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Old 03-16-2009, 07:35 AM   #1
Happy Gourmand
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Default House lift

I'm considering having my summer home in Meredith lifted to have a foundation and cellar added underneath it. I checked with a couple of contractors last year and got a couple of ridiculous ( in my opinion ) estimates. I could have it torn down and a new place built for what one fellow was asking.
Anyways, a friend told me that he knew somebody who used Seth O'Donnell to do some similar work...actually, he MOVED a house for him and set it on a new foundation.
I called him and his pricing was the most reasonable and very tempting.
Does anybody have any experience with this contractor?
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Old 03-16-2009, 08:39 AM   #2
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The contractor that would recommend is Geddes Building Movers, Richard is top notch and for good reason. His number 603-715-5623. His crew is great and he can deal with some difficult situations. Richard's setup is all hydrolic and lifts the entire house at once which will make your life so much easier when it comes to putting it back together. If you have a difficult site that will not scare him off. He lifted a house over here on Lake Sunapee 25 feet in the air and then slid it out over the lake to allow for access with an excavator. The house was perched 40ft above the water and it looked like it would fall in at any moment, but it was more than secure.

What you are looking to do is expensive, the last house we did cost $35,000 just to slide forward and slide back onto a new foundation. You pay alot of money because this is a house and image what would happen if you have someone that does not know what the are doing.

I would definately make sure that you are working with someone that has been doing this for a long time and has the latest technology. This is your house and having replace the structure afterward because it was compromised during the lift will cost you twice as much in the end.
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Old 03-16-2009, 10:46 AM   #3
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I used Granite State Movers when I lifted mine. They were on time, responded to any concerns I had, and came in at the exact price they quoted, no extras. Maybe they were one of your high price quotes?
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Old 03-16-2009, 03:48 PM   #4
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Do not forget that there is at least 4 different operations (raising, excavating, forming and pouring concrete then lowering back down and thats all if it doesn't get moved off the site) to do what you want to do and some contractors with limited room have to dig under the house that has been raised making it harder as there is very little room to move around to do that type of work. All this adds $$$$ to the job.
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Old 03-16-2009, 04:13 PM   #5
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Default House lift

It seems like the contractors that gave me estimates last year mostly subbed out the work. The gentleman who gave the current quote does it all himself. I know that could make a huge difference.
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Old 03-16-2009, 06:26 PM   #6
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There is no one better than Stanley Grayton from Ashland (3G Construction)....his grandfather used to move 200' covered bridges to new locations and Stanley is his equal. Raised a building for me and came in UNDER the agreed price by 8K.......straight shooter and worth getting a price.
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Old 03-17-2009, 02:21 PM   #7
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There is no one better than Stanley Grayton from Ashland (3G Construction)....his grandfather used to move 200' covered bridges to new locations and Stanley is his equal. Raised a building for me and came in UNDER the agreed price by 8K.......straight shooter and worth getting a price.
Would he consider lifting a house straight up a few feet so as to install new support pillars (a moderately steep slope at site)?
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Old 03-19-2009, 05:46 AM   #8
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I'm sure he would. He loves to tackle tough jobs. Sometimes, though, he is busy on projects out of the area but you might catch him at a good time.
Another person to try is Harry Bean in Gilford. Harry and his son did a job for me once and they are very much like Grayton. Fairly priced and they do very good work. You probably have a better chance with them because they stay mostly local.
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Old 03-19-2009, 10:50 AM   #9
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If something goes wrong and the home is dropped or some way ruined (say beyond repair) who covers this? Is it your insurance? Is there any payment enough to replace (build) a new one?
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Old 03-19-2009, 12:38 PM   #10
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If something goes wrong and the home is dropped or some way ruined (say beyond repair) who covers this? Is it your insurance? Is there any payment enough to replace (build) a new one?
The contractor is required to carry liability insurance to cover this sort of thing. Make sure they have it in all cases. This is true for any renovation project. Make sure if you are adding value to the home that you carry a ryder that will pick up the different to cover the cost of the added construction while it is progress, because the contractor will still collect on his materials and labor even is your house is destroyed by something that was not caused by the contractor. We require our customers to provide this proof as do we present our proof of coverage. Best of luck with this project and take lots of photos of the interior and exterior before and after the lift, take pictures of every square inch of wall and ceiling surface. The lift contractor will not be responsible for fixing any cracks (which you will have) but they will be responsible for major structural issues that could cause a life safety issue.
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Old 08-28-2009, 05:59 PM   #11
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Default Seth O'Donnell

Did you ever hire Seth. We did and it has been a nightmare. shoddy work and thousands in damage.
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Old 08-28-2009, 07:41 PM   #12
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Default Geddes Building Mover has my vote

He does the work himself...
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Old 08-29-2009, 12:14 AM   #13
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Geddes did my house about 20 years ago, no problems with it. It was an experience living in it while it was 12 feet up on cribing, carrying groceries up the ladder, etc. Don't suppose with all the building laws will let you do it any more tho.
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Old 08-29-2009, 01:02 PM   #14
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Probably 10 to 15 years ago Geddes moved a camp from Paugus Park at he end of Paugus Bay to Harglen Lane on the shore of Pickerel Cove. The move was done in the dead of winter. My wife, while driving down Hilliard Road, remarked that it was quite a sight to see the camp being brought up the bay over the ice. It came ashore on the beach opposite Bobby's Way, went up and over the rail road tracks, and then was brought down Harglen Lane to be placed onto a poured poured foundation. As stated by Island Girl, Geddes was there the entire time and did the work himself along side his crew. It is my understanding that the owner, not me, was very pleased with the entire effort.
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Old 01-22-2010, 08:15 AM   #15
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Default Shifting Gears....

After a lot of thought and consideration, we have decided to not lift the house. It's funny how some of the local contractors work in the Lakes Region.....we reached final negotiations....worked out pricing and details etc. I asked for a final contract, told him we are ready to pull the trigger, and then never heard from the contractor again, even after several calls. Just imagine having the house in the air and a "missing" contractor....I wasn't willing to chance it.
Anyways, what I am now looking for is somebody who can seal my crawlspace to fix a moisture issue. There is a foundation in place...more of a kneewall I guess, and the crawl space slopes from the front of the house to the back. I can stand in a crouched position at the lower part of the slope and crawl on hands and knees at the front of the space. Nowhere is a belly crawl needed.
I was thinking of hiring somebody to put down a plastic barrier and then a coat of concrete to help eliminate the moisture problem. The new concrete floor would have to be "stepped" because of the slope.
Does anybody have a recommendation for a contractor who might be interested in helping us out?
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Old 01-22-2010, 09:08 AM   #16
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Cannot think of anyone to do your crawlspace work, but here's a quick question. Does it have a drain-away setup to keep water away from the crawlspace?

My place is somewhat similar with a crawl space, a dirt sub-floor, and enclosed side walls. So's what I did about 12-years ago was to install a drain-away by digging a small ditch around the cottage using gardening tools.

Basically, it's a 6" deep ditch dug with an edger and a mattock hoe, 4" pvc pipe w/ lots of 1/2" holes drilled into the upper half of the pipe, and small gravel pored into the ditch around the pipe. The ditch is about 6" wide and has the gravel up to surface level.

It's not 100% water tight, but it seems to help a lot to keep the crawl space dry. April snow meltdown is about the only time when some moisture gets past the drain-away and into the crawl space, so's opening the side doors lets air into the space to dry it out.

A happy face, do-it-yourself project, good to keep you busy for a couple of those too-rainy June weekends! ..
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Old 01-22-2010, 04:00 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Phantom Gourmand View Post
After a lot of thought and consideration, we have decided to not lift the house. It's funny how some of the local contractors work in the Lakes Region.....we reached final negotiations....worked out pricing and details etc. I asked for a final contract, told him we are ready to pull the trigger, and then never heard from the contractor again, even after several calls. Just imagine having the house in the air and a "missing" contractor....I wasn't willing to chance it.
Anyways, what I am now looking for is somebody who can seal my crawlspace to fix a moisture issue. There is a foundation in place...more of a kneewall I guess, and the crawl space slopes from the front of the house to the back. I can stand in a crouched position at the lower part of the slope and crawl on hands and knees at the front of the space. Nowhere is a belly crawl needed.
I was thinking of hiring somebody to put down a plastic barrier and then a coat of concrete to help eliminate the moisture problem. The new concrete floor would have to be "stepped" because of the slope.
Does anybody have a recommendation for a contractor who might be interested in helping us out?
Phantom, keep the new concrete out of the mix, it is not needed if all you are looking to do is remove some moisture. A rat slab will only be a benifit if you would like to use the space for storage. You will make the issue worse unless you do a few extra things to the space to get the moisture out. Concrete is equivelent to a sponge, it absorbs, holds and releases moisture all the time, it will create humidity as well and that is the real issue with standing water or moisture inside a home. Vapor will penetrate almost everything, water will not. Instead of spending money on the concrete, put it toward a heavy duty dehumidifier appox $2,800.00 (not the kind you buy at HD or Lowes) and a few other measures listed below.

This project is going to require three processes:
First deal with any mold or standing moisture within the space. Mold remediation can be handled by yourself if need be, but it is a good idea to have someone use a thermal imaging camera on the framing, that will show you any mold that might be within the wood framing. There are a few folks that will do this service as a stand alone service. While you are at it have them scan the rest of the house to see if you have insulation issues that you could address down the road, it will not cost you extra and while you have them there, you might as well.

Second, hang a commercial dehumidifier from the floor framing above (so it is not touching the ground) and have it drained into a sealed and vented drain line. Outside of the space for obviouse reasons. This unit can be supplied and installed by any HVAC contractor that you trust and does good work. You could also do this yourself, most supply houses like Granite Group will help you size the system for the space, you will just need the total volume of the area and what level of humidity you desire, 50-55% is sufficient.

Third, install your vapor barrier over the dirt floor in one continuous sheet (no seams) be sure to use an expanding (one that moves and does not become hard) oil based sealant at the concrete to vapor connections, Geocell is a great product for this (not a lot of fun to work with, makes a big mess and you will be covered in adhesive strings by the time it is complete). Apply a liberal bead around the foundation about 1-3" above grade and press the vapor barrier into it as you go. Also forgot to mention, cut and fit the VB before you start glueing. Make sure it is tight but not taught, it sould resemble the base of a childs inflatable swimming pool when complete, relaxed without big folds.

Do not be afraid to tackle this project yourself, if you do not have mold then you are in great shape, if you do then there are some things that you can do depending on how bad and what type you have.

I at one point was certified in Black Mold Abatement in my property management days, but I believe that cert. has elapsed, anyway send me a PM if you have this issue and I can tell you how to handle the treating of this.

Hire a HVAC to install the dehumid in the space and then install the vapor barrier yourself. The last crawlspace that we did this to cost $14,000.00. That was for a 1200 SF crawl space approx. 5 FT high, included removal of standing water, mold abatement, a small amount of structural repair, removal and installation of new insulation in the floor system, installation of the dehumidification system and sealing the floor with vapor barrier. This was probably more extreme than what you are thinking, but there really was not a lot of mold or mold damage in this basement, but the entire underside of the structure was exposed to this for about 10 years, building age. The standing water was less than a 1/4" in spots, on top of a poorly installed barrier that someone that was a good job at one point, no sealing around the perimeter and full of holes. This crawl space had absolutely no access prior to the installation of an access point by us, so the damage was from installation.

What is mentioned above will only repair your issue as long as your crawlspace is fully wrapped by a concrete foundation and has no openings or walk out or wood framed walls to the exterior, if that is the case, send me a PM and I will describe the different things you can do to repair your situation. If you plan on using the space for storage, you will have to pour concrete over the top as anything setting on the vapor barrier may penetrate the barrier, thus rendering the system usless.

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Old 01-22-2010, 04:15 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Phantom Gourmand View Post
After a lot of thought and consideration, we have decided to not lift the house. It's funny how some of the local contractors work in the Lakes Region.....we reached final negotiations....worked out pricing and details etc. I asked for a final contract, told him we are ready to pull the trigger, and then never heard from the contractor again, even after several calls. Just imagine having the house in the air and a "missing" contractor....I wasn't willing to chance it.
Anyways, what I am now looking for is somebody who can seal my crawlspace to fix a moisture issue. There is a foundation in place...more of a kneewall I guess, and the crawl space slopes from the front of the house to the back. I can stand in a crouched position at the lower part of the slope and crawl on hands and knees at the front of the space. Nowhere is a belly crawl needed.
I was thinking of hiring somebody to put down a plastic barrier and then a coat of concrete to help eliminate the moisture problem. The new concrete floor would have to be "stepped" because of the slope.
Does anybody have a recommendation for a contractor who might be interested in helping us out?
Phantom, keep the new concrete out of the mix, it is not needed if all you are looking to do is remove some moisture. A rat slab will only be a benifit if you would like to use the space for storage. You will make the issue worse unless you do a few extra things to the space to get the moisture out. Concrete is equivelent to a sponge, it absorbs, holds and releases moisture all the time, often time it will create humidity as well and that is the real issue with standing water inside a home. Vapor will penetrate almost everything, water will not. Instead of spending money on the concrete, put it toward a heavy duty dehumidifier (not the kind you buy at HD or Lowes) and a few other measures listed below.

This project is going to require three processes:
First deal with any mold or standing moisture within the space. Mold remediation can be handled by yourself if need be, but it is a good idea to have someone use a thermal imaging camera on the framing, that will show you any mold that might be within the wood framing. There are a few folks that will do this service as a stand alone service. While you are at it have them scan the rest of the house to see if you have insulation issues that you could address down the road, it will not cost you extra and while you have them there, you might as well.

Second, hang a commercial dehumidifier from the floor framing and have it drained into a sealed and vented drain line. Outside of the space for obviouse reasons. This unit can be supplied and installed by any HVAC contractor that you trust and does good work.

Third, install your vapor barrier over the dirt floor in one continuous sheet (no seams) be sure to use an expanding oil based sealant at the concrete to vapor connections, Geocell is a great product for this (not a lot of fun to work with, makes a big mess and you will be covered in adhesive strings by the time it is complete). Apply a liberal bead around the foundation about 4-6" above grade and press the vapor barrier into it as you go. Also forgot to mention, cut and fit the VB before you start glueing.

Do not be afraid to tackle this project yourself, if you do not have mold then you are in great shape, if you do then there are some things that you can do depending on how bad and what type you have.

I at one point was certified in Black Mold Abatement in my property management days, but I believe that cert. has elapsed, anyway send me a PM if you have this issue and I can tell you how to handle the treating of this.

Hire a HVAC to install the dehumid in the space and then install the vapor barrier yourself. The last crawlspace that we did this to cost $14,000.00. That was for a 1200 SF crawl space approx. 5 FT high, included removal of standing water, mold abatement, a small amount of structural repair, removal and installation of new insulation in the floor system, installation of the dehumidification system and sealing the floor with vapor barrier. This was probably more extreme than what you are thinking, but there really was not a lot of mold or mold damage in this basement, but the entire underside of the structure was exposed to this for about 10 years.

What is mentioned above will only remidy your issue as long as your crawlspace is fully wrapped by a concrete foundation and has no openings or walk out or wood framed walls to the exterior, if that is the case, send me a PM and I will describe the different things you can do to repair your situation.

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Old 01-22-2010, 07:37 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fatlazyless View Post
Cannot think of anyone to do your crawlspace work, but here's a quick question. Does it have a drain-away setup to keep water away from the crawlspace?

My place is somewhat similar with a crawl space, a dirt sub-floor, and enclosed side walls. So's what I did about 12-years ago was to install a drain-away by digging a small ditch around the cottage using gardening tools.

Basically, it's a 6" deep ditch dug with an edger and a mattock hoe, 4" pvc pipe w/ lots of 1/2" holes drilled into the upper half of the pipe, and small gravel pored into the ditch around the pipe. The ditch is about 6" wide and has the gravel up to surface level.

It's not 100% water tight, but it seems to help a lot to keep the crawl space dry. April snow meltdown is about the only time when some moisture gets past the drain-away and into the crawl space, so's opening the side doors lets air into the space to dry it out.

A happy face, do-it-yourself project, good to keep you busy for a couple of those too-rainy June weekends! ..
I think this is called "French Drains". Google it to make sure. I would do this FIRST and you can do most of it yourself ...OR... you can JOG three miles and get nothing done. No need fooling around in a crawl space under the house. The idea is to eliminate the SOURCE of the problem.....which is likely coming from outside the house on the uphill side. I would go deeper than described above.. Look up "French Drains". NB
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Old 01-23-2010, 05:44 AM   #20
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Default Crawl Spaces

Has anyone reading this thread ever hired anyone to dig out a crawl space to get a little more height? I could use some room in certain areas before I add new plastic sheeting. Thanks for any contact information and maybe costs.
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Old 01-23-2010, 06:09 PM   #21
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I found this one I took from a couple of years ago, it was located north of the Y landing, the sign on the face of the building was Admiral Building Movers
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Old 01-24-2010, 10:48 AM   #22
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Thanks for your comprehensive response. It gives me a lot to consider. I have inquired about some of the encapsulation systems out there, but then I would lose any storage space i have now. As I said, the lower part has about 5' of clearance and is useful for storage, except for the moisture that has become much worse after my neighbor built a new house and probably redirected some of the ground water over my way. There is no standing water anywhere in the basement now, that's why I'm thinking that concrete over a plastic barrier would solve my problem.
I definitely plan to do something about it this year. I just am not sure yet how I will handle it and am still seeking suggestions.
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Old 01-25-2010, 01:43 PM   #23
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Phantom,
Yes if you do not want to lose the storage than a rat slab is the way to go, just make sure that the vapor barrier still gets sealed to the outer foundation walls or you will get water seeping at the cold joint between the two.
Not realizing that the issue has changed (new house above), I would do first what the others stated, and put in perimeter drain, but much deeper than just below the surface. We install our perimeter drains at the level of the top of the footing, any excavation contractor will be able to help you with this. Make sure that they use filter fabric between any stone and dirt contact, basically above and below, to keep the sand from filtering into the drain pipe.
Good luck with your repair.

Tummyman, I know of two different people that have performed this task themselves or hired help. The guy that did it himself, said after that he was glad he did it, but would not do it again, lots of Ben Gay. The guy that hired someone, started out this way. He hired the labor union to supply workers, but out of work college kids work just as well. He actually performed the task himself first, he timed himself for 1 hour to see how many five gallon buckets he could fill and remove from the space. Then he used that to determine the performance of the workers hired, you will know after the first day whether you are getting a deal or not. Both of these spaces did not have a lot of height, so the buckets were needed until the space was large enough to turn a wheelbarrow around, then he repeated the process with the wheelbarrow to get a gauge on work output. Not a fun project, but it can be done.
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Old 01-26-2010, 01:01 PM   #24
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I spent many a summer day helping my father dig out our crawl space in out camp to make it a full height ground floor. Not fun work but the labor was cheap.
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Old 01-28-2010, 08:23 AM   #25
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Default rat slab...

After a lot of consideration and advice....some really good from this site, I have decided to go with a rat slab. There is no standing water in the space, just too much moisture coming up from the ground especially at the lower end which probably will require some fill to make it more level. I'm confident that a layer of poly covered with even just 2 to 3 inches of concrete will be adequate and suitable. So now to the nitty gritty....does anybody have a recommendation for who could do the job? There will be some leveling and some fill required...and it will probably have to be stepped as one end is higher than the other (or lower depending on how you look at it). Has anybody had this done? Anybody have an idea as to how much money this will or should cost? The space is 24x34' ...I can walk in a crouched position on one end, and crawl on hands and knees on the other. There is no "belly crawl" required anywhere. Any more help or advice is appreciated.
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Old 01-28-2010, 08:46 AM   #26
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...hey Phantom.....I have a electric cement mixer-wheel barrow, capable of holding one 80-lb bag of concrete mix at a time just sitting out in the shed anxiously awaiting its' next project. Plus, I have some experience crawling around in crawl spaces.

And, as a totally unemployed trash truck driver with NH cdl, air brakes, haz-mat & tanker endorsement doing crawl space work would be right in my demographic.


Plus, after I do a super-duper job, you can report the good news back here on this forum!

Plus, I live nearby on Meredith Neck!

As you know, concrete requires warm weather, probably the month of April or so, for it to set up correct. Sometime between now & then I could drive over in my pickup along with my cement mixer, and we could chit-chat about what you is look'n for.

best, fll
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Old 01-28-2010, 09:01 AM   #27
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Phantom
The cost of concrete this morning is $113.00 CY. Add maybe 5% for standard retail (cash and carry pricing) this is redi-mix delivered to your home. The average charge for a concrete contractor in my area is $236.00 and includes the cost of concrete. This price would be for a full finished slab 4" thickness, the rat slab uses less material and is only rough finished, not floated.

To determine how much:

http://www.carrollconcrete.com/Page/Calculators

Determine your total volume and do the math. The grading and poly could be handled by your concrete contractor, some will gladly do it (within reason, they are typically not site work guys) others will refuse.

Last edited by jmen24; 01-28-2010 at 10:45 AM. Reason: clarification
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Old 01-28-2010, 12:33 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by fatlazyless View Post
...hey Phantom.....I have a electric cement mixer-wheel barrow, capable of holding one 80-lb bag of concrete mix at a time just sitting out in the shed anxiously awaiting its' next project. Plus, I have some experience crawling around in crawl spaces.

And, as a totally unemployed trash truck driver with NH cdl, air brakes, haz-mat & tanker endorsement doing crawl space work would be right in my demographic.


Plus, after I do a super-duper job, you can report the good news back here on this forum!

Plus, I live nearby on Meredith Neck!

As you know, concrete requires warm weather, probably the month of April or so, for it to set up correct. Sometime between now & then I could drive over in my pickup along with my cement mixer, and we could chit-chat about what you is look'n for.

best, fll
Less, I know you are looking for work, but you should really be aware of what you would be signing yourself up for.

It takes (45) 80lb bags of cement to make one cubic yard. A small house footprint of 25x30 with a slab of 3" would require 6.94CY of concrete. That would be (313) bags. At the cost posted above it would cost $791.00 for delivered concrete, Labored cost above would be less than $1652.00. The bags alone cost $3.46/bag for a total of $1082.00 that leaves you about $500.00 in labor to make the deal worth while.

At $500.00 you would not even cover the cost of your Waterville season pass and you would have to move 25,000lbs of bagged redi-mix at least twice.
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Old 01-28-2010, 01:48 PM   #29
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...ugh J-men....thanks for the heads-up.....it sounds like a job for Superman.....and not for fatlazyless.....probably best to hire up a readi-mix truck and just stand there and watch all that concrete slide down the chute.....or whatever.....I'm getting a backache just thinking about lugging all those 80-lb bags of el cheapo three dollar concrete mix from Lowe's....will stick to small jobs....like repointing w/ sand mix....and stuff like that....


By the way....how much does an 80-lb bag of concrete mix weigh?......
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Old 01-28-2010, 02:06 PM   #30
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Less, the bags are not really cheap concrete, just not really good for this size project.

As far as the weight, I will have to get back to you, I believe I have a chart around here that will tell us that.
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Old 01-28-2010, 02:53 PM   #31
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jmen, I think FLL got you on that one.....I would guess that an 80 lb bag of cement mix weighs somewhere around......let's say 80 lbs!!!

So, FLL, does that mean you're not interested in the job?

Last edited by Happy Gourmand; 01-28-2010 at 02:56 PM. Reason: spelling error and comment addition
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Old 01-28-2010, 06:04 PM   #32
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Hello Phantom.......I'll be happy to come take a look-see and talk with you about it.....not this weekend but.....after about Feb 4....I could run over there most any time. Will send you an e-mail.
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Old 01-28-2010, 08:24 PM   #33
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Pleazzzzzzzzzzzeeee PG talk to FLL. He needs a job. His PPD "posts per day" this quarter are triple his normal rate. We're going to have to go to a new rating system, PPM "posts per minute. You know I love ya L, but couldn't pass up the opportunity.
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Old 01-29-2010, 01:05 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Phantom Gourmand View Post
jmen, I think FLL got you on that one.....I would guess that an 80 lb bag of cement mix weighs somewhere around......let's say 80 lbs!!!

So, FLL, does that mean you're not interested in the job?
My chart says you would be correct
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Old 01-31-2010, 10:44 AM   #35
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Phantom,
Try K.A. Clason-Fine Woodworking (www.kaclason.com). They have done work on several island houses fixing supports & replacing beams. They come pretty highly recommended from Island Real Estate.
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Old 10-26-2020, 06:49 AM   #36
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Default Lifting cottage to pour frost wall foundation

Hey everyone,
Since this thread is 10 yrs old, I thought it best to revive and see if anyone has more recent recommendations for local businesses that do this. I've noted those earlier in the thread.
Thanks, George
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