Outside access

dian57March 16, 2010

I'm buying a foreclosure. The PO excavated most of the earth from the back of the house, bringing it down to basement level. I can only assume it was to eventually allow outside access to the basement. Unfortunately, he also dug under the foundation of the chimney, which is a structural issue that needs immediate attention.

My contractor and inspector both think the earth needs to be brought back up to the frost line of the foundation. My mind keeps pondering outside access. I know it would be easier to deal with this issue now that the area is exposed, rather than dig out later. But with all the other issues with the house, the budget only goes so far.

My question is--how big a deal is it to cut out an access in a cinderblock basement? Is this something I should bite the bullet on and have the work done now or can it wait till we're in the house? Any idea on costs involved?

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My contractor and inspector both think the earth needs to be brought back up to the frost line of the foundation.

Absolutely and as soon as possible. You may still have settling and frost heave damage come the springtime thaw, especially if the home has been sitting unheated.

If you want a walkout, you have to underpin the foundation below the frostline. It doesn't look like you're in Florida.


Frost Penetration Source: Decks.com

    Bookmark   March 16, 2010 at 10:57PM
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I don't know local prices. Less in the boonies, I'd expect. Perhaps, $6,000- $10,000 for underpinning. Putting in a simple entry door isn't a big deal.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2010 at 11:01PM
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