Restrained vs Cantilevered Basement Walls

Simon,

Tie-back earth anchors along with replacing the backfill with better soil and providing positive drainage is probably the cheapest solution.

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I agree Randy, about all that can be done and should of been done when it was built. So now, they can try again. :wink:

Thanks Randy!

Here is the graphic modified to show how the footings on the retaining wall sections would look like if the basement wall was designed prior to construction.

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This was an excellent topic and explanations not to mention graphics, thanks Randy!

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Very nice Randy and that depicts exactly what it should of been to begin with. Retaining wall design footing. Eliminate the overturn.
Now assuming that all our speculations are correct, that overturn that caused the floor crack should of cracked the wall at the step downs on the exterior and fine hair line crack on the interior to reinforce what we are all agreeing to so far. :grinning:

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One of the overall lesson on this topic is stepping down the foundation to minimize exposed concrete may cost you more if done improperly and could cost more if done correctly after adding in the addition design costs. With proper backfill and exterior grading step down foundation walls can be done without too much expense. Other options such as concrete stamping, applying stucco or adhered brick can be used to cover the exposed wall, if needed.
Note: I am not a fan of embedding lumber into the foundation walls for nailers. The lumber displaces the concrete needed to provide proper covering for the reinforcing steel.

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I, too, see a lot of step down foundations. Our structural issues around here are usually associated with our expansive clays, but this is an eye-opener for me. How much out-of-plumb was the rotated wall section? And what kind of gaps did you see in the corners?

Excellent posts and graphics!