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My Barn Conversion


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Firm Foundations?

Category: Barn Conversion Journal July 20th, 2007 by mbc

I’ve had a few concerns about the foundations of the barn, specifically how much of the soil that has built up around the walls we will be able to clear to install new drains and discourage damp without exposing the foundations. With pick and spade I sunk a trench to see what was what (or at least take a guess).

The barn is built on a slope, with the walls at the top of the slope being shorter than those at the foot of the slope and with a horizontally level roof line. Digging down, I found what I take to be the original ground level some 9 inches down, with a similar depth of footing stones beneath that. These sit on either, further foundations or (I guess more likely) packed earth and rubble. So, we have firm foundations (a fact that is attested to by the lack of movement and cracking in the stonework) and as we are not greatly adding to the load to be borne by them then hopefully no issues there.

My mini-excavation also tells me that we’ll need to clear out less soil from around the barn than I originally thought and that the slope should provide sufficient drop for drainage.


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Posted in Barn Conversion Journal | 2 Comments » « Leave Yours

2 Responses

  1. gary watt Says:

    My barn is double brick built onto clay soil. It doesn’t seem to have any conrete foundation. Is ithis normal? If i chose to convert to a residence do i need foundations?

  2. mbc Says:

    Yes Gary up until fairly recently many buildings (especially agricultural ones) were built with no foundations (at least as we’d recognise them today).

    You’ll need a structural engineer to survey your barn and see if you need to take any action. Underpinning – placing new concrete foundations under the existing walls is the usual solution if any is necessary.

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