Crawlspace Conversion

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I live in a good size ranch house (40ft by 90ft). We bought the house on a short sale so we got a really good price on it. However, despite all the square footage there is no place to put a tv room or home theatre or a game room. The crawlspace is about 3.5-4ft deep depending on the part you are in. We are considering having it dug out. Right now we have block walls, and I was thinking of when they dig it out have them replace the blocks with pours walls. Is this possible?
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Anything is possible for a price. If you live in NC there was an article in the Raleigh News and observer within the last year about a contracter doing it.

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On Nov 25, 3:13 pm, heimdm_at_gmail_dot snipped-for-privacy@foo.com (heimdm) wrote:

Anything is possible. but how do you compact it, and how are they going to form and remove the outside form. I dug mine out and used block, How deep is the wall foundation. Its no simple cheap job to do it right. If you cant drive a bobcat down inside you get it hand dug. You have to be extremely carefull keeping the house standing and level as walls are removed, maybe leave the original support wall and build a foundation and wall inside the present support, have fun figuring it out.
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ransley wrote:

1. If you have space on the lot, an addition of the back of the house, above ground, will most likely be cheaper. Adding a basement after house is built, is expensive space. (Gravity is annoying that way.) There are a lot of dug-out basements around here, in 1930s-1950s houses. (Usually a partial that had adjacent crawl dug out.) A stepped foundation is the usual approach. To replace existing foundation a side at a time would require jacks and cribbing to hold the house up while you work. Same tech house movers use. You would essentially be moving the house to the same spot, on a new foundation.
2. If you heart is set on the idea, get professional engineering site survey, not Bubba the handyman. Lots of ways to screw up a project like this. First step is to check water table in your neighborhood- you may be on a crawl versus a basement for a reason.
3. Have you looked at redividing the existing 1st floor layout? 40x90 is a pretty big house, and the only load-bearing interior walls are probably the ones that run down the spine of the house, usually the kitchen/living room divider and hallway walls. You can probably fine-tune reality and move some of the others around pretty easily. Staying within the existing footprint would be cheaper than a backyard addition or a basement digout.
-- aem sends...
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The water table is critical, and you cant know until spring or summer. You dont want to be paying a fortune to pump, waterproof and dehumidify, Thats the first thing I checked by digging way down below where the floor would be. I was in charge and after what I experianced keeping it level, I would not trust anyone to oversee the job, it was twice a day measuring and adjusting jacks for me. If it goes out of level, you have major new costs. Plus you must have a permit, or you risk a non ocupancy citation of the building., It might cost as much to move the house to a new foundation dug with power, as it is to hand dig. Plus your house and heating system will be a filthy mess, even covered. Its no small job.
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yep. even worked for a guy once that did it by himself with a shovel and a wheelbarrow.
s

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heimdm had written this in response to http://www.thestuccocompany.com/maintenance/Crawlspace-Conversion-344381-.htm : The crawlspace has a trench dug along the perimeter of the crawlspace on the west size. 3.5 feet between ceiling and pea gravel + 2 feet from gravel to bottom of trench + 1-2 feet to bottom cement block. So my estimates say that to the bottom block the crawl is about 6.5 feet. Our neighbors have full basements. I am having a local company come out and give an estimate for the crawlspace to basement conversion. This company is Americrawl and they also do the install of the Cleanspace encapsulation system. They said a partial basement would be 50k with a full basement in the 100k range.
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heimdm wrote:

the back of the house. I'd almost bet it would be cheaper, and it would certainly be a lot brighter and useful for more things. Don't get me wrong- I love basements- but they make lousy rec rooms. And while they are the cheapest space you can buy in new construction, that does NOT apply to retrofits.
If all your neighbors have basements and you don't, I'd be looking for rock ledge and underground springs. They didn't put one in your house for a reason, unless the original owners were just being cheap.
-- aem sends...
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heimdm had written this in response to http://www.thestuccocompany.com/maintenance/Re-Crawlspace-Conversion-345359-.htm : The guy who lived in, designed, and built the house that I live in now, as living here for several months has taught me, he was a complete idiot, and should never build another house. For example he drilled the soffit vents out with a circular hole bit. He wired the electric heat pump (3 zones, 1 thermastat powered the reversing valve for A/C and another powered the reversing value for Heat).
I will let you all know that estimates I get tomorrow. We are on a hill, so I am hoping we can do a walk-out basement.
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FYI: I've read about two options for removing the soil beneath your home, other than shovel & bucket/wheelbarrow. 1. Conveyor system. Apparently they are commonly used on farms for moving grain and such. Maybe difficult to locate depending upon your location. 2. Vacuum excavators. Giant ShopVac on a truck/trailer with water/air jet to break up soil so it can be sucked out and relocated. Expensive. Smart to but/use/resell.
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heimdm had written this in response to http://www.thestuccocompany.com/maintenance/Re-Crawlspace-Conversion-345447-.htm : I ended up signing a contract with the local company I had come out to give me an estimate. We are getting a basement that will be approximately 30ft by 68 feet long. The area that will remain a crawlspace will have a perimeter drain system installed, tiled, and sump-pumps installed. They are starting on Monday and they expect the total project to take 5-6 weeks.
Thanks, Dennis
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whats their price? just curious.
I would have a interior french drain and pump installed in the finished space, its easier before the floor is poured no use risking moisture troubles
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heimdm had written this in response to http://www.thestuccocompany.com/maintenance/Re-Crawlspace-Conversion-346636-.htm : Thanks for all the feedback. We are about 10 days into the construction at this point. They put a hole in a section of the house and have been running the bobcat in and out through there. They have cleared an about about 15 feet wide by 25 feet deep at this point. They have been slowed down by the cold and wet weather we have been having. Tomorrow they are going to be reducing the angle of the ramp that they are going into the house. Since it has turned to mud, the bobcat tends not to do so well. Additionally, we didn't hit any drain-tile, which tells me that all the water from the gutters is going in the ground and they just being dropped into the ground next to my house.....another project.
I will have the verify the perimeter drain and the sump for the finished space. I know they are doing perimeters drains and sump pumps for the crawlspace area.
Thanks, Dennis
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heimdm had written this in response to http://www.thestuccocompany.com/maintenance/Re-Crawlspace-Conversion-348403-.htm : We are finishing up the project at this point. The floor is due to be poured this Saturday or Monday. They decided to use Certainteed Form-A-Drain for the footer forms/drains. I think they ended up coming up a little short on the square footage.
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you must be excited to have such a big job going on, are you finishing the space or leaving it as a basement?
running steps inside or just outside access?
so how many square feet and whats it cost?
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What did it we'd up costing for the excavation and foundation?
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On Dec 30, 10:40 pm, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

do note the OP first post on this was 2008..... google is so bug free
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What makes you think it has anything to do with a google bug? Anyone can use google to search for a post, then reply to it, without looking at the date on it. Or not realizing the issue of dates. Or not caring....
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wrote:

the google I use doesnt allow posts to very old threads, it limits replies to e mail only......
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Interesting, I didn't know that. I just checked and you're right, Google won't let you reply to the newsgroup on an old thread, only to the poster. I tried it on one that was only 3 years old, less than the 4 years of this one. So, appears you're right, somehow this post got past Google time limit.
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