To engineer or not to engineer?

Had to stare at his foundation for a while. Inside a dug out crawlspace, footings completly exposed on entire foundation, first layer cinder block, second layer brick, third layer masonary block all with 2 inch mortar joints of course. To top it off not one bolt securing sill plate to foundation. Anyone ever see this before?

I think i’m suggesting a engineer on this one…






Are the cinder block sitting on dirt?

No, its on a concrete footing, but completly exposed on inside on all 4 wall. No undermining or displacement noted. Just looks like it should be bolstered.


I am assuming from your description your did not find any significant cracks in the foundation blocks. If there are no signs of movement and if the soil is that dry 365 days a year then it may not be a big deal as far as the footing supporting the load. BUT that is only one function of the foundation, anchoring the house to resist sliding and uplift from wind is another function which can only be accomplished if the house is bolted down. So if the wind doesn’t blow and it doesn’t rain he should be fine… Just kidding, I could not in all honesty help you much without being there and knowing your soil characteristics. I would say as a minimum an engineer would require some type of anchoring to the foundation.


Thanks for the reply. Are their systems you can use to anchor post construction. Like a strap?


I would start by calling an engineer form Simpson Strongtie to see if the had a standard bracket that could be used. Otherwise I would look at anchoring a galvanized steel strap to the joist and bolting the other end to the concrete footing every 6 foot similar to the standard anchor bolt spacing. I would not suggest anchoring to the block/brick wall.

Thanks for the advise.

The pictures are poor however did you also note the thickness of the mortar joints, was the girder sitting on masonry, and what as the size and spacing of the girder?

Was picture 3 that of a sill plate with metal duct work passing through a cut joist?

Not all homes are secured to the foundation wall… or required…with that said I do note same in the body of my report (no Summary Page depending on year home was built) and give further information about same including considering consulting with an expert in that discipline.


Unless you’re in CA.

Simpson (among others) makes plates specifically for securing an originally unbolted foundation.


Another example. From today’s morning appointment…