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  1. #1
    Veteran Member JoelD's Avatar
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    Default Advice on Foundation Excavation

    Hi all,

    I need to excavate a foundation for a modular home. Will be 4 foot frost wall, going down 4 foot, with footing and then foundation wall up to 2 or so feet above grade, center will not be dug as will be a crawl space filled with crushed stone (maybe poor, not sure).

    There are a number of large trees which will need to come out (maybe 5-10, with a bunch of smaller ones).

    The house will be somewhere around 28x44 or so.

    I expect to hit some large stones, but hope not to hit ledge, if so, then I've got a seperate set of problems, there are other homes in the area, and I see no indication they've run into any trouble.

    I have a 7.5 foot hoe on my tractor.

    I'm sorting out wether to hire an excavation company, rent an excavator (done twice in the past and made quick work of treeing my home property) or use my backhoe.

    Looking for some advice from those who've experienced in the past.

    I am working hard to get this thing done on a very tight budget.

    I promise to post progress pictures if that helps spur some respones

    While I'm at it, does anyone have any thoughts on what:
    Excavation
    Forming
    Pouring

    Would cost?

    Also, likelihood of finding a foundation guy who would work with me as far as providing guidance on exactly where trenches need to be, how deep, how wide, so if I rented an excavator or used my backhoe, all would be dug how he needed.

    Location, southern coast of Maine (York). I have no problem with the excavator company leaving the trees on the site as I can buck and split for firewood, stumps would have to go. The wood is all hardwood.

    Thanks all,
    Sincerely,
    Joel
    Joel
    2004 Kioti LK3054XS TLB
    Woods Box Blade
    King Cutter Tiller
    Three Point Snow Blower
    York rake
    60 inch king kutter tiller
    1994 Ford F600 Dump Truck "Kioti Hauler"

  2. #2
    Super Member dave1949's Avatar
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    New Holland TC40

    Default Re: Advice on Foundation Excavation

    Quote Originally Posted by JoelD View Post
    Hi all,

    I need to excavate a foundation for a modular home. Will be 4 foot frost wall, going down 4 foot, with footing and then foundation wall up to 2 or so feet above grade, center will not be dug as will be a crawl space filled with crushed stone (maybe poor, not sure).

    There are a number of large trees which will need to come out (maybe 5-10, with a bunch of smaller ones).

    The house will be somewhere around 28x44 or so.

    I expect to hit some large stones, but hope not to hit ledge, if so, then I've got a seperate set of problems, there are other homes in the area, and I see no indication they've run into any trouble.

    I have a 7.5 foot hoe on my tractor.

    I'm sorting out wether to hire an excavation company, rent an excavator (done twice in the past and made quick work of treeing my home property) or use my backhoe.

    Looking for some advice from those who've experienced in the past.

    I am working hard to get this thing done on a very tight budget.

    I promise to post progress pictures if that helps spur some respones

    While I'm at it, does anyone have any thoughts on what:
    Excavation
    Forming
    Pouring

    Would cost?

    Also, likelihood of finding a foundation guy who would work with me as far as providing guidance on exactly where trenches need to be, how deep, how wide, so if I rented an excavator or used my backhoe, all would be dug how he needed.

    Location, southern coast of Maine (York). I have no problem with the excavator company leaving the trees on the site as I can buck and split for firewood, stumps would have to go. The wood is all hardwood.

    Thanks all,
    Sincerely,
    Joel
    You will probably get more answers if you ask a moderator to move this thread to 'Projects'.

    I think a foundation/concrete guy would work with you, why not?

    Basically, you layout the outside edges of your foundation. For a 28' wide house, the outside edges of the frost wall concrete should be 28' wide. I would check with the mod home builder and verify if they have a required foundation dimension though, they probably do.

    You need room in the footer trench outside the foundation dimensions. A typical footer is 16" wide and 8" thick, the 8" wide frost wall is centered on that. So, your trench needs 4" outside the 28' (for example) for the footer (16"-8" = 8", 4" inches each side).

    Then, you need room in the trench for a 4" footer drain tile. Usually slotted plastic. I like the type with a 'sock', it comes in 250' rolls from the lumber yard. This is layed beside the outside edge of the footer on a bed of washed stone about 4" deep and a minimum of 18" wide, then covered with more washed stone. The total depth of stone should be a minimum of 18", then covered with filter fabric before backfilling with a good draining sand.

    A 16" footer plus 18" of drain space = 34" total trench width minimum.

    You also need to clean all the topsoil and roots out of what will be the crawl space area. You need some room to crawl around in there, so it should be dug out anyways. I would aim at a finished clearance of at least 2'-6" from ground to bottom of floor joists, 3' would be even better. The crawl space needs a good plastic vapor barrier on the ground.

    You also need a trench to take the drainage away from your foundation drains. If you have a slope to work with, it is always best to run that trench to 'daylight'. Put a non-slotted 4" pipe in that trench and connect your foundation perimeter slotted tile to it. They usually use the green PVC rigid pipe which comes in 20' lengths for this, I forget the schedule number. Get some hardware cloth and a big hose clamp and make a screen to put on the outlet of this pipe to keep critters out.

    Assuming you don't hit any big rocks, I think you can do it with your backhoe. If you run into ledge, it depends on how deep and where it is, you might just end up pouring concrete over it if it is solid.
    Dave.
    "Those were the days my friend, we thought they'd never end ..."

  3. #3
    Super Star Member Egon's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advice on Foundation Excavation

    Addendum to previous poster:

    Dig out your stumps and roots. Then remove all the topsoil and level the area. Figure out where the spill piles go and how you will get granular material in for drainage. Figure out the water, sewer and electrical locations and do the necessary trenching and laying of pipes.

    By all means, check with the builder on the specifications and what they require for the move on.
    Egon
    50 years behind the times
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  4. #4
    Super Member dave1949's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advice on Foundation Excavation

    Quote Originally Posted by Egon View Post
    Addendum to previous poster:

    Dig out your stumps and roots. Then remove all the topsoil and level the area. Figure out where the spill piles go and how you will get granular material in for drainage. Figure out the water, sewer and electrical locations and do the necessary trenching and laying of pipes.

    By all means, check with the builder on the specifications and what they require for the move on.
    Good Egon.

    I didn't say anything about general site prep, but you need a plan as Egon said. Also think about how the concrete trucks will get to the foundation on all sides.

    I also didn't mention leveling The rotating laser builder's levels are not too expensive and allow you to work alone easily.
    Dave.
    "Those were the days my friend, we thought they'd never end ..."

  5. #5
    Veteran Member JoelD's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advice on Foundation Excavation

    Thank you guys

    I've understood all posted

    My primary residence has perimeter drain going to daylight

    The lot in York will not permit that to happen

    I was thinking a perimeter drain would not be needed as there would be crawl space but on second thought I'm guessing the idea is for the perimeter drains to get the water away from undermining the footings

    How do you do a perimeter drain when you can't get to daylight?

    Thanks for the quick responses

    I want to be sure I understand what I'm getting into

    I think trick will be handful of large trees and stumps I need to pull out I'm going to take a closer look today to see just how big they are size of trees may drive requirement to rent excavator maybe not needed for that long

    Thank you
    Joel
    Joel
    2004 Kioti LK3054XS TLB
    Woods Box Blade
    King Cutter Tiller
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  6. #6
    Super Star Member Egon's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advice on Foundation Excavation

    How do you do a perimeter drain when you can't get to daylight?
    Might have to use a sump pump.
    Egon
    50 years behind the times
    Livin in a
    Worn out skin bag filled with rattlin bones

  7. #7
    Veteran Member JoelD's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advice on Foundation Excavation

    Quote Originally Posted by Egon View Post
    Might have to use a sump pump.
    The crawl space will be vented to the elements therefore the water if any would just flow out if it got to ground level

    The crawlspace would have 3-4 feet of fill inside bringing the crawlspace to about ground level

    Would I need to go down to footings for sump pump

    I know I'm missing something

    Thanks
    Joel
    Joel
    2004 Kioti LK3054XS TLB
    Woods Box Blade
    King Cutter Tiller
    Three Point Snow Blower
    York rake
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    1994 Ford F600 Dump Truck "Kioti Hauler"

  8. #8
    Veteran Member Rustyiron's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advice on Foundation Excavation

    Quote Originally Posted by JoelD View Post
    Thank you guys
    The lot in York will not permit that to happen.
    How do you do a perimeter drain when you can't get to daylight?
    Thank you
    Joel
    Get it to daylight after your last inspection. Or hide it in a "french drain" a big hole filled with rocks. Sometimes you really wonder about some of the bldg regs.? Have they ever built a house?
    You might think about renting an excav. for your frost walls, most foundation guys would like a few feet on either side of the wall for working space, that can add up to a decent sized excavation and a lot of spoil that might be hard to "throw" far enough out of the way with your BH.
    We need more people to WORK for a living and less people to VOTE for a living!
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  9. #9
    Gold Member
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    Default Re: Advice on Foundation Excavation

    The cheapest solution would be hire a 953 to dig you a shallow basement to the depth of the bottom of your footer. Stake out the excavation 34 x 50 and have the bottom of the excavation be close to 32x 48. Strip the topsoil, dig the hole, spread fill to the rough grade, put in the driveway. Use 10' lengths of thin wall PVC for footer drains. The roll pipe doesn't like to lay straight. Put a sump pit inside the foundation and connect outside drain to it. Fill inside of foundation with stones to top of footer. Pour 4'' slab.

    The 953 can do a much better job in a day, than your tractor can do in a month.
    Plus you will not kill your tractor. Once the dirt is loose you can kill your tractor backfilling, and trenching utilities.
    What could possibly go wrong? *#^@*! I think it is time for a drive.

  10. #10
    Bronze Member Bigturk's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advice on Foundation Excavation

    You might want to consider using ICF or insulated concrete forms for your frost wall. They are a super easy system to work with and ideal for a DIY project like yours. Basically foam blocks that are stacked like Lego on a wider footer arond your foundation. They are reinforced with vertical and horizontal rebar and filled with concrete. The concrete will have to be pumped in and that adds to the cost. I build a 32 x 32 house with this system and am very happy with the finished project. I used the ICF from footer to rafters with a full basement. I have plans to build a 24 x 30 garage this summer and will be using ICF for the frost wall. I have a backhoe on my tractor and will be digging the hole myself. I plan to remove all the topsoil from inside the footprint + 2 feet in all dimensions, then dig my trench for the footer around the perimeter. Remember that the footer should be on undisturbed soil so dig slow. If you go too deep it should be backfilled and vibrated. A 24 inch ditching bucket would work good or weld a flat bar across your bucket teeth to get a smooth bottom. Set up some batter boards outside your digging area to help you square you footer and frost wall. Remember to measure diagonally from corner to corner to square your footer. I think it's a good project for you and your tractor. Good luck.

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