House addition questions

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n large commercial buildings, excavation next to an existing foundation is a very touchy (and expensive) endeavor, and involves some serious inspection (before and after) and monitoring of the existing structure. I can't imagine it being such a casual job on a residence but I could be wrong.
In my experience, all here in Seattle, with commercial the issue is the duty to maintain horizontal support to an adjacent property- the doctrine called "late support".
In my experience with residential, the units are usually free standing, far enough apart and shallow enough that there isn't significant danger of removing horizontal support.
Obviously, exceptions occur on hills and in medium density multi family, and in those cases your statements are absolutely correct, but for the most part, in many Seattle neighborhoods, you aren't going to disturb your neighbor's land by removing your foundation.
The process is, therefore, quite a bit more casual after an initial inspection.
--
Lyle B. Harwood, President
Phoenix Homes, Inc.
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wrote:

I'm not talking about "far apart", I'm talking about excavating directly next to an existing foundation. In commercial construction it is done rarely, and at great expense and effort under strict scrutiny. Existing cracks are meticulously mapped, strain gages are installed, cubic dollars are spent. And damage is guaranteed, the goal becomes to minimize it. It is never treated casually, especially by the engineers and insurance companies involved. Maybe the poster is looking to excavate a distance from his existing foundation, but I got the impression his addition basement was to be directly adjacent to it.
JTMcC.
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On 12/5/2004 1:48 AM US(ET), John took fingers to keys, and typed the following:

existing foundation for support?
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We're only at the excavation point in this thread.
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One important ingredient was left out of your original post, Alexander:
Why would you (or most anyone else) want a six-foot wide by fifty-foot long basement, whether cost effective vs crawl space or not? That is really the basis of your problem.
Off hand, I'd say, it might be good for coal storage (if you ever have a use for that much, if any, coal) or a very narrow, indoor lap pool (for lapping underwater) or maybe a cistern or root cellar . . . but now I'm getting too practical to be plain silly. Off hand, I'd go with a crawl space, just because the basement isn't likely to be cost effective regardless of the likely usefulness.
Jim

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I want to build a sauna in the additional basement space. 6 ft wide is enough for that.

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Fifty feet long! I wasn't being silly after all. A sauna lap pool.
Saunas are a good thing! Why not put it on the grade level addition? No need to hide it.
Jim

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I am not going to build 50 ft long sauna. I plan to build sauna in part of new basement space if the cost of building basement is not considerably higher then building a crawl space. 6 ft wide is enough for sauna I want to build. I have now problem using rest of the space for storage.

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Do you mean 50 ft wide and 6 ft long/deep?
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But the basement is right nest to the existing basement. I'vd love to have the extra 300 sq. ft. of storage! Cut the existing foundation for access. Not a big deal in the scheme of things.
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On 12/4/2004 12:16 PM US(ET), lazenby took fingers to keys, and typed the following:

'stuff' than we get rid of, therefore, additional storage space is always welcome. Where I live, the footings have to be 48" deep. Another 48" added on is no big deal.

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I didn't read every word of every reply, but let me add that it will be difficult to divvy up jobs and sub-jobs between yourself and a contractor because a contractor usually doesn't want to take over from a DIYer and for good reason, and often doesn't want to take over from another contractor. So, what you CAN do yourself still might not be practical. -B (contractor who has been burned by taking over somebody else's mess)

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I understand that. However, I do not see why problems may arise if one contractor will excavate, I will build footing forms, another pour footings and the third contractor will build basement walls. I saw a TV show when a homeowner put chicken wire and then contractor applied stucco.

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However, I do not see why problems may arise if one contractor will excavate, I will build footing forms, another pour footings and the third contractor will build basement walls.
You will.
Best of luck, and let us know how it comes out!
--
Lyle B. Harwood, President
Phoenix Homes, Inc.
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I'm sure to get a lot of negative responses for this, but here goes:
Go to the library and read every book you can on residential construction. Rent the excavation equipment and do everything yourself. Have a licensed engineer draw and stamp the prints and ask him about any code questions you may have. I built my own ~3600 sqft house. I did everything on it and 95% of my knowledge came from the local library and questions posed to the local building officials and engineer. The inspector never came back twice for the same inspection. I spent ~$165k for materials and land. I sold it a year later for $227k. The equity I made was well worth the late nights and weekends.
Residential construction is one of the easier trades. If you have a small to moderate amount of common sense, can read and understand codes written to a 9th grade level, and remember most of your high school math, you'll have no problems.
Biggest thing of all is be prepared and organized prior to starting the project and you'll do ok.
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