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Old 06-14-2009, 05:19 PM
207 posts, read 456,453 times
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Can stone foundation be a lot of upkeep?Does it hold up for many years?Would you buy a house with stone foundation?
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Old 06-14-2009, 06:07 PM
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Default What do you really mean by stone block foundation???????????

Stone block foundation covers a ton of territory.

Are you talking cut stone block, laid up like big brick or are you talking rubble stone foundation???? Rubble stone, the stones are as taken from the fields, quarry or whatever source and fitted up best possible with lil shaping or attempt to control exact individual placement by prior design.

Also the type stone, makes a huge difference. Poor grade sandstone is not equal to high grade granite? The details matter so, so much.

A lot depends on the footings, type of prep, design, craftsmanship. The mortar matters a lot. The old quicklime mortars were superior, especially if done in the dazes before modern cement products. They typically were produced local by folks who knew exactly why they were doing a certain thing.

My last house was sitting on the edge of the quarry where they got the granite grade stone to build it with old quick lime mortar in a rubble design. Would love to have that again. Zero maintenace, about the only thing that would affect it might be a large nuclear weapon. That one BTW was also build in 1920. They don't make them like that any more.

In general old stone foundations require pretty much zero maintenance if they were properly done during construction. Way too many examples where they will outlast anything else around. High quality stone degrades very slowly if at all in foundations.

All that said there are also examples of crap stone construction. In my part of Ohio, the stone quality is poor. You will find houses and barns with rubble stone foundations, many of them are very, very suspect. There are cut stone foundations but the stone is probably an import from WV, if good quality. A lot depends on the details and how you find them. It will vary greatly, region to region, lot depends on what was available.
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Old 06-14-2009, 08:05 PM
Location: Grosse Ile Michigan and Sometimes Orange County CA
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I looked at a house built in 1780 somkething. It had a fieldstone foundation. They had regrouted poportions of it, but not rebuilt it. It was fine, but it leaked a little. The basement was not very deep. I had to duck to walk in it.

I would always have a structural engineer look at it.
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Old 06-14-2009, 08:33 PM
207 posts, read 456,453 times
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Default 1920 stone foundation

The stone is cut granite laid like brick.The basement is very nice with almost 7.5 or 8 foot headroom.
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Old 06-14-2009, 09:38 PM
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Default What is not to like.......

If all else is proper, then go for it. Kind of rare to find old houses with tons of headroom in the basement.

The one thing to look very closely at is the basement floor if concrete. Lot of times it is a very thin mortar type tamped dry mix over maybe a fine gravel or sand. Very inferior type paving. Lots of the houses the original floor was dirt and it got paved with something later. Even will find rock / stone paving with maybe a mortar coat over top of that. Lot depended on how rich the dude was at the time.

Lots of times you wind up repouring a modern concrete floor.
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Old 06-15-2009, 07:35 AM
Location: Amelia View
3,196 posts, read 8,216,383 times
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Our first house, also built in the 20s, had a fieldstone foundation. Zero maintenance, zero leakage except for the area that was a coal chute and was filled in during the 1950s or so. It was visually obvious to us amateurs that the foundation was still as good in the 1980s as it was when it was built - no discoloration due to water seepage, mortar not flaking nor missing nor signs of repair. The cement slab floor was solid as a rock and where it met the foundation walls, it was sloped up about 2" and firmly adhered to the fieldstone. Visual inspection of the outside above grade level showed all the same kinds of great condition.
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Old 06-16-2009, 09:34 AM
207 posts, read 456,453 times
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Default 1920 stone foundation

Thanks for all the information.It is helping very much in making my decision.Please keep it coming.I had not thought about the floor.I will ask and post it here.
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