Foundation Stabilization and Repair/Cottage Foundation Missing in areas

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Question
Ed - Thanks in advance for your help on this!  I have a two-story cottage that was built in the 1930's.  It was originally a one-story the used to sit on concrete piers, and a lower lever was dug out later, with poured concrete exterior walls.  I believe the majority of the load still rests on the piers.  The soil is clay in areas, sand / silt in others (it sits approx 200 feet uphill from a river).  I have no cracks in any piers or foundation walls, and there does not seem to be any settling / shifting issues.

In an effort to give myself more headroom in the lower level, I recently started digging out the dirt floor, and found that the poured concrete walls in the corners end approx 2 feet higher than the concrete piers do.  

As it seems the load is still supported by the concrete piers, do you feel this is a major issue?  If a professional is not needed, how can I best go about giving these areas of wall extra support?  I'm wondering if a combination of cinder block, rebar, and concrete would do the trick.

Thanks again!

Answer
Hello Rob
I'm sorry that I cannot offer any plans or technical advice on the situation you have described, without thoroughly examining the structure myself.
The poured concrete walls you have mentioned, should be set upon engineered footings and any excavation close to those footings could compromise the structural integrity of the foundation walls regardless of the percentage of focused live load.
I can only recommend contacting a licensed structural engineer and having some plans prepared for proper procedure and retention of the concrete walls. That is the best way to protect your investment without risk of code violation or similar liability.
I wish you the best!
Respectfully          Ed Eckley

Foundation Stabilization and Repair

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Ed Eckley

Expertise

I will be happy to answer any questions regarding foundation problems of any type. Questions pertaining to construction methods, Problematic soils, Settling & Movement, Frame torsion & racking, Preventative measures, Repair methods of all types.

Experience

Over 18 years in the industry. A.S.M.E. Certified,(American Society of Mechanical Engineering). Hydraulics Design Expert. 18 years of hands on soil manipulation. Over 500 homes repaired, and over 20 commercial buildings repaired. Extensive soil knowledge. Familiar with most types of repair methods and the expected results of each.

Publications
Ezine.com Article Title: Foundation Problems Do's & Don'ts custombuildingsupport.com: Foundation Repair Methods

Education/Credentials
High School Graduate 1976 Trade School Graduate 1976 College Graduate 1978

Awards and Honors
Certificates of achievment: Excel Industries Letters of appreciation: City of Golden Awards & Plaques: Jacobsen Turf Division

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Available on request

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