06:19PM | 03/16/01
Member Since: 03/15/01
1 lifetime posts
We have a 7'tall crawlspace under our 7 yo house that we would like to excavate and convert to a basement. We have done test digs in all 4 corners and found that the foundation is at least a total of 8.5' high.

Here are my questions:

1- Can we remove the 1.5 feet of dirt without jacking the house?

2- Since the foundation already goes all the way down, will we still need to add "hip walls" for extra support or will the new slab add enough support?

3- The front wall has 4' of dirt piled against it, but the foundation still goes all the way down to 8.5'. Can we remove that dirt without adding additional support?

4- We'd like to move and enlarge the exterior opening to the basement through the foundation. Is a foundation contractor the one to do this? As advanced remodelers - can we attempt this ourselves?

5- What professional should we start with first to get through permitting? Can a foundation contractor provide all the necessary plans for permits, or will we still have to use an architect? (little worried about the cost of the architect)

6 - Any recommendations for pros in Seattle area?

Thanks for your patience, time and answers -


02:11AM | 03/19/01
Member Since: 01/28/01
171 lifetime posts
I don't think there would be any problem with your plans. You might want to talk to a foundation contractor to make sure you don't need to brace you foundation before the slab is poured. You could do this as a advisory visit for a couple hundred dollars. Of course you may want to hire the contractor just to avoid moving all that dirt by yourselves. Besides, you have to get rid of the dirt too.

Enlarging a window to a door you could probably do but a new opening probably requires a pro - if only for the equipment.

I consider an architect someone you need for exterior upgrades and rearranging or adding rooms. I would go with the foundation contractor. Permits shouldn't be too complicated since you only modifying the interior of an exist residence.

Things to consider: Drainage and sump pump.
Location and route of gas, water, sewer, and electricity.

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