ultimate foundation failure

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Yes your probably right about the structural integrity of the house, but even more right about the interior detail. From what I could see through the windows, the house is outfitted with wide baseboards, pocket doors, crown moldings, ornate window casings, hardwood maple floors laid in long strips that are about 1 inch wide (Thinnest, I have ever seen!), and one room seemed to have a tin ceiling. It is one huge arc of a house and is a shame that nothing was done earlier. I also noticed the fancy veranda that was on the front of the house. Again, people not caring about detail and architectural features.
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On 9/4/2010 12:38 AM, camryguy wrote:

Lotsa things can make a basement cave in, especially on an abandoned house. And especially one with an old chinked rubble-stone foundation like that one likely had (if it was pre-1910 or so), even if the visible part above grade was brick or skinned in brick. Was this house in frost country, by any chance? Usual culprit is water, often draining off the roof with failed or no gutters, saturating the ground near the foundation and freezing. Frost heave in winter, plus the rain washing away the chinking between the stones, eventually makes them fall apart just like an old stone fence. Even if basement is early block or brick, rather than stone, the mortar used back then was less than ideal, and foundation drainage was seldom taken into consideration. People expected basements to be wet. We'd have to see detailed pictures to make an informed guess.
As to what other poster said- yeah, if you throw enough money at it, almost anything can be 'restored', but if place is too far gone, it is more like re-creating it. Kinda like This Old House used to do in the old days, before they switched to doing rich yuppie mansions. It is seldom any cheaper than new construction, and only really justified for historical properties. And even if rebuilt and insulated with modern materials and HVAC/plumbing, they almost always cost a fortune to operate.
I've been through several properties like that over the years, but it wasn't with a bunch of kids running wild, probably at night. That hole in the roof likely had holes (or weak spots) in the floors below it. And I grew up in the business, so I know how to eyeball spaces before I walk into them, and stay away from spots likely to hurt me. Some of the places I saw were indeed magnificent old piles. One even had an inlaid hardwood floor up in the attic, which apparently was a dancing room for parties. (In a part of Indianapolis that was a rich neighborhood in the 1900-1920 era, but was now part of the 'hood, bordering on slumdom.) One can only hope that some historical society or school of architecture documents places like that before they fall down, because most never will get rebuilt.
--
aem sends...

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-snip-

The house didn't die-- but it needs some loving & either a lot of $ or a bit less money and a lot of sweat.
My 100 n'something year old house has a dry laid stone foundation on clay. The basement was always damp & the ceiling height was 5' 11' & I'm 6'2". So I began to dig. I wanted to put a French Drain [sorry heybub] around the perimeter and lower the floor a foot or so.
I got the trench dug- about 1' in from the existing wall-- and mother nature threw us a 150 year rain deluge. For us 2" is a lot of rain in one day. This one dropped 4 in 2 hours. . . . . and collapsed 2 adjoining walls in the basement. One for 25', the other for 18'. The corner between them held. And it didn't crack the plaster upstairs. [though things shook some & I thought the oak tree had landed on the roof.
Water erosion alone could do the same thing in a house if nobody was paying attention to it.
The insurance company said 'pound salt' - the contractor said "$40K off the top of my head".
So my son, my brothers in law and I had a summers worth of sweat work- and $10K later I have 2 proper insulated walls of 10" block, perimeter drains inside and out, an 8' ceiling in most of my basement, and the basement is pretty dry. [oh--- and some real good life & construction lessons packed away, too]
Now that its over, I can look back and say it was a good thing it caved in-- I've got a much better situation down there now than I was going for with the Band-Aid approach.
Jim
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On Fri, 03 Sep 2010 21:38:59 -0700, camryguy wrote:

Being a plumber I've seen many shady foundations in older homes. Although not my job I've warned some residents of the fact in case they didn't realize they had problems. I've also worked in some homes that were receiving foundation renovations. It's 100% possible to repair the foundation and likely a good buy if you get the house cheap enough.
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You should have stayed in school. They teach how to construct a paragraph.
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I didn't ask about my education, or how to build a paragraph. I asked about a foundation on a house. If you wish to reply, please do, but only on the topic being discussed.
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On Sat, 04 Sep 2010 09:01:08 -0700, camryguy wrote:

Pay no mind to the grammar cops. They have nothing to offer. Hell I am a college grad and tech school grad and my grammar isn't worth a rat's ass.
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HAHAHA...Thanks, I am a licensed Survey Technician, now continuing on to get my Canadian Land Surveyors Certificate. Math was my Forte! :)
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.
re: "If you wish to reply, please do, but only on the topic being discussed. "
So it's OK for Hugh to reply "off-topic" since he is on your side, but Han can't because he disparaged your grammatical skills.
Interesting.
Since some folks are allowed to reply OT, I'll give it a shot and see what happens.
This isn't an insult, just an observation. Call it "constructive criticism".
As a "licensed Survey Technician" I assume you occasionally need to write up reports. Have you considered how much more professional you would appear if proper grammar were used in your writings? I don't know your employment status, so I'm curious if you think that that might open some doors for you in terms of advancement.
Just a thought...
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...
Yes I am a Survey Technician, but I do not write reports, I take observations using a Total Station which are then automatically stored in a data collector. I, then in a field book, draw a sketch of the property in question showing all features, fixtures, buildings, ROW, etc. Once complete, I hand in the field book and the data collector to the drafts man for processing. If there are any questions, he/she will ask me for verification (ex. if the number 7 is confused for a 1).
As for advancement, I am as high in the company as I can get right now as a Survey Technician. I was sent back to school by the company to get the 'Geomatics Engineering Technologist' Certificate. or GETG.
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om...
Who are you and what did you do with camryguy? ;-)
Look at this last post as compared to your first post.
If you had written your first post as well as you wrote this last one, I doubt this arc of the thread would even exist.
Keep up the good work...and thanks for caring about that old house.
It is certainly a shame to see something like that in its current condition.
We used to go camping on Wellesley Island in the Thousand Islands. On the road to the campground was (is) a house that had been neglected for many years.
With each trip we watched it become more overgrown with vegetation and "shorter" as it slowly collapsed. I was always curious about the history of the house and what happened to cause it to be abondoned. Such a shame.
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.
I am sure there are other groups you can bother. I don't care if it gives you a headache or nausea or whatever. And if your not going to reply with an "on topic" comment, than please don't. Don't read it, I don't care at all. Like said earlier, you really don't have anything good to offer me, so please stop trying.
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