Adding a Basement: Is our contractor doing it right?
We are having a walkout basement added to our almost 100 year old house and I wanted to make sure our contractor was doing this right as he is extremely cheap. We were just going to get the house level but he qouted us so cheap we asked him how much for a basement. He only wants $7500-8500 for the job, including materials and labor. The house is on a hill and the crawl space was already 6 feet deep on the down hill side but decreased to about 1 foot deep on the uphill side.
So far he opened up the cement block wall to accomodate a backhoe and has dug out the area to about 8 feet deep. The thing I was wondering about is except for opening the wall to accomodate the backhoe he is leaving the existing foundation walls alone. He plans on building new walls, about a foot in from the old walls, on top of the concrete floor he is pouring. On the walkout side of the basement the new wall will stop and be capped off when it is at the level of the old wall, leaving a shelf of sorts. On the other walls the new walls will run all the way to the joists. By doing this he is leaving the house supported by the existing walls and footers and the new walls will not be load bearing, although he will be installing new posts through the middle of the basement. He's doing it this way because he can't jack up our house due to an attached brick fireplace, concrete porch and wrap-aroung deck. Is this okay?
By the way, he isn't asking for money up front, we just pay for materials as he needs them and he gets the balance when he finishes the job. He is also: laying PEX tubing so we can have hydro-radiant heat floors, roughing in plumbing for a future bath and for washer/dryer hookups, water sealing, and adding a 36" x 54" window.
I'm just worried because this seems a little too good to be true, he can't take our money and run, so that leaves doing a crappy job. So is our house going to fall down or what?