Jump to content

Wood posts set in foundation??

Recommended Posts

I inspected a house built in 1917 today. It looks to me like the house originally sat on a crawlspace, but someone later dug out a basement.

I have a couple of questions.

1)There are/ were 4x boards/ posts set into place as part of the foundation (see picture). The boards were spaced on about 4' centers, and extend up about 3-4' above slab level. The majority of the boards have since rotted out, so the exterior soil is visible at these "post" pockets. What is the reason for having these boards set into the foundation?

2)It looks to me like there is a cold joint at about exterior grade level. This leads me to believe that either the lower or upper section of the foundation was added later. The joint is about 1/3rd of the way down from the top of the foundation. This leads me to believe that they somehow "pinned" the top and bottom sections of the foundation with re- bar or something. I can't say I've ever see this, is this typical?

Click to Enlarge

73.05 KB

Link to comment
Share on other sites


I see those occasionally. That house started out post-on-pier. They dug out a basement hole and put the posts on footer pads - usually a big 'ol rock. then they filled in the area between the posts with a cripple wall and then placed forms below the cripple wall and poured a concrete wall up to the bottom of the cripple wall (sometimes right up around the sole plate of the cripple). Then they stripped the forms and covered the cripple wall framing with one-by on the outside and lath on the inside and parged both sides so the whole thing looks like one continuous wall. Now they had a basement. Later on, the posts rot out of the foundation walls, leaving a slot where the post used to be and the only thing holding them up are the cripple walls bearing on top of the foundation wall.

Lots of times, those in-fill concrete walls don't have footings and without the posts bearing on the piers, and without a spread footing, they tend to settle. Sometimes they pour them around 4 by 8 posts instead of 4 by 4's and then the concrete on either side of where the post used to be will decide to settle in different directions because there's nothing tying in the wall on either side of the post.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Mike,

Thanks for the explanation.

Let me know if you think that this is plausible...

The gable end walls are the basement foundation walls. There are crawlspaces on either side of this rectangular home with typical stem walls that are less than 3' high, so those would be the main bearing foundation walls- (crawlspace foundation walls are supporting the floor joists)

Could they have dug down enough to set posts under the original crawlspace stem wall, and had those posts support the crawlspace/ upper stem wall while they poured the basement portion of the foundation?

Also, the floor joists run parallel to the basement portions of foundation, and there are about twice as many posts and beams as you would typically see in a house of this age-- beams are much smaller.

Since the top and bottom portions of concrete were poured at separate times with a horizontal cold joint, how did they tie the two stem walls together? All of the foundation concrete looks like pre- 40's to me.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...