Replacing Foundation Walls with Concrete
LESLIE: Mike in Wisconsin is looking to finish up his basement. How can we help?
MIKE: Hi, guys. I love your show.
LESLIE: Hey, thanks.
MIKE: I’ve got a hundred-year-old house that the basement walls are made of limestone and they’re crumbling. So my wife and I have decided to have the house lifted and new walls – the old walls excavated out and new walls put in. And the question I have is what would you think would be a better material to use – poured concrete or cinder block, as far as cost effectiveness either way; that type of thing. I wonder if you could help me out.
TOM: Well, my top choice would be poured concrete if you have the accessibility and can do it. But when you’re doing a house lift like that, you know sometimes site access is the issue and it may be easier to do this with concrete block than poured concrete. I would say if you have room to get the forms in there, Mike, I would go with the poured concrete. But you know, that being said, if you don’t have the room, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with using a concrete block foundation if it’s properly assembled. I hope that you have a good engineer on this project because this is not a project that should be done by anyone less than that.
MIKE: Right. OK. OK.
TOM: Because it’s a tricky, tricky operation to get the weight off that wall and dig out the old one and then rebuild a new one and then gently get the weight back on it.
MIKE: Right. Right, I understand. Yeah, I’ve already got an engineer lined up to at least start looking at the site for me.
TOM: Yeah, you want an engineer to supervise this project. Not only do you want to make sure that it’s going to go successfully – your house is not going to come tumbling down – but when it comes time to sell the house, some questions might come up about the work that was done on the foundation and if you have an engineer’s certification that it was done up to their specifications and their design, that’s as good as a pedigree on the structure of your house.
MIKE: Well, super, super. I really appreciate it. You guys gave me a lot of great information. Thank you very much.
TOM: You’re welcome, Mike. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT. 888-666-3974.