GBA Logo horizontal Facebook LinkedIn Email Pinterest Twitter X Instagram YouTube Icon Navigation Search Icon Main Search Icon Video Play Icon Plus Icon Minus Icon Picture icon Hamburger Icon Close Icon Sorted

Community and Q&A

1950s lake cottage foundation

LakeCottageNewbee | Posted in General Questions on

1950s lake cottage in central NY with foundation deterioration in crawl space.
Conflicting recommendations from contractors and seeking advice.  Existing foundation is block and has been repaired several times.  Original footer set only about 18 inches down.  House is level and solid with no movement of foundation for 15 plus years.  Contractor 1 has said do a block replacement of three sides with estimate of $40k +.  Two other contractors have suggested doing 5 piers using 5,000 lbs concrete tube pier footers under beams which are level and sound.  They have suggested also doing concrete surry coating over the existing blocks for cosmetic purposes at about $9k.  Cottage is just under 1,000 and was added on with main foundation issues being on Two side walls and front of the house.  Doing insultation etc for green and wondered if any advice on the pier versus block approach.

GBA Prime

Join the leading community of building science experts

Become a GBA Prime member and get instant access to the latest developments in green building, research, and reports from the field.


  1. Expert Member
    BILL WICHERS | | #1

    This isn’t something that is really able to be evaluated remotely in an Internet forum. You really need someone knowledgeable to come out and look at the site. “Knowledgeable” in this case doesn’t mean just any contractor since repairing a severely damaged foundation is a specialized field.

    I think you would be best served having an engineer come out to evaluate the foundation, and make a recommendation as to how to properly repair it in a way that won’t fail again. You can then have your contractors bid on implementing whatever solution the engineer comes up with.


  2. Peter Yost | | #2

    Hi LCN -

    Let's assume that structurally the two solutions are both satisfactory. Then the question is: do you want or have a preference for your insulation and air layers to be at the first floor level or do you want an unvented crawlspace with insulation and air sealing at the perimeter walls?

    And part of that answer might be affected by which of the two approaches to air sealing and insulation above line up with your fully-founded addition and its insulation and air sealing system?


Log in or create an account to post an answer.


Recent Questions and Replies

  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |