Stone foundation, what is this!?
Post new topic   Reply to topic
Historic HomeWorks Forum Forum Index -> All Other  
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
ChrisJ



Joined: 17 Jul 2012
Posts: 13

PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2012 4:52 pm    Post subject: Stone foundation, what is this!? Reply with quote

Most of my home has a field stone foundation. 99% of it is in good shape and coated in thick mortar.

I have a small basement and 5 crawl spaces as I guess a few additions were done over time. There is one crawl space that I cannot get into, it has a small area which was broken through on each side to run some plumbing across but not enough to even see in to the area.

On the outside of the house there is a bulge in the wall which has been a pretty hot topic among family as I live in a family of carpenters although I am not one. I've heard people who think there was a blowout at one time, others think the wall was simply built this shape. I don't know what to think but its killing me as I cannot figure it out. The basement foundation is very straight and was parged to look like block.

Whats really strange is, even though this is separate from the basement and is surrounded by 2 foot thick stone walls, it appears to be as deep as the basement from a picture I was able to take by holding a camera over the edge.

A little more backround on the foundation, the last addition done to the house I believe around 1914 based on Sanborn maps appears to have concrete block piers, definitely NOT cinder block. The picture below is where my oil tank was stored until we removed it and there is a wood framed wall which bridges this gap. The bulge is even caped with some of the aluminum siding to keep water out of it. We feel the aluminum siding is from the 1960s so this happened quite a while ago.

No noticeable sags or anything in the house and the 40+ year old aluminum siding is straight as can be.

This crawl space which is as deep as the basement, MAY have been part of the original house as this section appears to be there on an 1874 map while the others do not.

What do you think the bulge is? Mistake in the foundation and built that way originally? Added later on? A blowout and repair? Why is this small area as deep as the basement while the other 4 crawl spaces are not below ground level?

Welcome all opinions.



C.jpg
 Description:
 Filesize:  479.65 KB
 Viewed:  92 Time(s)

C.jpg



_________________
Boiler pictures.

https://picasaweb.google.com/thetube0a3/Boiler?authkey=Gv1sRgCImUxIqv9436MQ#
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
SashGuy



Joined: 10 Sep 2010
Posts: 147
Location: Houston

PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2012 6:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I pulled up the previous post with the picture of your home... no chimney visible. Is this possibly where the chimney was removed and capped over?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
ChrisJ



Joined: 17 Jul 2012
Posts: 13

PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2012 7:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SashGuy wrote:
I pulled up the previous post with the picture of your home... no chimney visible. Is this possibly where the chimney was removed and capped over?



Chimney was near the center of the house exiting through the ridge. I had to have it torn down last fall as it only had a 4x6" opening and was way too small to be lined when I installed my new steam boiler.


Good guess though, that would have left a gap like that!

_________________
Boiler pictures.

https://picasaweb.google.com/thetube0a3/Boiler?authkey=Gv1sRgCImUxIqv9436MQ#
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
ChrisJ



Joined: 17 Jul 2012
Posts: 13

PostPosted: Fri Aug 10, 2012 6:02 pm    Post subject: More pictures Reply with quote

Here are some pictures I was able to take today. Now that the oil tank is gone I can get in to see whats inside of this closed off area.

Now I'm really confused as its as deep as the basement, completely enclosed and has what appear to be perfectly smooth parged walls while NONE of the rest of the foundation looks like this. It also looks like it may have a stone\cement roof \ ceiling as well.

What are the chances, being this is under the kitchen that it was originally used as an icehouse? I need to get a picture of the ceiling of it to see if there is an opening. But even if it was an icehouse, why the perfectly smooth parged walls?



bulge3.jpg
 Description:
 Filesize:  595.86 KB
 Viewed:  90 Time(s)

bulge3.jpg



bulge2.jpg
 Description:
 Filesize:  619.68 KB
 Viewed:  86 Time(s)

bulge2.jpg



bulge1.jpg
 Description:
 Filesize:  829.43 KB
 Viewed:  89 Time(s)

bulge1.jpg



_________________
Boiler pictures.

https://picasaweb.google.com/thetube0a3/Boiler?authkey=Gv1sRgCImUxIqv9436MQ#
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
johnleeke
Site Admin


Joined: 20 Aug 2004
Posts: 2924
Location: Portland, Maine, USA

PostPosted: Sat Aug 11, 2012 9:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is undoubtedly a cistern for holding water. Nearness to the kitchen would make the water handy to where most of the water was used. It probably bowed out past the wall of the house to give easy access to the cistern from the outdoors, possibly for downspouts from a roof gutter water collection system above, or possibly for dipping water out by bucket of the gap from the bow if the gap is big enough, although the practice of dipping water out of a cistern by bucket was known at the time to be more likely to contaminate the stored water.

Look for evidence in the wall above the gap for nail and screw holes, or paint shadows of a wooden cover for the gap, or remnants of downspout brackets, piping in and out of the cistern (holes in the floor above), etc, etc.

_________________
John

by hammer and hand great works do stand
by pen and thought best words are wrought
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
ChrisJ



Joined: 17 Jul 2012
Posts: 13

PostPosted: Sat Aug 11, 2012 10:48 pm    Post subject: Ah! Reply with quote

Thanks John!

Somehow I doubt it would hold water these days without some repair. I have to wonder, why the stone\mortar ceiling? Maybe to keep dirt from falling through the floor, or moisture condensing on the wood?

_________________
Boiler pictures.

https://picasaweb.google.com/thetube0a3/Boiler?authkey=Gv1sRgCImUxIqv9436MQ#
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Historic HomeWorks Forum Forum Index -> All Other  
Post new topic   Reply to topic All times are GMT - 5 Hours
Page 1 of 1

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
You cannot attach files in this forum
You can download files in this forum