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Typical house foundation/structure

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  1. #1
    Apprentice (new member)
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    Default Typical house foundation/structure

    Hi all,
    Im looking at getting info on how (typically) houses are built, and how the foundations of the house come into play. My understanding is the foundations of the house (perimiter) are concrete, and the external brick walls/roof sit on top of these. My confusion is then how the internal floors are supported. I understand that stumps do this, but what about closer to the perimiter of the house.
    The reason i ask this, is i have a house which seems to be sinking/shifting in one area. I have had 3 points underpinned, which in the end failed, as the existing foundation was so thin ( under 200mm in some area) that when jacked, the foundation simply snapped and cracked. To avoid further damage, the holes that were dug were filled in with cemente without having the house jacked. So im left with a house that has moved on one side, that cannot be shifted back, but from what i understand this concrete that has been poured will attempt to prevent the house from moving any further.
    My initial reaction was that if the house has poor foundations in one spot, its more than likely going to be all the way arond the house - so im thinking of pulling the house down and rebuilding with decent foundations.
    So i suppose my post has two parts to it - what are the foundations fundementally used for, and how does the flooring come into this. And what are people's advice on my predicament with keeping the house, or pulling it down and starting again.
    Any advice appreciated!
    Cheers.

  2. #2
    Resigned SilentButDeadly's Avatar
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    Grab yourself the Australian House Building Manual by Allan Staines from either www.skillspublish.com.au or your local Bunnings..

    Sounds like you have strip footings. Internal floors are supported by either stumps or brick piers with perimeter support by either integrated piers or by an inner row of bricks under the bearers...
    Joined RF in 2006...Resigned in 2020.

  3. #3
    Mr Sexy Beast dazzler's Avatar
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    We need pics
    I just love sheepies!

  4. #4
    Novice
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    Perth, Western Australia
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    Default

    Tearing the place down sounds extreme. There would need to be some serious damage to justify it. You have not mentioned any so i'll have to assume it's nowhere near that stage.
    A phone call to an engineer would be your best bet. He'll will inspect it and give you the facts so that you can make an informed decision.
    They deal with problems like yours every day. Getting it sorted sooner rather than later could save you some bucks.

  5. #5
    Apprentice (new member)
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    The damage is evident throughout the house. Most walls are showing cracks, which i know is mildly normal, but these cracks are everywhere. Floors in all rooms are not level, which will need stump work i know, but it can also be as a result of the poor current foundation issue. My thought is that if its this bad now, its going to just about have the whole house underpinned or secured, which from what i can tell are only temporary fixes. MY reasoning for ripping the house down is that i believe it will only get worse over time, so why not avoid all of that and start the rebuilding process now? Another of my concerns is the area that has been 'secured' was not jacked, so now i have one side of my house out by about 10 - 20 cm (these are the gaps appearing between brickwork/windows frame, and the house eves) and it will never be sqaure. This means the blinds in the windows hang at a slight angle, and roller shutters no longer work!

    I'll try and take some pics of under the house to give you a better understanding.
    Thanks for the replies so far!

  6. #6
    House Husband - 1K Club Member
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    I second, The Australian House Building Manual by Allan Staines, it has a good ranges of pictures and explainations. although it can be understanderbly sketchy on specifics (which are relevant to local site soil and codes) The latest edition is avail at Bunnings. Its usually near there "demo days", area in store.

  7. #7
    Senior Member DvdHntr's Avatar
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    Get a structural engineer out to have a look. You can read a book all you like but the engineer will come up with your best solution.

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