I have an addition of the house built about 30 years ago and I would
create a bit more headroom in this basement portion. The past
owner used this
room as a clean room to make portions of airplanes.
Without the HVAC the
exposed floor joists are about 6'3" of clearance,
I would like to finish the
room and a put in a ceiling. I know that
there is no electrical or plumbing in
the concrete and at one end where
the room slopes towards there is a hole lined
with a metal bucket laid
in the poured concrete. It would seem to me that there
us a good 8-10
inches of poured concrete based on the sounds I get from hitting
inside of the bucket. How deep can I go down - I would like to get
6 inches of headroom. I guess it is more important to know can
I do this? What
could I do to properly check the depth of the crete and
also How do I check for
the footing on the exterior wall and thier
depth. I figure that once I am down
to the height that I want then I
would pour new concrete to level off.
You could start by removing the bucket and seeing how thick the
concrete is at that point. I assume you can't just pull the bucket out,
so you might have get out some tools and "peel" it out in sections.
However, this is only going to tell you how thick the concrete is in
that corner. Many times a slab is poured thicker at the edges to form
an integral footing. See: http://home.howstuffworks.com/house4.htm
For the rest of the slab, get a masonry bit and drill holes in the slab
in various places until you break through. By measuring how much bit it
took to get through, you could get an idea of how thick the slab is at
But think about it: even if the slab was 8 inches thick throughout the
room, if you want 6 more inches of headroom, you'd be left with only 2
inches, which I'm sure isn't enough. Plus, you got to decide on what
type of finished floor you want and account for that also.
I doubt the slab is more than 4 - 6 inches anyway, so it looks like
you'd have to remove the entire slab, dig out some dirt and repour a
new slab. Make sure to include the cost of hauling the concrete away in
your budget. I don't think you can just put it out with the kitchen
The depth of the existing footing will be one of the big deciders.
Go to an inconspicuous corner, break out the floor, dig down and
expose the footing - top to bottom. If your proposed floor
elevation will work with the footing and there is no buried
plumbing under the floor that is in conflict, it's just labor and
money from there.
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Probably less labor to dig on the outside of the house, to locate the footer
level. If previous owner built airplane parts in there, I am making the rash
assumption that this is some sort of walkout arrangement? If so, somewhere
near the door, there is probably a good spot to dig and/or water jet a probe
stick an inch out from the foundation wall. If the footer was laid properly,
there should be several inches of it outside the wall.
Regardless of its thickness I don't think it would be practical to remove
only part of the concrete. It would be much easier to remove all of the
concrete and re-pour a new floor. That would be a major undertaking that you
should give very careful thought to before starting.
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