Digging out crawl space - Power tools?

The crawl space in my 80 year old house has about a foot of space in it. I
need to dig it out so I can get in there and do some work.
Are there any power tools or equipment which I can rent which will make this
easier?
I suppose I could find a conveyor belt for dirt removal. But what about the
digging part?
Reply to
Bill
My uncle hired the neighborhood boys to do it during the depression. I eventually bought the house and had a basement because of their work. I also had a lot of neighbors who remembered all the good my uncle had done as they or their boyfriends had done much of that work and that is how they came up with a dollar or two during the depression for a date. My uncle had a few dollars as he was retired navy.
The way the economy is going, we may be back to that soon.
Reply to
Joseph Meehan
You're going to hire neighborhood boys and put in a sub-basement...? I think you might be sinking money in that house. ;)
To the OP: there's not a lot you can get in to a foot high space to help out. You don't mention how much work you need to do and how deep you are planning on going. In similar situations where people are digging out a basement they'll open up a foundation wall and excavate a ramp so they can get a Bobcat in.
R
Reply to
RicodJour
The only power tool I've used on the enclosed space is a Bosch hammer with a spade bit to break up the clay. [had a wall open one summer and was able to scoop a lot with a backhoe- and shovel the hoe full from under the house for some more]
I've been plugging away at mine for years- working just in the winter, a couple winters off for back & heart problems. But the floor in the first 10x20 space [pavers] should go in late this spring.
I will probably set up a conveyor for the second section. [lowering old floor by 2feet] - but this part has been all bucket work. I used to do 5 wheelbarrow loads a day- Now I do 3 every other day.
Beats paying for a gym membership.
Jim
Reply to
Jim Elbrecht
on 4/2/2008 8:15 AM Bill said the following:
What work are you going to do in there? With only 3 feet of headroom there's no standing and barely enough room for sitting.
Reply to
willshak
A few years ago on HomeTime on PBS they did that. They did it by lying on their stomachs and shoveling it into a tub that was pulled out with a rope. The tub was a flat oblong with sloping ends, kind of like a sled. I think it might have been a mortar tub.
But basically I think you are talking about a lot of work. Good luck.
Bill Gill
Reply to
BillGill
easier to jack up the home and dig out a proper basement.... with the proper ,imi excavators etc........
dont forget you will need new foundation supports..........
footers etc
Reply to
hallerb
what does the OP plan on doing down there? probably easier to lift the floor........
digging out may not be the most cost effective approach
Reply to
hallerb
Hire some willing young diggers.......... or do it yourself..... Using a homeade built box.......4 inch high walls and plywood bottom with eye hook and rope. One works inside and one pulls box out and empties..... cut shovel handle to 12 inches........ small pick dust mask coveralls. good lighting helps knee pads gloves.......
Reply to
jloomis
Giganews Berlin area poster,
The tools needed, by hand and power, depend on the type of ground you're intending to dig.
Reply to
Dioclese
Depends on how much you want to spend on rental vs. how much back breaking work you want to do, as well as how much rock there is in the mix. You can rent a towable vacuum excavator from places like United Rentals that will do the job in a day if you don't have big rocks to deal with. These units will suck up ~500 gal worth of dirt at a time between dumps.
Reply to
Pete C.
It is absolutely the most *cost* effective. Removal costs are nil. Whether it makes sense in the long run is entirely up to the digger (and those effected.]
My basement excavation- like my summetime exterior landscaping by shovel- is a combination of hobby/exercise/home improvement. The digging is free. The footers and piers cast little. It is still cheaper than drinking beer & buying a health club membership.
Jim
Reply to
Jim Elbrecht
sometime in the recent past snipped-for-privacy@ece.villanova.edu posted this:
Yeah, basement with a sky view...
Reply to
Wilson
Bill, I am working on my crawl space. Going for 42" depth so I can move around and fix plumbing, insulation, HVAC ducts etc. I do have a Bosch demo hammer but have not had to use it much. I dug a deep ramp with my Kubota alongside the foundation. I opened up the foundation, just like you had. Got some "flexible" conveyors on Craigslist. These expand from 7 feet long to 35 feet and can snake around obstacles. Bought eight 27 gallon plastic totes.
Starting out was difficult for the first few feet. Now I simply sit on a stool, use a full length spade and one foot to dig horizontally into the bank, fill the 8 totes and send them out on the conveyor. My biggest problem, due to age, is getting the totes out from under the house and not the digging. Of course the conveyor takes care of all that. I simply give the string of 8 totes a push and they fly out from under and even empty themselves. After each group of 8 totes I do have to get out from under (I can walk bent over in 42" space) and collect the empty totes. After about 10 round trips I remove all the excess dumpings with my Kubota and lose it on my 4± acres.
While my dirt (bottom 2 feet) is quite stiff, I stopped using the Bosch hammer. Taking a horizontal slice against a vertical bank (the slice is only about 2 inches deep) while sitting down, is very easy. You would be surprised how much force you can exert with a sharp spade, push of the foot and a little wiggling.
Write me if you need any more info.
And yes, as many of the replies stated, I have quit going to the gym.
Ivan Vegvary
Reply to
Ivan Vegvary

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