View Full Version : Adding second story, foundation concerns

04-30-2008, 12:56 PM
Hey all..
I am planning on adding a second floor to my single story ranch this summer. I have completed the application process for a building permit with my town... the only missing link right now is that the building inspector said that he wants "someone" to OK my existing foundation and say it will take a second story on it.

My current foundation has an 18 inch wide by 8 inch deep footer, with 8 inch blocks on top of the footer. The depth to the bottom of the footer is about 34 inches below grade. I am located in New Hampshire and our current code calls for min. 4 foot depth with concerns to the frost line. Thats all fine and dandy, but our house has been here for 31 years and has not sank or heaved. Yes, we are adding a good bit of weight up there, but really, it doesnt seem too bad when you figure how much more pressure will be reacted on the footing.

So my questions to everyone are these:

1. In your opinion, what do you think about this foundation?

2. Who can I talk to about saying, "yeah its OK, let me put my stamp here"

3. Anyone out there have a stamp to say its OK!!?

Any suggestions or comments are much appreciated.. Thanks.

04-30-2008, 08:14 PM
Not knowing your soil type makes this a little more difficult, the frost line code being at 48" and your footing only being down 34" is likely to be a sticking point with any inspector but you may well find that he/she will allow this to be grandfathered in.
At 18" and 8" deep the footer should be able to support a second level, again soil type is very important.

I doubt you will ever find someone with an "OK" stamp that they will loan you sight unseen.....(if you do....let me know....lol).

An engineer will most definitely be able to evaluate your conditions and give you a nice little stamp on your plans when he/she has approved them. Once the engineer signs and stamps the plans no matter what the city inspector says the engineer will be right, cause he/she has liability insurance that says his right....lol.

You are going to need plans drawn, my suggestion would be to get them drawn and then submit them to an engineer for approval, most architects have an engineer that they often work with and I'd expect you will have to pay around $250 for the plan evaluation.

05-03-2008, 06:04 PM
As pushkin said, you need an engineer. It sounds like you have submitted plans for your permit. Out here ( CA ) what they want is a state licensed professional engineer ( PE ) to certify the load calculations on the foundation. He would also need to certify the shear loads on the walls. I realize you dont have earthquake specs to deal with , but wind loading also effects shear walls. Shear is a huge deal on plans here, but I would think that you will also need to have that one signed off.