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Making an access hole through a concrete foundation wall

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Stephen Newell
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2018 3:00 pm    Post subject: Re: Making an access hole through a concrete foundation wall Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Cutting a hole in the wall might be a lot of grunt work but what I would be concerned with is what is above it and what you might do to the structure of the house by cutting the hole. You might need to get an engineer to evaluate where to cut the hole. It might be necessary to put a steel beam over the hole. The engineer could tell you if a beam was necessary and what size and type of beam would do the job.
 
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George by Geneva, NY
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2018 5:11 am    Post subject: Re: Making an access hole through a concrete foundation wall Reply to specific post Reply with quote

The house next door is having an addition put on and access via hole to 4 ft "crawl" space, per code, had to be made. House was built in late 30's/early 40's so concrete is well cured. Two gents, father and son, did the job. Cut a hole, probably 2 block wide by 3 or 4 high. Did it with chain saw,diamond teeth and water, fed off garden hose. It was new to me, so I watched. Impressive. Arrived at 8 and done by 10:30. Made 3 cuts, pushed the block out and it flopped onto some wood the protect the concrete floor. Not much mess, goo slop shoveled up and shop vac for other clean up. Price was ?$300 maybe $500, can't recall. Still a deal. Clean straight finish on cuts. Sounds like what you are looking for.
 
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dpendzic
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2018 5:17 am    Post subject: Re: Making an access hole through a concrete foundation wall Reply to specific post Reply with quote

I had to do that thru my foundation wall to gain access to the crawl space--rented an electric jack hammer from home depot and had the job done in 4 hrs.
 
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Stan in Oly, WA
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2018 8:45 am    Post subject: Re: Making an access hole through a concrete foundation wall Reply to specific post Reply with quote

dpendzic; How neat was the opening you were able to make? One advantage for me of having somebody cut it with a concrete chain saw is that if they can cut a rectangle with straight sides, I can have lengths of steel plate ready to set in place and weld (or weld and set in place), and be done with it the same day. If the opening is ragged, as it would be if I made it with a drilling or impact tool, I'd have concrete work to do before it was done. I've got the time for that, but I'll be uneasy until I've put back the support that will be compromised by making a hole under at least one floor joist.

Stan
 
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Stan in Oly, WA
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2018 8:51 am    Post subject: Re: Making an access hole through a concrete foundation wall Reply to specific post Reply with quote

George by Geneva, NY; It does sound like what I'm looking for. And that price range is about what it would cost me to rent the equipment (but have to buy the blade), and do it myself. And since I've got no concrete walls to practice on, it's unlikely that my first attempt would be as pretty as one done by someone who does it for a living.

Stan
 
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Pete in MD
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2018 10:22 am    Post subject: Re: Making an access hole through a concrete foundation wall Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Could you reach into the hole and put a bottle jack under that one floor joist until you get the opening boxed in?
 
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dpendzic
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2018 6:24 pm    Post subject: Re: Making an access hole through a concrete foundation wall Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Stan---it was a bit rough--maybe + or - an inch or so. I assume the joist is on the far side of the wall. Is there a face beam nailed to the end of the joists? Do the joists sit on a sill plate?
If your going 24 inches wide and the joists are 16 inches on center can you place your opening so one joist is 8 inches from one of the side cuts and not in the middle?
 
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Stan in Oly, WA
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2018 6:46 pm    Post subject: Re: Making an access hole through a concrete foundation wall Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Pete in MD; It might be possible, but it would be a challenge. There's no rim joist, so when I open a section of the framed wall above the concrete foundation wall, I'm looking at the ends of the 2X10 floor joists. That means I could have one, two, or three 9.5" X 14.5" openings to work through. The concrete floor of the basement garage is 40" below the top of the foundation wall. The ground level on the other side is about 10" higher. Trying to set up a bottle jack on an uneven surface which is beyond arm's reach, and which I can't see except with a mirror, all through a hole (or two holes, or three) about the size of a long manila envelop, would definitely give my creativity a good workout. I like a challenge, but it might not be worth the trouble. I'll look, though.

Stan
 
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Stan in Oly, WA
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2018 11:48 pm    Post subject: Re: Making an access hole through a concrete foundation wall Reply to specific post Reply with quote

dpendzic; The only factor which might affect the placement of the access hole in relation to the joists would be the location of plumbing pipes. Unobstructed access relative to pipes would outweigh optimum placement relative to joists. There is no face beam/rim joist, which is fortunate. It's relatively easy to open the wall so that I can look through between the joists. If there were a rim joist, I'd have to cut through it to look inside. Putting that wall back together is simple. There is a 2X6 sill plate which will provide some additional support and spread the load of the joist that is over the hole through the concrete. The load on the joist ends at that point could be significant---it's a bearing wall and there is another story above the basement garage. I'm guardedly optimistic about it, though. I've moved houses before, and jacked up many more. Frame houses hang together surprisingly well.

Thanks again for your advice and comments.

Stan
 
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dpendzic
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2018 9:34 am    Post subject: Re: Making an access hole through a concrete foundation wall Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Stan---sounds like you have it well thought out--the one option that might work for supporting that joist on the other side is to work thru the joist 16 inch space and get a vertical timber under it before you cut the concrete out?
 
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Jim in N.M.
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2018 3:23 pm    Post subject: Re: Making an access hole through a concrete foundation wall Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Hi Stan, I have read every answer to your problem, Just "WHY" do you need to get into that area anyway ???? Jim in N.M.
 
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Stan in Oly, WA
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2018 5:54 pm    Post subject: Re: Making an access hole through a concrete foundation wall Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Hi Jim; Water supply lines for the bathroom that's above that space and the laundry area beside it run through there, as well as the supply for a hose faucet on the outside of the house. If any of those lines sprung a leak or broke, there would be no way to stop the leak or the flow except by turning off the water at the meter. Then the house would be without water until I could get access to that area to fix the problem. I can do it now when it's reasonably convenient for me, even though it may never become necessary, or I can do it if it becomes necessary even though it's unlikely that it will be convenient then. Some people, maybe even most people, would judge that problem to be too unlikely to worry about. I'm not like that, though. I'll feel better when I've dealt with it.

Haven't heard from you in a while. How have you been?

Stan
 
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Stan in Oly, WA
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2018 6:08 pm    Post subject: Re: Making an access hole through a concrete foundation wall Reply to specific post Reply with quote

dpendzic; That was my thought, too. I'll see what I can do, just as I'll see if I could get a bottle jack under it as Pete in MD suggested. I actually kind of like problems like this because there usually is a solution, particularly if you don't fixate on one possibility and ignore all others. I could spend quite a bit of time dealing with it and still come out ahead compared to the time it might take me to repair the floor in the bathroom if the joist sags and it pops loose or cracks any of the 14" ceramic tiles in there.

Stan
 
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Ozlander
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2018 1:43 pm    Post subject: Re: Making an access hole through a concrete foundation wall Reply to specific post Reply with quote

I would jack up 3 floor joists and slip a 6"x 6"x.25" by 3' piece of angle iron in to hold up the joists.
Leave it there.
 
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