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How close to a house corner can a walk-out bulkhead be?

Posted by marcolo (My Page) on
Tue, Sep 28, 10 at 21:30

1924 2+ story single family house with a poured concrete foundation.

I want to change an existing basement walk-out because it interferes with a kitchen layout. The best place to relocate it, with minimum disruption to services , etc., is the rear corner of the house, starting about a foot from the corner of the house.

This location was suggested by an architect who visited the house. I questioned whether a bulkhead could be located so close to the corner; he said it would be fine.

In gathering estimates, I was told by the owner of a company specializing in excavating and building bulkheads that you can't have a bulkhead that close to a basement corner, due to the load on the foundation at that point. He thought it was against code.

The architect says no, it's not against code, and it's fine.

Who is right? Code aside (which I can research), is putting a bulkhead in the corner a good idea or not?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: How close to a house corner can a walk-out bulkhead be?

An actual analysis and calculation if the loads may be required.

Corners tend to concentrate ground loading and the AHJ may want to be more cautious than the architect.

The size and strength of the footers, and the allowable bearing load on the soil under the footers may also come into play.

Absent proof they are larger than the minimum required when the house was built, that is the value that will be used.

The soil load can be another source of uncertainty in the calculation.

RE: How close to a house corner can a walk-out bulkhead be?

Ours is near a corner, but the bulkhead walls were poured with the basement walls, so it is all one unit.

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