View Full Version : Poured Foundation

James Smith Two
06-26-2010, 07:23 PM
I am in the process of building a new home and have had the footings and foundation poured by an experienced commercial contractor, and the framing has just commenced. In the process of waterproofing the foundation I have discovered that a section of the foundation in which a walkout via a patio door has been poured incorrectly. The contractor has stepped down a 29 foot section of the foundation to the level of the bottom of the patio door for the entire length of this section. Some of this section is actually below grade. All of this section except for the patio door should have been approximately 12 inches higher.

This could of course be corrected by pouring additional concrete on top of the existing
wall. However, given that the foundation is supporting the upper floor and roof I am
concerned about the cold joint that will occur. So, I am considering insisting that the contractor replace this section from the footing up and tie it into the existing structure
using reinforcing bar (rebar) and a cut keyway.

Any comments and/or suggestions will be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

The original work has not yet been invoiced nor paid.

Matt Fellman
06-26-2010, 10:13 PM
Good catch determining that it's poured too low. It's actually a common problem and one that is usually not properly rectified.

If it were me I wouldn't be too worried about a cold joint but, not being an engineer or foundation specialist, wouldn't move forward without checking into it further. I'd get in touch with an engineer or you could even start with the county inspector (he'll likely just point you to an engineer).

There will likely be a designed (engineered) fix to tie the two pours together depending on some other design factors. I doubt just pouring 12" of concrete on top of the original foundation will suffice but I'm really just guessing.

Everyone you hear from here will just be guessing as well as we're just general home inspectors.

Again, good job paying attention... just be sure to track down the best information from the best people. In reality, it shouldn't even be that expensive... just a bit of legwork.

Kary Krismer
06-27-2010, 08:09 AM
This reminds me of my neighbor who wanted to be his own contractor to save money on a remodel. The foundation for the addition was poured 3" too low, and rather than rectify it they just put in two ramps in the house where the floor level changed, and had the new part of the roof peak 3" below the existing. I think that could be a good solution here, although your ramps would need to be longer, or maybe converted into a couple of steps. :D

Phil Brody
06-28-2010, 05:28 AM
As an engineer this sort of thing happens pretty frequently. #5 rebar doweled into the the base at least 7" located 12" apart, and be particularly attentive to waterproofing. Also wetting the base prior to pouring will create a better stick. Your suggestion to go down to the footing will probably compromise the structural integreity more.