Prepper, Survival, Homesteading Forum > Homesteading > General Homesteading & Building > Do you have info on making a cellar or basement?


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Old 09-12-2012, 10:17 PM   #31
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Any hills close by,I'd dig out reinforce and cover back up with the backfill.Wish I had a hill here.Also miss rocks,not a rock in sight.When the dogs were peeing on my roses I reached for a rock and there was'nt any.I grew up in Georgia around the largest rock on earth,so it took getting use to not having any.



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Old 09-12-2012, 11:14 PM   #32
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I love the idea of the wood shed provided it can be a
Sacrificial building.
By that I mean use the building as a guard/radio shack.
When things get to rough don't wait for someone else to burn it torch/ blow it yourself.
Any one is going to think it was boobey trapped.
It could be used to take out bad guys and make it hard to follow you into wonderland.
Make sure it's a good hot fire.
I know if I was pursuing some bad guy and he ran into a house that caught fire I would be sure I had won I doubt I would sift the ashes.



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Old 09-14-2012, 08:49 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canadian View Post
If you're going to pour cement I'd make the whole thing including the entrance out of cement. I'd put on a waterproof membrane and cover the entrance with dirt so it looked like a small hill. Kind of like a mini bunker.

Remember to keep this thing close to your house. You will need to run electrical to it at the very least if you want to have lights down there.
Not very likely to be electricity. That will be an early casualty
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Old 09-15-2012, 03:41 AM   #34
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I have a lot more questions that I'd like to run by you but I'm not sure that you're visiting this thread any longer.[/QUOTE]

Will the building official be looking at the finished product with the forms off? You could have the wood almost out to the finished surface of the wall. If you get it too close, a line will be in the concrete and somebody may figure you out. I suppose you are going to dig out of the basement after it is built? I would really look into ICF if I were you. They are a lot easier to use for the DIY'er. Are you doing cinder blocks or forming concrete? I would use durawall in the blocks if going that route. Use ICF and you can do that much easier by yourself. There is a specific brand that is real easy to use. I myself would dread using plyform and forming all those walls out of wood. I could pour the floor, wet set the ICF blocks, lay the rest, and be pouring the walls with my own concrete in the next day or so. They do need a waterproof membrane, but everything does anyway. If you have a side of a hill for natural drainage, you got it whipped. I do get on here every day or so. Last few days I have been gone from can to can't, so have not had time to check and didn't feel like it if I did. I am talking leaving out at five am and turning the welder off at ten forty five at night. I have had a few days of that lately, so I am tired.

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Old 09-15-2012, 04:04 AM   #35
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The only thing you have to be aware of when building anything down into the ground it that if you go below the water table anything you build will be a giant concrete "boat" and will float if the water table rises. Archemedes principle and all that stuff.
I have seen one float up and flip the dozer over that was parked on top of it. they even built concrete boats during WW2. Water pressure is tremendous so make sure you have some type of drainage. If you have any hill at all, best bet is to put field lines under your floor and dig a ditch all the way out, with plenty of fall, until you run out at ground level. Might be good for your sewer also if you can work it in. I am blessed with a hill to live on, with plenty of slope. It is flat where my house and yard is, and flat where the pasture is, but a lot if difference in a short distance in between. Maybe even dig a well through it also. Then you can have water, sewer, all taken care of. You could even flush a toilet if you had a well in your basement also. Drill it before you build the basement, or dig one after the basement is built. Just suggestions.
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Old 09-15-2012, 04:29 AM   #36
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Will the building official be looking at the finished product with the forms off? You could have the wood almost out to the finished surface of the wall. If you get it too close, a line will be in the concrete and somebody may figure you out.
Good point.

I was trying to think of ease of cutting out a door frame in the basement wall. I suppose I could just fill the 8'x3'x8" volume with concrete absent rebar and just waste $100 of concrete.

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I suppose you are going to dig out of the basement after it is built? I would really look into ICF if I were you. They are a lot easier to use for the DIY'er.
That's a good idea. The door would be hidden behind the foam insulation and wouldn't be as easily detectable.

What I want to do is have a root cellar, a cheese cave, a meat hanging room and a put in place a small salvaged walk-in freezer that I have sitting around in component parts and have it buried with an 8' cover of dirt and have a small tunnel, with steps, leading from my poured concrete basement down to the root cellar. I want to run this root cellar as lower temperatures and thermally isolate it from above ground temperatures and also want to keep the cold away from my basement. So ease of use from within the house has to be balanced against thermal isolation and the best compromise I can come up with is this tunnel to the root cellar.

Now, as for when during the construction process this will be built, the ideal time to build is after the foundation goes in and before the backfill, thus reducing my need to excavate a 2nd time and excavate deeper than the foundation. The obvious problem here is that I want to keep the root cellar off the tax records and away from prying eyes. Digging and building during construction loses this activity in plain sight while digging and building after the house is built will draw attention to the cellar.

I need to find a plausible excuse to explain why there is an 6'-8' deep hole 12'-15' away from the foundation excavation without having the inspector tell me to fill it and pack it down in order to stabilize the ground for the footings or some other reason before he signs off on the pouring of the foundation wall. I don't mind appear stupid and coming up with some bogus explanation which will have the inspector laughing at me, so long as the hole remains unfilled. Then when the foundation passes, with waterproofing and insulation, etc, and the inspector leaves until the next time I need an approval, I want to knock out the door, frame the forms for the tunnel, slope it downwards, frame the forms for the root cellar, pour, wait for curing, waterproof, insulate, and then backfill the whole shebang and forget about it until the entire house is finished, when I can put in ventilation, set up the freezer, set up lighting, set up the in-ground cooling system which will prevent frost-heave, etc.

My technical questions, the ones I can think of at this moment, are whether you think it would be a good idea to form the rebar around the doorway so that it extends out of the foundation and then tie in the tunnel to the rebar. Also, I don't want to disturb the footings where the door is situated and where the tunnel with the stairs will start sloping downwards, so a.) is this something that I'm right to be concerned about and b.) would I solve this issue by simply stepping the foundation down another 2' or so in that section of the foundation wall and then, when partially backfilled, the doorway would be 2' higher than the footings, so as the tunnel steps start sloping downwards, they would still be above the footings and by the time the steps got to be below the footing, I'd be 3'+ away. Last question - if I did step down the foundation I could do this before a footing inspection and then explain that there was a rock there and I dug it out, therefore needing to go a bit deeper to find stable soil. Would that be plausible?

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Are you doing cinder blocks or forming concrete? I would use durawall in the blocks if going that route.
I'll be forming the concrete. I'm open to ICF.
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Old 09-16-2012, 03:30 AM   #37
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Quote:
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Good point.

I was trying to think of ease of cutting out a door frame in the basement wall. I suppose I could just fill the 8'x3'x8" volume with concrete absent rebar and just waste $100 of concrete.



That's a good idea. The door would be hidden behind the foam insulation and wouldn't be as easily detectable.

What I want to do is have a root cellar, a cheese cave, a meat hanging room and a put in place a small salvaged walk-in freezer that I have sitting around in component parts and have it buried with an 8' cover of dirt and have a small tunnel, with steps, leading from my poured concrete basement down to the root cellar. I want to run this root cellar as lower temperatures and thermally isolate it from above ground temperatures and also want to keep the cold away from my basement. So ease of use from within the house has to be balanced against thermal isolation and the best compromise I can come up with is this tunnel to the root cellar.

Now, as for when during the construction process this will be built, the ideal time to build is after the foundation goes in and before the backfill, thus reducing my need to excavate a 2nd time and excavate deeper than the foundation. The obvious problem here is that I want to keep the root cellar off the tax records and away from prying eyes. Digging and building during construction loses this activity in plain sight while digging and building after the house is built will draw attention to the cellar.

I need to find a plausible excuse to explain why there is an 6'-8' deep hole 12'-15' away from the foundation excavation without having the inspector tell me to fill it and pack it down in order to stabilize the ground for the footings or some other reason before he signs off on the pouring of the foundation wall. I don't mind appear stupid and coming up with some bogus explanation which will have the inspector laughing at me, so long as the hole remains unfilled. Then when the foundation passes, with waterproofing and insulation, etc, and the inspector leaves until the next time I need an approval, I want to knock out the door, frame the forms for the tunnel, slope it downwards, frame the forms for the root cellar, pour, wait for curing, waterproof, insulate, and then backfill the whole shebang and forget about it until the entire house is finished, when I can put in ventilation, set up the freezer, set up lighting, set up the in-ground cooling system which will prevent frost-heave, etc.

My technical questions, the ones I can think of at this moment, are whether you think it would be a good idea to form the rebar around the doorway so that it extends out of the foundation and then tie in the tunnel to the rebar. Also, I don't want to disturb the footings where the door is situated and where the tunnel with the stairs will start sloping downwards, so a.) is this something that I'm right to be concerned about and b.) would I solve this issue by simply stepping the foundation down another 2' or so in that section of the foundation wall and then, when partially backfilled, the doorway would be 2' higher than the footings, so as the tunnel steps start sloping downwards, they would still be above the footings and by the time the steps got to be below the footing, I'd be 3'+ away. Last question - if I did step down the foundation I could do this before a footing inspection and then explain that there was a rock there and I dug it out, therefore needing to go a bit deeper to find stable soil. Would that be plausible?



I'll be forming the concrete. I'm open to ICF.
Around here, an inspector doesn't come around unless you call. Usually with me, they drive by on the street, roll down the window, and ask me where to send the bill for the inspection, and drive off. I am not kidding. Sometimes I have actually got him to come check it all out. He is a good inspector, knows his job, but I guess he trusts my work.

I would always try to tie everything together if any way possible, and there always is, so I always do. Maybe you could start your project, shoot all your grades, and build your cellar first, cover, and then go on about building your basement. You have to be sneaky. Pour your floor, set your walls, fill them, strut some tin across the top and pour your roof, put your waterproofing on, and cover it all up. If you use the ICF, you can jab some 2x lumber in them and hold your doorway clear. I might would leave a piece or two of 3/4" plywood on the outside of the door to keep the backfill from caving your door in. So, if you have an 8' cover of dirt, you will be 16' or so down? Am I following you correctly?

You could step the footing for the doorway. If they ask, just say you had to step the footing. Leave it at that. Don't offer any more information than is needed. Might be a good idea to start rounding up some concrete, a little here, a little there, so not to be getting a lot in one place. The ICF's are the size of six cinder blocks and a yard of crete fills eleven blocks, or an area of 66 cinder blocks. All the insulating will already be done too. The ICF's are a friend for the one man show. I am not trying to push them on you, just trying to save you some time, and time is what you need on your side. I built a 5000 sq ft basement that you can drive a truck down into. Completely in the ground, not on a hill side.

Just tell the inspector you got off grade when digging and had to step it down further instead of filling back in to get up to grade.
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Old 11-24-2012, 10:14 AM   #38
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There are also big considerations about the water table unless you want an indoor swimming pool under your house. Many US houses that are built with basements its actually a half basement and then the ground is landscaped up to it.

Because of property prices in central London some people are having basements dug out under existing houses but its hugely complicated because the basement acts like a concrete boat and tries to "float" in the groundwater, as I mentioned in a previous post on this thread. So they have to dig sumps and have pumps to take the water away constantly.

So what happens to these houses when we in London get a Hurricane Sandy event and a week long power out? Are we going to see whole houses rising out of the ground?

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Old 11-25-2012, 07:14 PM   #39
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So what happens to these houses when we in London get a Hurricane Sandy event and a week long power out? Are we going to see whole houses rising out of the ground?
Let's try an experiment. Take a brick, throw it into a lake, and let's see if it floats like a boat. Archimedes' principle.
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Old 11-25-2012, 07:59 PM   #40
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now lets take a plate of steel and see if it floats, no it doesnt, but put four more plates pependicularly around it sealed and you have a boat, if a basement is sealed it will float.




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