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miecz (Structural) (OP)
14 Feb 06 15:25
I've recently moved into a new home with a full basement.  Trouble is, there is no access to the basement from outside the house.  I'm considering the possibility of cutting the existing foundation wall for a 3 feet width, but I worry about settlement.  Anyone have any experience with this?
DaveAtkins (Structural)
14 Feb 06 16:36
Are you in an area where frost is an issue?  If so, you will be exposing the basement wall footing to frost (probably not a good idea).

If you decide to proceed, make sure you leave enough wall above the opening (it will be an unreinforced beam) to support the loads from the floor(s) and roof above, or put in a lintel.


Helpful Member!  Cosimo (Civil/Environmental)
14 Feb 06 16:49
I had a pre-cast entryway installed a few years back into an existing block foundation.  Yes, a lintel is required.  A local pre-caster installed the concrete steps from a small truck mounted crane.  They also installed the Bilco door.  Very clean installation. You have to make sure you backfill the underside of the unit properly and seal the joints, preferably with a membrane type, flexible waterproofing material.   
dicksewerrat (Civil/Environmental)
14 Feb 06 20:34
My question would be" why do you need outside access?"

Richard A. Cornelius, P.E.

DRC1 (Civil/Environmental)
14 Feb 06 22:37
My house has  an outside acess similar to what Cosimo described.I can bring stuff in & out of the basement w/o tracking thru the house. I put an addition on with a full basement and cut my foundation wall to access it. I shored the floor joists and had a conncrete cutting contractor cut the wall. He cut outside in and used lots of tarps top control the slury spray. Once the opening was cuut Iframed it with three peices of steel tube (2 vert& one a lintel). Then I pulled the shoring. Worked great.
miecz (Structural) (OP)
15 Feb 06 10:32
Thanks to all for the ideas.  Sounds like no one had the existing foundation settle.  We do have frost concerns, but the bottom of the footing is down 6 feet from grade on the outside and exposed to the basement ambient condition on the inside(55F).

I had thought about the lintel, but not a precast section(duh).  For the seal, I was thinking RX Waterstop, but I like the flexible membrane idea.  We've used such a product for wastewater treatment projects.

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