Home Builder Guys, What Would You Do?

Not getting much traction on the web forums out there, so I figured I'd post here.
Specs: 1978 Ranch, Middle TN, Stud Framed, Rotted Masonite Siding- Covered in Vinyl
Due to moisture getting into garage I did some exploratory digging and discovered that the garage was built on a floating slab with NO footings. This is *not* a monolithic slab, just (-)4" concrete sitting on soil. I don't even see gravel or a moisture barrier. At present, it has lasted this long with no major cracks or severe settling, even with exterior load bearing walls sitting on outer edge of the pad. The rest of the house has proper footings and foundation block, creating a crawl space.
The lack of proper footings is one issue. The other issue is that the siding goes all the way down to the ground or at least to the concrete pad which sits on the ground. This is improper in my opinion and I'd like to rectify the situation.
The dirt was so high on this side of the house that it was at or above the vinyl siding for much of the length. Rain water would puddle against the siding, go under/behind it, soak into and saturate the old Masonite siding, and wick into and underneath the sill plate, getting inside the house. I dug all that dirt out and that's when I discovered the garage pad without footings.
What I would like to do (in conjunction with a siding/style remodeling) is to install a brick or stone knee wall on the lower third of the exterior, with siding above. I know they make "stick-on" stones that get put on with a skim coat of mortar. They also make faux-stone and brick panels that are composite material.
So here's what I have to figure out. 1. Do I need to dig out and pour footings under the garage pad to properly support the load above it? 2. What sort of footing do I need underneath the masonry knee wall? Even if I use fake veneer stone, they will be attached to the wall, which doesn't have proper footings.
--

-MIKE-

"Playing is not something I do at night, it's my function in life"
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On 08/07/2016 2:09 PM, -MIKE- wrote:
....[rest of description elided solely for brevity]...

1) I'd say if its lasted this long w/o issues, that's pretty good empirical evidence it's "good enough". Not UBC good, probably, but "good enough".
2) It'll need enough to support it, obviously, and should be built to prevent frost heave and all else of UBC specs. I'd plan on the two being totally independent with nothing more than flex, non-loadbearing ties.
We had something very similar in the E TN house of precisely the same vintage; while there was a footing, they placed a fieldstone veneer on the outside that covered over the bottom 8" or so of the masonite siding with only a mortar cap. It, of course, did the same thing as you've described after a season and the mortar separated from the siding to let water in. When actually discovered how bad it had gotten, there wasn't any studs left in the end garage wall (fortunately, not loadbearing or we'd undoubtedly have discovered it far earlier :) ). The solution there was to replace the lower 2-ft or the wall framing with a new section cutting off the existing even at the highest common point for the junction. Then, resided but added a Z-flashing behind the siding and over the top of the fieldstone to divert water. We left TN in 2000 but it had held up very well up to the then and no reason to think it won't/hasn't since...oh, do _not_ use Al flashing for something such as this; it'll react w/ the mortar--here's a place where the formed-onsite vinyl is the "cat's meow".
HTH for some ideas, anyway...
Hmmm...wonder if...
(or was 5 yr ago still! :) ).
--



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On 8/7/16 2:40 PM, dpb wrote:

Thanks for the ideas. That's an attractive little house.
I was thinking the same thing about any *real* stone work having to be separate from the house. A lot of newer homes around here with stone knee walls have a painted flashing that goes under the siding, above, and out over the capstones, below. Must be a new code thing.
--

-MIKE-

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On 08/07/2016 2:58 PM, -MIKE- wrote: ...

I don't think that it's really anything new; it's the only way it'll ever really work. I think it just depends upon whether the builder/inspector lived up to spec's or not; the house in E TN was in a county subdivision not under an inspection other than habitability code that only covered the most very basic of fire hazard, septic drainfield sizing, etc.
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wrote:

Call the local fire department donate as a practice house. Then rebuild it right.
Sorry Mike your description made me do it.
Mark
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On 8/7/2016 2:09 PM, -MIKE- wrote:

Do you have a friend that is an engineer? ;~)
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On 8/7/16 8:01 PM, Leon wrote:

Yes... emailed her. But I figured I'd start gathering ideas.... even bad ones :-).... in here first.
--

-MIKE-

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