May. 29th, 2016


May. 29th, 2016 10:06 am
turbogrrl: (robotcoffee)
So, there were a few options for the north wall short foundation issue. The first, which would require active buy-in from our north neighbor, would have dug new symmetrical footings underneath the places where the beams meet the wall that would extend a foot past the wall on either side. The upside is that the support would be symmetrical, which seems kinder to an aging wall. Think of it like an upside-down tetris-T, with the T part being under the existing wall. Another option would be to essentially put in a tall tetris-L underneath the wall, where the footing pad extends only under our property. The third was to eschew any additional footing under the wall and tie in new vertical beams sunk into concrete piers inside our wall.

We sent some mail to our neighbor (our neighbor who is renting our garage for his own construction staging at an insanely low price) asking him if he'd be open to option 1, sending him a quick sketch of what it would look like. What we got back was fairly harsh, calling the sketch illegible, and also shitting on the partial underpinning required for the basement stairway. He said he was forwarding everything to his structural engineer. Now, he doesn't really get a vote on the stairway as long as it's structurally sound (actually, going back and reading the DC notice of underpinning, he doesn't actually get a vote even if needed partywall footings extend onto his property) but I was cranky about the whole exchange and went home and considered the stairway at length. I sketched and researched and grumbled and eventually went to bed, doing math on my fingers as I went to sleep. (It is *really* hard for my brain to handle foot-inch math, I keep trying to make a foot to be 10 inches.)

When I woke up, I had put the jigsaw puzzle together. I flipped the stair, moved the second story staircase a couple of feet, moved the garage wall a bit, and created a code-compliant stair that would not need any underpinning. There, I fixed it. No partial underpinning, and never mind, we will just add support structure inside our own building and leave the wall alone. You're welcome.

(Hint: not actually what he wants us to do, either. Alas. He doesn't get a vote.)


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September 2017


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