Q: My wife and I bought a two- bedroom c. 1935 home. We plan to add an addition with an upstairs. The problem we are running into is the basement, which the original owner dug himself. There are no concrete walls or floor. After years of hard weather and flooding, the sides are giving way. We would like to keep the basement because it stores the water heater and furnace. The builder says we should fill it in and move the original home six feet. This would be nice, but it comes with a $20,000 price tag. Could I build walls, fill in between the new wall and the old dirt walls, and then have a concrete floor poured? Will this hold up to the pressure of an addition? Thanks.

— Dan, Hampton, VA

A: Tom Silva replies: Yes, you could build walls and pour concrete but I would leave that job to a pro. The price tag depends largely on the size of your house but $20,000 sounds reasonable.
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