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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    3

    Default How were basements constructed in 1880?

    My wife and I bought and moved into a house that was built around 1880. It is a brick home with a brick foundation and it is a deep basement (full 8' from floor to ceiling) that is completely (but poorly) finished. We've starting looking into how to correct the minor sagging in the main floor, which led us to trying to find the supporting beams/walls in the basement. We've "zeroed in" on an area that we think needs a floor jack or two but don't know if that will help as the bottom plates of the framed walls in the basement appear to have only been sitting on dirt and have rotted/disinegrated. Didn't they pour concrete floors and concrete footings to support homes at this time? Most areas of the basement even have hardwood floors. Is it probable that there is a concrete floor underneath or could it be only subflooring on top of dirt? We love the house, despite that fact that it may be a total money pit...

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: How were basements constructed in 1880?

    ...if I can figure out how to post a picture of the house I will add it later...

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Houston Texas
    Posts
    2,360

    Default Re: How were basements constructed in 1880?

    Where is your home? I have seen dirt under wood floors before, last one was in Chicago.

    Floor jacks can help but you need a good base to take the load under the jack, possibly digging through the floor ti drill a pier.

    Sistering the joists may be better. But I can't say from here.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: How were basements constructed in 1880?

    We live in South Dakota. Did they use concrete footings and pour concrete floors normally during this time?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Houston Texas
    Posts
    2,360

    Default Re: How were basements constructed in 1880?

    I can't say for your region. The local historical society may know. Or head to the barber shop when the old timers are setting around sharing stories.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Fayette County, Ohio
    Posts
    5,557

    Default Re: How were basements constructed in 1880?

    Most I have seen from that period had rubble bases rather than concrete footings. Dirt floor were common except in very large homes that had laundry rooms or kitchens in the basement.

    You can E-mail pictures to me jackson_l_mcdaniel@yahoo.com include TOH PICS in the subject line and include your TOH username or a link to this thread and I will post them for you.

    Jack
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

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