Adding Under on a Hillside, Images 1-10

Dealing with some of the typical challenges that crop up on hillside remodels

The finished hillside remodel

Perched on a hillside with a fantastic view, the former hunting camp was in a prime location. But structural details like the original post foundation, dating back to the mid-1930s, fell far short of California's modern code requirements for seismic engineering.

The view from the driveway, where the new garage foundation is being laid out.

Rendering of remodel

The author's crew reinforced the existing underframed floor system with full-span LVLs.

Reinforcing the existing floor system

This allowed the cribbing and shoring contractor to support the entire house frame with several long steel I-beams, so that excavation under the house could proceed — a combination of mini-excavator work and hand-digging.

A worker uses a rotary hammer with a spade bit to cut through the hard, gravelly soil.

Rotary hammer with spade bit

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