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Basement floor sloped "


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Today's inspection, Evanston IL. South end of the basement is sloped downwards 42" in 10 feet. The sloped portion extends half way down the east side of the basement (see panorama). In the center of the sloped area on the east wall is a ramp in the center extending down from a window located 4" above current grade. The rest of the basement is conventional.

My first thought was "coal bunker", but it would have been an enormous

""L" shaped area around 24' on each side.

And why slope the floor (feed an "iron fireman?"... but to build an entire end of the basement that way? The ones I've seen abandoned had a square or rectangular bunker a with a horizontal screw at the bottom.)

The house has grown like Topsy and now has a 2nd floor and rear addition, but there was a plate hanging on the wall which I assume depicts the original configuration.

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tn_201078185423_basement-plate.jpg

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OK I get it, pic #3 is a plate as in 'dinner' plate. You had me for a while.

I thought you were on about a structural plate somewhere in the basement, and that you'd created a fishbowl pic for fun, inspection art. Which it is. [:)]

Yes, when I see houses of that era with sloping basement floors, it is almost always due to bedrock, rock outcrops that were too expensive to blast out.

The coal chute made sense, since they had the slope anyway. Does that window face a driveway?

I guess the basement in those days was often just a dead space for the furnace and cool storage, so in my area anyway, they often have low ceilings and uneven floors. I wonder if this also helped with keeping property tax down, less livable space?

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Yes, when I see houses of that era with sloping basement floors, it is almost always due to bedrock, rock outcrops that were too expensive to blast out.

The coal chute made sense, since they had the slope anyway. Does that window face a driveway?

In that part of Evanston, everyone's castle is built on sand - literally.

There was no garage present, or curb cut, but there could easily have been one there in 1890, and if so it would likely have been on that side.

It's possible, I suppose ,that the builders excavated a shallow foundation, and then dug a slope down lower into the center of the basement, where there was clearly a gravity furnace at one time.

I expect Kurt will be along eventually, to lift the vail.

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I asked Markus Keller about this at lunch yesterday, and he says that this is common in older homes in parts of Germany - and that there was a low slatted fence at the bottom of the slope to hold back the coal.

Went back and took a look at the photographs and sure enough, you can still see the bottom plate:

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tn_201071085513_basement-fence.jpg

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