We made DIY repairs to the broken up foundation footer all around our small fixer upper with the help of our framing contractors.
CONCRETE FOUNDATION FOOTER
Now it was time to tackle the concrete around the foundation of the house. We would work on DIY repairs to the broken up foundation footer next.
We hired some guys to come dig. They dug around the outside of the house and peeled off the bottom layer so that we could expose the foundation. Then we could go through and repair the foundation footer.
Most older homes in Texas were built with a pier and beam structure and since the soil here is clay and expands and contracts so much, concrete can often shift and crack. So pier and beam is usually an effective foundation style because it’s easier to repair.
CONTRACTORS HELPING WITH FOUNDATION FOOTER REPAIRS
Our contractor busted up the foundation footer around the perimeter of the house so we could repair it. As he took a hammer to it he shouts out, “This is the most solid piece of concrete on the house!” We really had to laugh that one off. I guess it was a funny reminder of how far we still have to go with the renovations on this small fixer upper!
Nate even tried to help and offered his sledge hammer to our contractor to tackle the job more easily.
The framing contractors were obviously hired to rebuild and work on the framing of the house for us. However, they ended up also helping us with the concrete foundation all around the house by repairing it. They worked on a lot more projects than we had originally anticipated! They were instrumental in helping us with DIY repairs to the broken up foundation footer all around our tiny fixer upper.
One of the contractors put concrete bonding adhesive on the concrete foundation footer around the house. Nate thought it was like a primer or something. But, the contractor said it was like Elmer’s glue for concrete. Now that’s a great analogy that I can understand with my limited construction knowledge!
Along with the pier and beam, our home also has what is called a footer. This is basically a concrete frame that goes around the exterior of the house for extra support. That is what we worked on repairing with the contractors.
BROKEN UP FOUNDATION FOOTER REPAIRS
The concrete footer was in pretty bad shape and appeared to have eroded and weathered throughout the years. It was in desperate need of repairs as chunks of it were literally missing and all broken up. It’s always nice to have a good solid foundation around your house. I’m going to say that I at least know that much despite my lack of renovation and construction experience!
He is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently against that house, and could not shake it, for it was founded on the rock.
Nate dug down around the perimeter of where the concrete foundation footer would be repaired at the back of the house. He tried to pack it as tight as he could at the bottom and put some rebar in there and also slathered on some of that concrete bonding adhesive (aka Elmer’s glue for concrete) – what he called bonder! Then he placed a wood board against it to hold the concrete in when it was poured. It kind of reminded me of like a mold.
The contractors were hard at work and filled in concrete all around the perimeter of the house and leveled it off. We were so thankful for their work on this to help us out. Especially since we initially hired them to work on the framing and now they were helping us with additional foundation work. We were on a major time crunch and these guys really pulled through for us!
After the concrete dried inside the wooden board “molds” it was time to remove them. The next step was to skim the concrete. Areas where there were any air pockets or places where the concrete did not seep through would also receive a fresh coat of concrete.
Now that all the concrete was poured, Nate went through the inside of the house to clean and remove any extra concrete.
EXCAVATION AROUND THE FOUNDATION FOOTER
Nate digs down in the office to where the concrete foundation footer ends around the whole house. He dug and pulled back the dirt and would go through to level everything out later and he definitely had a huge mess to deal with!
He continued to dig around the perimeter of the back side of the house from the inside to set up the wooden frames to get it ready to pour more concrete.
Oh, and if you’ve been following our prior blogs, you may remember all the critters we’ve found in and around our house during renovations – like a toad, gecko, termites, cockroaches, and possibly other animals or insects. This time Nate found what appeared to be a hammerhead flatworm while he was digging! Gross!
At the time of this walkthrough, it was about three months since we owned our home and were into renovations for that long. We checked out the progress we’ve made so far.
I tried to walk in the house, but had to walk on the skinny side of the foundation frame! It was like walking on a balance beam since we didn’t have subfloors again!
Nate showed me all the concrete on the ground on the inside of the house that he would need to clean up next. It spilled over when the contractors were trying to fill the gap around the foundation. Just extra concrete that needed to be removed from the dirt foundation.
I also saw the footprint of one of the contractors in the concrete they poured in the foundation. That was cool and inspired me to think that we needed to put our initials or something in new concrete that we poured again for our renovations.
FOUNDATION FOOTER STATUS
Nate turned my attention to the back of the house and where the new concrete was poured from the outside. He showed me how the solid block of concrete from the inside to the outside was now all around our house. Before that, there was no footer, just a pier from the pier and beam foundation. Like concrete bricks holding up the foundation. So now we had a foundation footer. I compared it to a rectangle mold!
With the help of the contractors, Nate was able to repair the footer around the foundation of our house. Very cool! Total DIY project though.
CHECK OUT OUR VIDEOS
Thanks for joining us on this journey! We hope that you will find inspiration watching us learn as we go while we’re attempting to renovate and rebuild this old small historic home mostly on our own. Stay tuned for more progress updates ahead!
You can also watch a video about this here.
To see more adventures of our tiny fixer upper journey, click on the links below.