Digging down along my foundation

Discussion in 'Framing and Foundation' started by swimmer_spe, Jun 5, 2017.

  1. Jun 5, 2017 #1

    swimmer_spe

    swimmer_spe

    swimmer_spe

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    I plan to dig down about a foot below grade to put in large pavers. Along the foundation of my house, is there anything that doing this will cause damage to? Also, there are 2 posts that support an overhang that is over my porch. Will digging down next to those posts potentially cause any issues?
     
  2. Jun 5, 2017 #2

    nealtw

    nealtw

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    The big question is depth of the bottom of the footing. If you have a deep basement, you could expect the bottom of the footing about 1 ft below the top of the floor.
    If you have a walk out basement you would expect the bottom of the footing to be right at the frost depth for your area.

    Just a guess but for your area it may be 4 ft or more and you don't want to cheat that.
     
  3. Jun 5, 2017 #3

    swimmer_spe

    swimmer_spe

    swimmer_spe

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    I guess I should have said that I have a full basement and from the bottom of the window to the floor is at least 4 feet. I am not digging that far down.
     
  4. Jun 5, 2017 #4

    nealtw

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    The only other problem I can think of is we always like the landscape to slope away from the house, so planning on drainage or at least considering it would be a good idea. But other than those two issues no problem.

    You did mention a posts, driving a steel pin down to find the footing might be a good idea.
     
  5. Jun 5, 2017 #5

    swimmer_spe

    swimmer_spe

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    I plan to have it a V as it is the walkway between my house and my garage and I do not want water going the wrong way.

    Why find the footing if I am only going a foot down?
     
  6. Jun 5, 2017 #6

    nealtw

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    A post put in when the house was built may have the footing at the same depth but it could be just as likely to have the footing at min depth for frost.
    If the post was installed after the house was built you can be sure it will be at min depth for frost.
     
  7. Jun 5, 2017 #7

    swimmer_spe

    swimmer_spe

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    What would be that minimum depth? I aam in Northern Ontario where we get winter.
     
  8. Jun 5, 2017 #8

    nealtw

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  9. Jun 5, 2017 #9

    swimmer_spe

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  10. Jun 5, 2017 #10

    nealtw

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    Our depth is around 20 inches and that chart shows 500 so my guess is 2000 equals 2 meters. 79 inches? Phone your local building dept. at city hall.
     
  11. Jun 6, 2017 #11

    swimmer_spe

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    2m is believable.

    Time to get a 2+ foot rod and see if I am safe to dig down 1 foot around those posts.
     
  12. Jun 6, 2017 #12

    nealtw

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    Been thinking about it. When they dig for foundation work they dig out 5 ft for working space. So if the posts are original to the house and are withing five feet, a good chance that they are as deep as the house
     
  13. Jun 6, 2017 #13

    swimmer_spe

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    The problem is, my house is the only one with one. That tells me it is not original to the house.
     
  14. Jun 6, 2017 #14

    nealtw

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    Then did they do a footing or just dig a hole and dump concrete in?
    Maybe put the pin on an angle and see if it will go under it.

    You would need 10 ft to hit the post at 6 ft deep @ 45*

    Are you sure you want to dig down a foot.:hide:
     
  15. Jun 6, 2017 #15

    swimmer_spe

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    A foot is a guesstimation. Basically I am digging down to the same depth they dug for my garage. Then I will fill with gravel. Then I will put the large pavers on top.
     
  16. Jun 6, 2017 #16

    nealtw

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    If you are filling it back to the same level, you will not have changed anything.
    You still measure from the new finished height.

    It is just a matter of how long it stays below 0* C for the frost to reach the depth below a chunk of concrete. And how much moisture is under that concrete.
     
  17. Jun 6, 2017 #17

    swimmer_spe

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    I know that. I am looking at the hole beside the man door and the grass beside my house and I want to get that all down to the same level and then lay down gravel and then put down 12x24 pavers so that it is nice to walk on.

    Lets say you faced that. What would you do?
     
  18. Jun 6, 2017 #18

    nealtw

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    Not a fair question. I have been known to gamble from time to time.

    The frost depth is only reached so many times in a givin period of time but the climate is changing, more or less frost who knows.

    I think I would poke around and see if I could figure it out. We don't know that they followed code at the time. If they cheated by a foot or two you could be buying trouble. If you find that it is a full depth I might take the chance.

    It is a matter of understanding the odds. Maybe you can find out how often the frost gets close to depth in the area.
     
  19. Jun 6, 2017 #19

    swimmer_spe

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    I meant about whether to just fill in the current hole with dirt and go down a few inches, or to dig out the rest of the dirt and fill with gravel.
     
  20. Jun 6, 2017 #20

    nealtw

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    Either way if you come back to the same level, the measurement stays the same
    If you have xft now and dig it all out and fill it with gravel, you still have xft.

    :trophy: I am sure we will come to an understanding soon.
    Will you be at or near the same level as it is now when you are done?
     

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