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  1. #1
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    Default Under House Excavation

    Hi all

    Long time lurker first time poster.

    I have been doing an under house excavation for over a year now. It has been fun and it has been hard work. I am now at the stage of handing it over to a concreter.

    This is where I started


    Original brick piers


    A bit of steel


    Temporary prop in so I can start to remove the brick wall


    Wall removed. Header and supports installed. First two I beams installed.


    More to come when I get time

    Glenn

  2. #2
    Slow but rough Uncle Bob's Avatar
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    Looks like a big job

  3. #3
    Golden Member Godzilla73's Avatar
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    G'day,

    Hard work indeed, what do you plan to do with the space you've created? Is that an EH i spy under the clutter?
    I had a life, but my job ate it...

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by godzilla73 View Post
    g'day,

    hard work indeed, what do you plan to do with the space you've created? Is that an eh i spy under the clutter?
    ej??
    cheers Look out if I have a tape measure in my hand.....I'm upto something

  5. #5
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    It is an EH. I do have some EJ parts laying around.

    I plan to make the area into a workshop and storage. Hopefully this will leave the garage free for the EH restoration. I also have the following for the workshop.



    and this

  6. #6
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    Nice! When you get all those piers out and excavate to 2.4 meters and put down a slab you will

    have heaps of room for the donor ute

  7. #7
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    good stuff more photos and keep on working

  8. #8
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    Third steel beam in


    forth steel beam in




    removing the first of the brick piers





  9. #9
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    Good work mate, very good use of space there and I am really jealous of your mill and lathe!

  10. #10
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    Ready for the first stage of excavation



    It was interesting to see a bobcat under the house







    Even more interesting when it can turn around






    excavated to the second last brick piers. Now need to fully support the cross beam and get the rest of the steel in.


  11. #11
    House Husband - 1K Club Member
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    Great Work!
    I am so envious...... Oh to be able to dig under the house with a Bobcat!....

  12. #12
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    Last I beam installed and the rest of the centre support beam



    centre beam support and join complete. more brick piers removed







  13. #13
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    Wow some big progress here, you must be really pumped to keep going, good work.

    OK, now I realise the workshop if off to the side, I was hoping you could drive your cars in, now I see why not. Still at least this now means your garage is just that, cars only

  14. #14
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    Steel supports going in to replace the brick piers for an original beam



    getting ready for the bobcat return




    The bobcat has excavated to the last line of brick piers. They have been removed and the steel supports are going in.
    There was a lot of hard rock to jack hammer.



    four of the supports cemented in


    Bobcat hit hard rock and could not excavate to full depth. Looks like I will get a good workout with the jack hammer.

  15. #15
    Golden Member Godzilla73's Avatar
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    Looking good mate, had any dramas with movement upstairs?
    I had a life, but my job ate it...

  16. #16
    Hammer Head - 1K Club Member
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    Maybe get 1 tonne excavator with hammer n bucket even dry hire beats jack hammer any day, this has to be in top 5 DIY projects on this forum ever

  17. #17
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    Be careful that confined space has the potential to kill with CO poisoning when using combustion engined plant.
    regards inter

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Godzilla73 View Post
    Looking good mate, had any dramas with movement upstairs?
    I have not cracked any plaster work but I definitely have moved the floor joists during the process. There was some existing problems with the foundations when we bought the place. There was a lot of floor tiles in the bathrooms and toilet that were cracked. There appears to have been some movement over time and some water running under the house at stages.

    In the photo below, just to the right of the front left brick pier, there is the edge of another brick pier made with a different brick.



    The extra pier can be seen between the two piers in the centre of the photo. I am not sure when the extra pier was installed but when we bought the place, there was a 10 mm gap above the wood on top of the pier and the joist.



    The water running under the house was caused by a concrete path that was installed with incorrect fall that allowed the water to pool at the house footings. I have ripped that path out and installed a path that falls away from the building and some drainage. Since then, there has not been any water coming under the external wall.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gaza View Post
    his has to be in top 5 DIY projects on this forum ever
    Thanks for that Gaza. It has been a lot of work, but this forum is full people doing great work.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gaza View Post
    Maybe get 1 tonne excavator with hammer n bucket even dry hire beats jack hammer any day
    The pictures that I have posted have not quite caught up with where I am at the moment. I had a concreter in to prepare the foundations for the slab. He had a excavator and they had to remove the canopy to fit through the garage door. Turned out that he did not have enough head room to operate the machine under the house. He did what he could with a bobcat but the rock was too hard in places.

    I am not sure what size the excavator was, I can check with the concreter. I think I will have to seek out someone with a smaller one with a rock breaker.

    Quote Originally Posted by intertd6 View Post
    Be careful that confined space has the potential to kill with CO poisoning when using combustion engined plant.

    Yes we noted that. With the garage doors open and the a fan it is not too bad. Cannot spend long periods though with a combination of dust and the exhaust. It is ok in the bobcat cabin, anything else, not so much.


    Glenn

  20. #20
    1K Club Member paddyjoy's Avatar
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    Looks great, big job! Are you going to do anything around the perimeter to stop any future water getting in? Considering you have dropped the ground level could water seep in through the sides?

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by paddyjoy View Post
    Looks great, big job! Are you going to do anything around the perimeter to stop any future water getting in? Considering you have dropped the ground level could water seep in through the sides?
    Yes, there will be a retaining wall, waterproof membrane and agi drain to stormwater

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by bloomers View Post
    Yes, there will be a retaining wall, waterproof membrane and agi drain to stormwater
    Whatever you do, don't connect your ag drains to the existing stormwater drainage, run a separate drain, otherwise too much rain or a blockage may see you getting water pushed back into the excavated area.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by bloomers View Post
    Yes, there will be a retaining wall, waterproof membrane and agi drain to stormwater
    Great, our place is on a slope, partially excavated but there is no waterproofing so the walls do leak after heavy rain so make sure you get the waterproofing right!

  24. #24
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    Getting ready for cementing steel supports


    Far posts concreted in and temporary props removed


    Preparing more support foundations


    Really hard rock here


    more foundations, not so much rock here

  25. #25
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    Pile of dirt getting a bit big





    Had a truck load of dirt removed





    foundation holes certified. Three more supports cemented in.


    And two more this end


    Temporary supports in and three of the brick piers removed

  26. #26
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    Getting the last steel supports in and cemented


    Temporary props removed


    He house is fully supported by the new steelwork


    Wanted to get an excavator to prepare the footings but the excavator was too big to operate in the confined space. It was mainly a head room issue. It was thought that a smaller machine would not have the power to break the rock. The operator used a bobcat to remove as much material between the posts as he could.






    I could not find anyone with a rock breaker on a small excavator. So it is jack hammer time.

  27. #27
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    Default Under House Excavation

    My first reaction was 'crikey'! That is some serious steel work in there - how did you actually manoeuvre them into place and lift to the required height? Will be great to see the finished job and of course the EH restoration...

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by dr renovator View Post
    My first reaction was 'crikey'! That is some serious steel work in there - how did you actually manoeuvre them into place and lift to the required height? Will be great to see the finished job and of course the EH restoration...

    The steel lengths were easy enough to move around by two people with the use of a trolley and an engine hoist. To get them in to position, I dragged/lifted one beside a row of brick stumps. I then inserted temporary supports on either side of the existing beam. I adjusted the supports to take the weight until I could work a hacksaw blade between the top of the brick support and the wooden beam. I then removed the top course of bricks and cut out the wooden beam.

    I then lifted one end of the steel beam and slipped in a milk crate. Then a bigger lift and slipped in a saw horse. In the picture below you can see the horses that I used. I also used some temporary frames made from pine studs. I lifted one end onto the frame and stabilised it. Then I carefully lifted the other end, moved it sideways until it was on top of the brick pier. Then it was just a matter of adjusting the position and then putting in packing on top of the pier, removing pressure from the temporary supports



    This photo shows the supports still in place after inserting the steel beam

  29. #29
    house trasher jatt's Avatar
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    Gee its certainly a project n a half. Can sympathise with rock, the jack hammer is still getting a workout at my joint.
    When I die, bury me in the hardware store

  30. #30
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    The retaining wall will go behind the steel supports. So I need clearance for the 200mm blocks and at least 150mm for drainage.










    the pile is well over a meter tall


    No room to move

    had a truck load removed to give me some room



    there will be a toilet in this corner

  31. #31
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    I have been completely blown away watching this amazing project.
    I am not responsible for anything that Moondog says!

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cecile View Post
    I have been completely blown away watching this amazing project.
    Thanks Cecile. I wore out my wife's patience with the jack hammer though. I was taking two days (non consecutive) off a week so I could jack hammer while she was at work.

  33. #33
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    Had the plumber in to do the drainage and sewage. Found the storm water squashed and replaced a section to fix it.



    Back filled after the plumbing inspection. Just need to re-lay the paving.



    Toilet, sink drain and agi drain for the retaining wall.



    Removed all the dirt. Still some work to do.



    The last pile of dirt. All ready for the final bobcat clean up.



    Ready for the concreter to take over.



    Marking out the starter bar positions for the concreter.


  34. #34
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    All ready for concrete and inspection by certifier. The concreter knew how much work I had done to dig out this area. He rang me after the certifier had left. He said that I needed to dig out some more. I did not answer him, I was probably just processing the implications of what I was hearing. Then he said that everything was fine. I could have killed him, but I was just happy that it was approved.












    Finally I have a slab







  35. #35
    RelaxNotDoneYet Armers's Avatar
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    That's awesome dude... I've been watching intently as I want to do the same to my house on day..

    But you're happy to finally reach that stage..

    Sent from my GT-I9300T using Tapatalk 4

  36. #36
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    Wow! Subscribed...

  37. #37
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    Looking great, such a great feeling once the slab goes down, no more dirt !!!!!

  38. #38
    Golden Member Gooner's Avatar
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    Wow. Consider me impressed. Great motivation. Lots of work in a relatively short time frame.
    I'm no expert, but know enough to be dangerous...
    __________________

  39. #39
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    Preparing for the agi drain and making sure that there is a fall to the southern corner






    Brickie setting up for laying the block wall






    Some of the starter bars needed a little bit of bending to make them fit. Apparently there was a lot of swearing involved.












    Immediately after this was done it pissed down for a couple of days and I saw a graphic example of the drainage working exactly as it was supposed to. The brickie was surprised to see my drainage preparation. He said that it is the first he had seen one with fall from one end to the other. Now I need to get the drainage finished and put the membrane on the back of the blocks. After that the brickie will be back to finish the retaining wall.

  40. #40
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    Great Job and a great space created, first class effort.

    I hope you had a celebration when the slab went down, it is a big achievement.
    I will be cracking a few cold ones when my last slab is poured, that is for sure.

    I cant wait to see the final set of photos with the lathe and mill in place and swarf on the new concrete.

    Keep up the good work!!
    Tools are good, more tools are better!

  41. #41
    Slow but rough Uncle Bob's Avatar
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  42. #42
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    Drainage complete. Membrane and coreflute in. The brickie returns
























    Now I need to membrane and coreflute the rest of the wall. Put in the vertical reinforcing for the core fill wall and get sign off by the certifier.

  43. #43
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    Great job. I'm really enjoying watching this one. You will end up with an awesome space.

  44. #44
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    Backfilling the retaining wall with a 14mm recycled cement "rock"





    Boxing for the first cement cap















    Finished one end over the xmas break



    Now to start the other end

  45. #45
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    Mate, thats a brilliant job you've done!

  46. #46
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    Amazing work sir. i hope you have a whole bunch of fun down there when its finished.

  47. #47
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    Now the rest of the cappimg
















    had my plumber fix up the the pipework







  48. #48
    Slow but rough Uncle Bob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bloomers View Post
    had my plumber fix up the the pipework
    I'd bet he was happy with the amount of room to move under there

  49. #49
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    Hi Bloomers
    I'm impressed greatly by your steel work and the amount of dirt you have dug by hand but Maaaate! wouldn't it been easier to move house.
    In your first couple of photo's I thought at least the digging is easy but that didn't last long hey, I have done a few under hose excavations in my 15 years as a House remover, we used a guy who had a Massey 200 drott it was about 40years old and low, I said to him one day why don't you buy a new Drott his reply was nobody makes anything that low and didn't want to loose work with a higher machine, the little Massey could dig though and just about everyone in the area used him for digouts.
    I hope the guys who did the brick laying and electrical originally are out of the game their work is just garbage.
    I love your Lathe that's the one I would buy if I ever get a lazy 3k or a good S/H Tiawanese of the same model, did that little Bandsaw cut the RSJ's a BS4 or 5 isn't it.

    Keep up the Quality work
    Whitey

  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by Uncle Bob View Post
    I'd bet he was happy with the amount of room to move under there
    Yes he was. He was also happy because he did it during that real hot spell of 40+ temps. Working under the house was a whole shipload better than outside work.

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