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Can You Put a New Foundation Under an Existing Home?

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As a homeowner, you would expect to replace parts of your home. Maybe you’ll purchase a new roof or new windows. But a new foundation? That seems unheard of. It’s the foundation holding everything up, for goodness’ sake!

It would be nice if the finer purchases in life would last forever. However, this isn’t the case. The same goes for the most important parts of your home. With age and deterioration, your foundation is no exception.

Dalinghaus Construction has over 100 years of combined experience, working in Southern California, Arizona, and Nevada. We’ve done projects that involve supporting a home’s foundation to constructing an entirely new foundation for an existing home. When it comes to foundation repair or removal and replacement, we’ve done it all.

Why should foundations be strengthened?

Foundation Repair

Foundations for new homes are constructed under today’s current codes. Concrete, stone, or brick used in the past fails in comparison. The amount of rebar used and the depth of the footings tend to be incorrect.

The footing is old and made with materials that deteriorate due to water, foundation movement, the size wasn’t correct, or it didn’t have rebar.

Different soil compaction standards have been implemented compared to the 1960s. Nowadays, soil compaction is required to be at 95% before constructing a new home or structure.

How do I know if my foundation needs replacing?

concrete spalling

Hopefully, this isn’t the case for you. Most projects involve a section of your footing needing replaced rather than the whole thing. This is due to concrete spalling or blown-out rebar.

Concrete spalling – This is when concrete starts to flake off. This can be due to subpar concrete, the concrete curing process being incorrectly done, corrosion due to water exposure, or oxidizing rebar. This will look like your concrete is trying to look like the Berkley Pit.

Check out our article on concrete spalling to understand this concept more in-depth.

Blown-out rebar – This is always due to the rebar being exposed to moisture in some way, causing oxidization (a.k.a. rusting). Oxidizing causes the rebar to expand.

Sometimes, water will get through the cracks in your concrete. That said, concrete is porous. Dry concrete creates small capillary tunnels smaller than a strand of your hair. Water will navigate through those tunnels and make contact with your rebar.

This is why you want to make sure you have proper drainage. You want to make sure those water puddles hang out for too long like it hasn’t left after partying too hard.

Can you put a new foundation under a home?

Miraculously, it is whether it’s a slab or raised foundation. You can remove the old foundation and construct a new one.

You’ll see this more often with raised foundations compared to slab-on-grade.

A new foundation needs to be constructed for issues such as age, deterioration, and settlement.

Putting in a new foundation for a raised foundation

We usually make new footings for homes with raised foundations around 90% of the time.
You would first go into the crawlspace and shore up the home, meaning the house is temporarily held up for construction. You don’t want your home falling on someone and having them end up like the Wicked Witch of the East.

This involves running girder beams along with posts and pads around the outside of the home.

Next, a production crew starts digging to remove the old footing as the house is shored up. A new cripple wall would be built, or the footing is formatted to be put in place using rebar.

The concrete pouring can be done in sections or all at once if the entire home can be stabilized.

The home can be raised further than its original placement followed by constructing the new footing, but we don’t go this route since it can cause additional damage to your home.

Putting in a new foundation for Slab-on-grade

This is less common compared to their raised counterparts. Usually, a sister footing is made, which involves putting a new footing under the old.

You would have to dig and use sacrificial jacks, like car jacks, to hold up the slab from underneath.

The footing is taken out in sections as everything else is held up. The footing is formed via rebar with the backend reinforced by dirt. Concrete is then poured from there.

What about historical homes?

In some cases, new footings need to be put on the interior while making the exterior appear as when it was originally built.

The exterior needs to make the historic home look like it wasn’t ever touched by construction.

How long does it take to replace a foundation?

Putting in an entirely new foundation can take around four weeks minimum.

Larger equipment like an excavator can be used to dig will be used assuming there is enough space. That said, it can be done by hand, which can add to the project time.

Cost of replacing a foundation

engineering

For the average-sized home, the cost can average around $75,000-$100,000. That’s at least our average price.

Contactors will usually charge around $600 a linear foot. You can do the math depending on the size of your home.

Needing a new foundation is more common in older homes or cities. New homes usually don’t have to worry about this.

There have been homes built in the 1940s that have footings that still look young. Don’t stress yourself out about needing a new footing. A new foundation is only necessary if it’s too deteriorated or compromised.

You now know you can put new footings under a new foundation. Make sure you protect your foundation.

You’ve learned about why you want to strengthen your foundation, how you know if your foundation news replacing, how new foundations are constructed under existing homes, how long the project takes, and how much it costs. You don’t want to be in a place where you would need to replace your entire foundation.

Learn more about how your home handles moisture and how water can cause a lot of damage.

Read our article on how soil compaction is important for your home.

And make sure your home is affected by excessive irrigation.

And if you’re worried about your foundation, have someone inspect your home to see if there are any issues and if they’re severe. Dalinghaus Construction can do a FREE 60-90 minute foundation evaluation for peace of mind.

For additional questions or to schedule an evaluation, call Dalinghaus Construction at (877)360-9277.

WRITTEN BY

Brian Dalinghaus

Brian is one of the Co-Founders of Dalinghaus Construction. He has been in the foundation repair industry since 2005. During his career, he has been associated with helping over 4,000 homes and structures throughout California and Arizona.

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