.repair
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Posts: 13
Default Adding a basement to an existing house?


Edwin Pawlowski wrote:
"JLagg" wrote in message
Also would it be
better to use the cinder blocks or actually using forms or is there
really a choice.


One method is to use insulating concrete forms. You can DIY and you end up
with a well insulated basement, a must in your area. Check out
www.standardicf.com or www.integraspec.com

You can also put a portion in the ground and a portion above grade and have
what is known as a "raised ranch" and have better natural light in the lower
level.


Hello Edwin. Ha! never concidered that idea as in raising the basement
to add light. Nice thought there.

  #7  
Old January 7th 07, 03:16 AM posted to alt.home.repair
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Posts: 6,205
Default Adding a basement to an existing house?

You can also put a portion in the ground and a portion above grade and have
what is known as a "raised ranch" and have better natural light in the lower
level.


Hello Edwin. Ha! never concidered that idea as in raising the basement
to add light. Nice thought there.


adding livable space increases your homes value dramaticall]y.

saw a show from florida in flood prone areas. homes on slab.

they dug under and placed beams under slab then jacked whole house up,
and built foundation after digging it out.

expensive but they got to keep their beach homes, people in pittsburgh
flood areas have doe this too.

this old house had a show about the anna mae allcott little women
house, they added basement for storage.

hopefully you dont have a brick chimney, that would add hassles and
costs

  #9  
Old January 7th 07, 05:00 AM posted to alt.home.repair
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Posts: 478
Default Adding a basement to an existing house?

yes it's doable-i worked on a house that was shored in place and
basement dug with a skidsteer and an excavator (the skidsteer did most
of the digging--the excavator was sort of assisted). then a block
basement was built, and we jammed cedar shakes to get a tight fit to
the block--didn't move a bit when the shoring was taken out. don't
think it would be cost effective to move a house, build a foundation
and move it back unless it was some high buck house. i have a friend
who jacked his house up about 5 feet, dug with a mini excavator, and
built a wood basement under it. ICF's would work, but you need a space
to pour, so you would have to jack the house extra high, and let it
back down, or you would have to pour it low and add a course or two of
block.

where I live retrofitting a basement can easily cost 30-40 grand for a
small house. it's seldom worth it.

  #10  
Old January 7th 07, 05:34 AM posted to alt.home.repair
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Posts: 347
Default Adding a basement to an existing house?


"JLagg" wrote in message
ups.com...
Just curious as to the probability of adding a basement to an existing
house. It was built in 55 and is a ranch style single story 3 bedroom
1000 sq. It has a 3 ft crawl space all the way around. I have a drywell
and well also, no city pumbing at all. Any thoughts on this? Thanks

JLagg, I dug a basement under my previous house some years back. My crawl
space was not only 0" (zero) but the dirt actually came up between the floor
joists. Seller of the house gave me a $10,000 price reduction since the
house couldn't be inspected for termites.

One day I started digging at the down hill side simply to take a look and
maybe excavate a 3 ft. by 3 ft. room to hold a water heater or furnace. I
chipped (removed) a 3 ft. gap in the existing foundation and started
digging. I got my 3x3 6 foot deep and thought "what the hell" lets keep
going. After many evenings and weekends I had dug an 800 square foot area,
9 feet deep. Over the next three years I poured 12" deep by 5 foot wide
footings around the full perimeter and started building block wall on the
edges of the excavation. 12" block for the first 4 feet and 8" block above.
Lots of rebar. Lots of water proofing and drain rock. Drainage all around
the perimeter and gravity out to the side yard (took an additional 100 feet
of trenching outside in order to get enough fall). Long story short, I
ended up with the only basement in my part of California, exquisite
recreation room with bowling machine, pinballs and pool table. A decorative
set of circular stairs connected it to the great room above.
Advantages that I had was that I was able to do my own structural
calculations and design allowing it to flow well into the remaining
architecture of the house.
Would I do it again?? No!! I was younger, could do the sweat equity. If
half of our house were not on slab I would have simply raised the house 3-4
feet during construction, dug the basement with heavy equipment (instead of
5 gallon buckets and wheelbarrow) and then lowered the old house back down.
Would have been a lot less effort.

Email me directly if you want more details. We can even talk on the phone
if you are serious.

Ivan Vegvary


 




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