This project started for the clients with a burst pipe in the middle of winter. When they opened up the exterior basement walls—which had been framed and drywalled—to find the leak, they also found a crumbling foundation. Continued investigation revealed that the foundation was failing in two locations. A structural engineer devised repair strategies, and our company, Great Lakes Builders, was hired to do the repair work.

The most deteriorated section of the foundation demanded a remove-and-replace approach. When the original foundation had begun to fail, layers of parging had been applied. Those layers had since separated and the entire foundation on one corner of the house was in imminent danger of collapse.

Our plan was to replace the crumbling foundation, but first we had to stabilize the building above. To do this, we attached horizontal LVLs to the exterior wall framing, basically creating temporary headers on adjacent sides of the corner. After installing the LVLs, we made holes in the sheathing for needle beams. Outside, we supported the beams with cribbing, while interior beam support consisted of four screw jacks linked together. Once the structure was reinforced and supported, we could tackle the foundation.

Photos by Jake Lewandowski