Can I fill in basement and rebuild?

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My house was just condemned after severe flooding caused one of the basement walls to collapse. I intend to tear down and rebuild, but after years of sewer line and flooding problems, I don't want a basement anymore.
So, my question is, can I just fill in the basement and put down a slab foundation?? Or will the ground be too unstable to build upon? Thanks for any input.
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Bebe wrote: ...

It can be done, yes. Will need it done professionally, however, in order to get it filled in and compacted/prepared adequately. Just a guy w/ a 'dozer shoving some dirt around and driving around over it a little ain't agonna' duit...ideally you would have an engineer evaluate the site, soils, etc., and provide a plan.
--


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Isn't a slab likely to break during a future flood? I had a girlfriend in Texas who had exaclty that happen. During an inundation, there's likely to be some differential expansion in the underlying soil.

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Jack S wrote:

Just because it did in one instance doesn't mean it would somewhere else on a properly prepared site -- that's what the engineer is for
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Differential expansion of soils in Texas is not unheard of because there are many parts of the state with a high clay content in the soil. Clay expands when wet, and this may be one reasonalbe explanation of the situation described. An engineer with local knowledge of the site would be helpful.
As a general rule of thumb (local conditions may differ), soil would typically be places in 6-inch layers, compacting each layer to what engineers call "95% compaction" which is measured with a special instrument. As was previously stated, you don't want a guy with a bulldozer just pushing and tamping the dirt down "really good" or it _will_ settle in the future and cause more problems. This is the very reason why house foundations are built on "undisturbed" subsoil instead of fill, as the undisturbed stuff has been sitting there, in a naturally compacted state, for all of history.
-Theo
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On Jun 12, 7:00am, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

Thanks to everyone who has offered such great insight and advice. You have given me a lot to consider. It might be a better idea for me to just tear down and sell the property to a neighbor. It's a nice corner lot and I've already had offers.
This forum rocks!
Bebe <--- female DIY-head
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One thought is you could fill in the basement and compact as best you can,. then build a stemwall house a bit bigger than your old one so the foundation is in undisturbed soil. Compaction under the slab is not really that complicated but it does need to be done right. There wouldn't be any houses in SW Florida if you needed to be totally on undisturbed soil. They usually have to bring the lot up 4-5 feet with fill to get above "FEMA" (the flood elevation)
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote: ...

And that's one thing the proper evaluation of the site would consider in it's new elevation plan if were to rebuild.
Many places that are in flood plains don't allow that, though, simply so don't go thru the same expense over and over. Others aren't yet so enlightened...
--
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If it is filled in correctly then you can make a slab. Can't just dump in a bunch of dirt and go, it needs to be put in in layers and compacted every so often. Exactly how thick layers and how much compaction depends on the fill and ground conditions. Check with companies that decomission pools as this sounds like a similar job. The demolition, refill and new slab will all need permits in most cases.
However, a properly rebuilt basement may not suffer the same problems as the old. You may want to maintain at least a taller than average crawl space and just go with a perimeter wall construction method. You should at least compare the pros and cons and price of slab vs perimeter wall. Slab foundations make it hard to repair or modify plumbing at the very least and also restrict electrical and HVAC placement choices.

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Thanks - that's another option to consider.
I didn't know the house was built on a flood plain until I started getting water & sewage backing up the basement floor drain every time there was an extra heavy rain. Finally got the sewer line fixed by the city, then we got all this flooding last weekend!
The good news is a lot of my neighbors are professional contractors and heavy equipment operators. We even have an architect! It looks like it's going to be a fun summer rebuilding 3 neighboring houses. Much of the work and supplies are being donated by the neighborhood & local businesses. Haven't seen my insurance guy, FEMA, or the Governor yet - although you can see them on the local news!
Bebe
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Depends on where you live. Here in upstate NY you couldn't give away a slab house with no basement. Of course, YMMV.
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On Jun 11, 3:45�pm, <h> wrote:

in flood prone areas here, the house is rebuilt with everything well above the highest flood water level ever expected.
the basement is built on grade, with a slab foundation / garage floor.
with living areas and everything high above flood water levels, they dont matter, do no long term damage, except perhaps to a vehicle that didnt get removed in time,.
add extra square footage to replace los storage space.
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Truck was submerged except for top 4 inches - it was totaled, and is already gone. If I don't rebuild basement, I plan on adding another room and a half bath.
Bebe
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On Wed, 11 Jun 2008 15:45:27 -0400, <h> wrote:

Know any female Lumber Jacks up there? You can tell me! Men are men, women are too, and the sheep are restless :)
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unless the OP haS FLOOD INSURANCE HE IS SCREWED
regular homeowners doesnt cover flooding
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demolish. They can also provide the information on a rebuild, removing the basement. It might be the same office that condemned the home.

I bet your insurance agent can help.
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Ouch, that sucks.
You may also want to consider other types of foundation. In some coastal areas the ground level floor is just a shell for support of the upper floors. There can be no electrical or heating units below a certain level, about 6 or 8 feet IIRC. The idea is since water often comes up a foot or three, there is no damage to anything in the living section of the house. I'd want to build it a few inches above the record flooding level.
They don't care, of course, if you want to use the area for storage but since there is no drywall, utilities, the living is not affected. This is also a good time to consider energy efficiency for some long term savings. Good luck.
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A friend of mine is on the board of a HOA. It is an old HOA with lots of old people. When the units were built, they put in six pools! Now, the old farts don't swim as much, and they have to pay to have the pools maintained. They called to see how much it would cost to "have the pools ripped out and filled in." They wanted nearly $150,000 per pool to do it to code.
What you want to do is doable. What it will cost you depends on your local regulations, codes, and soil conditions. Get it done right or don't mess with it or they will red tag your project, and you may not be able to sell it in the future.
Steve
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On Wed, 11 Jun 2008 12:09:51 -0700, Bebe wrote:

According to legend, isn't this what happened to Jimmy Hoffa?
--

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Franz Fripplfrappl
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franz fripplfrappl wrote:

You'll have to check w/ Geraldo on that...
--
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