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Goach99

08:16AM | 12/11/06
Member Since: 12/10/06
13 lifetime posts
Bvbasement
Hello BV Community,

New member here, with lots of questions!

Here's the low-down...

My house was originally a store (50+ years) with a low block basement. A home was built on the back of it (30+ years) with it's own low block basement.

Now my plan: I would like to turn the original store into a garage, and I have these questions:

1) Should I fill in the basement and pour a new concrete floor? If so: Should I break up the old floor first? What should I fill it in with? And are there any suggestions, or things that I should keep in mind?

Or

2) Should I reinforce the floor that is already there (cheaper?)

Thanks!

Goach99

06:43AM | 12/12/06
Member Since: 12/10/06
13 lifetime posts
Whoa, a tough one eh?

Ok, how about this... I've been looking into using 'Hollowcore' prestressed panels. Am I way off here? Can anyone tell my if this is possible to install in a pre-existing structure? Can this be done without a crane?

Thanks!

Billhart

07:32AM | 12/12/06
Member Since: 04/25/05
1918 lifetime posts
You really need a structural engineer to evaluate the foundation walls and footing to see if they can suport the extra weight of the garage flooring.

And I don't think that you will be able to place the prestress pannels without a crane or similar mechanical lift. Have you checked the weight on one.

There are any number of ways to form and power an elevated slab in place. That will reduce the need for a crane, but the foundation need needs to support the weight.

Another option would be to fill the basement with compressable fill. In that case most of the forces will be down on the old slab and distributed over the whole area.

Then a regular slab is poured on top.

Goach99

07:49AM | 12/12/06
Member Since: 12/10/06
13 lifetime posts
Thanks for your reply Billhart. I'm thinking that the hollowcore installation might push the budget into a region that I don't want to get into. I am now thinking about filling in half of this basement, where the vehicles will be, and building a wood floor over the remaining basement. What would you say is the best "compressable fill" to use for this? Should I breakup the existing floor for drainage reasons?

Thanks again.

Glenn Good

02:40AM | 12/26/06
Member Since: 09/10/03
320 lifetime posts
If you plan to fill in only half of the basement and build a floor over the remaining half you are going to have to build a retaining wall between the two to hold back the fill and to support the floor. This wall will also need a substantial footing and rebar to reinforce it.

Stone is the best fill to use in most cases. ABC stone can be used but needs to be compacted every 6-8 inch thick layer as it is being placed. #57 or #67 washed stone does not require as much compacting and is easier to place but if there is ever a water leak in the basement it is extremely porous and will retain substantial amounts of water.

Glenn

Moderator: Construction Systems, Foundations, and Masonry & Stone

For more information about me, my qualifications, and/or home inspections please visit my website at:

www.consultationdirect.com

Goach99

05:47AM | 12/28/06
Member Since: 12/10/06
13 lifetime posts
Hello Glenn,

Thanks for the info. Couple of questions here;

You mentioned the need for a footer under the retaining wall. Would this be pored on top of the current basement floor?

Also, where the old basement will be filled in, should there be some sort of drainage system so that it does not hold water?

Thanks!

Glenn Good

06:59PM | 12/28/06
Member Since: 09/10/03
320 lifetime posts
The footer would have to be below grade to help support the wall against the lateral pressure exerted against it from the fill. Drainage would be needed only if water infiltration is an issue.

Glenn

Moderator: Construction Systems, Foundations, and Masonry & Stone

For more information about me, my qualifications, and/or home inspections please visit my website at:

www.consultationdirect.com
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