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Jjmars
Foundation depth, 1918 brick foursquare
Jjmars

I've been trying to gather information on my 1918 two story brick foursquare and wondering if anyone has industry experience on the depth of my foundation. The home is double brick construction sitting on a three brick base. The basement is about 6'3-4" at most.

I've seen a video on youtube of the construction process from this period and the foundation was frighteningly shallow.

Just curious - thanks!

ed21
Re: Foundation depth, 1918 brick foursquare
ed21

Can't you determine how far the basement slab is below the grade? Add the depth of the footing, maybe 12" and that's the depth below grade. Other than setting on undisturbed soil, something you'll never know the foundation just needs the be below frost depth in your area. I'm guessing with a basement you are below the frost line.
If you just mean the depth of the footing, nobody can know without excavation.
If build in 1918 and there are no problems, I wouldn't be concerned.

dj1
Re: Foundation depth, 1918 brick foursquare
dj1

If the house was a more recent construction, you could have found plans at your planning and building department.

Who can know a thing like this in your area? maybe a retired foundation and concrete contractors.

Sombreuil_mongrel
Re: Foundation depth, 1918 brick foursquare
Sombreuil_mongrel

If there was inadequate footer depth, considering this is a solid brick century-old house, the deficiency would have made itself evident long, long ago. Frost-heave would have made huge cracks in the walls.
Casey

Jjmars
Re: Foundation depth, 1918 brick foursquare
Jjmars

I'm more interested in how far past the concrete the foundation goes. When you tear up the concrete in a basement aren't you supposed to leave part of the slab remaining against the interior foundation so it doesn't risk collapsing in from the weight of the soil on the outside?

ed21
Re: Foundation depth, 1918 brick foursquare
ed21

Unless there's a problem why would you remove the entire slab. Seems to me there may be a lot of other things in a hundred year old house that need attention.
Just saying.
After re-reading your posts I guess you may be thinking to remove the slab and excavate the basement to get more headroom. Typically the slab is poured on top of the footing. If you want to see what's there a small exploritory excavation could be done. An engineer should be consulted before anything major. You absolutely should not dig below the footing without an engineer giving you a design.

Mastercarpentry
Re: Foundation depth, 1918 brick foursquare
Mastercarpentry
ed21 wrote:

You absolutely should not dig below the footing without an engineer giving you a design.

Totally correct. On newer homes I know how the soils are around here, I know what the foundations are, and I can do well with just that to go on because of experience. But on a home this old if it was not giving foundation problems now I would recommend leaving it alone. If you need more space add on, renovate space in the attic, whatever but don't risk major problems later messing around with what is working well now.

Phil

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