5
   

The I Told You So Files

 
 
chai2
 
Reply Wed 27 May, 2015 10:30 am
You know, the stuff that even though you do feel it's unfortunate, hey, guess what....We told you so....

When my neighbors bought the property next door and started building their house, the general look of people passing by on the street was Shocked or Drunk along with comments of...."is that a (hesitation in even saying the word) BASEMENT you're digging there?" Small children in their strollers would say "Daddy, what's that funny man doing? What? A basement? Holy crap!"

Neighbors all around warned them. Telling true stories of water tables, limestone, clay, the demons that dwelt just under the surface.

Despite having a big back yard in which to build the shed that everyone has on their property, they dug a basement. It filled as they dug. They pumped, and dug, it flooded, they dug and pumped, many times. They were convinced they tamed Mother Nature.

They now have 2 children, and in the space where the shed should have gone is a man made "fort" that no respectable child would play in. The ladder is at a 45 degree angle for Christ's sake.

We have had 7" of rain in the last 5 days, and 20" since May 1.

Husband stayed home from work today, as he's had to do in the past, for someone to come out and replace their pump. Which has happened in the past more than once.

Rain. Good for the drought. Bad for basements.

Told ya.

At least this isn't Houston, right Edgar?
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Type: Discussion • Score: 5 • Views: 1,803 • Replies: 13
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edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Wed 27 May, 2015 10:35 am
Reminds me of a time I had temporary work, unloading a moving van, in Fort Worth. The family was there, inspecting the new house they made arrangements to move into, unseen, from back East. It was rather humorous to watch as they scoured the place, inside and out, trying to find the basement.
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Wed 27 May, 2015 10:53 am
@chai2,
chai2 wrote:
Telling true stories of water tables, limestone, clay, the demons that dwelt just under the surface.


limestone and clay aren't a problem for basements

seriously

I grew up in The Limestone City. We had limestone and clay and every house has a basement.

hawkeye10
 
  2  
Reply Wed 27 May, 2015 11:03 am
Interesting....just last week I was reading a piece on basements that concluded that the reason that some areas (specifically southern Cal) have few/none has little to do with any challenges to building them, but rather that it is a relic of long ago practices of trying to put up houses fast and cheap. Also, what ever tech challenges existed were long ago vanished.

http://www.latimes.com/home/la-hm-basement-side-20150509-story.html
0 Replies
 
chai2
 
  1  
Reply Wed 27 May, 2015 11:20 am
@ehBeth,
ehBeth wrote:

chai2 wrote:
Telling true stories of water tables, limestone, clay, the demons that dwelt just under the surface.


limestone and clay aren't a problem for basements

seriously

I grew up in The Limestone City. We had limestone and clay and every house has a basement.




I think the difference here is the extremes in temperature, along with long periods of dryness. The expansion/constraction thing.

The only other person I know who had a basement was my husbands cardiologist. I was with him for an appt, and the doctor (who was born in Europe) was venting how his basement, which he had converted into a room after he bought the place, was flooded, and everthing in it ruined.

He shortly thereafter sold the house and now lives in one sans basement.

Basements are just not a good idea here. It costs more to make them here, they flood and a good shed suits the same purpose.
chai2
 
  1  
Reply Wed 27 May, 2015 11:24 am
@edgarblythe,
edgarblythe wrote:

Reminds me of a time I had temporary work, unloading a moving van, in Fort Worth. The family was there, inspecting the new house they made arrangements to move into, unseen, from back East. It was rather humorous to watch as they scoured the place, inside and out, trying to find the basement.


Oh yeah, the owner is a total Yankee.

Funny though, his dad was the one who built the place, came down from upstate NY.
He too tried to disuade him the the basement idea, also the guys partner.

But....wifey wanted a basement. No idea way. I got a feeling for the sake of peace, she got her basement.
0 Replies
 
Linkat
 
  2  
Reply Wed 27 May, 2015 11:25 am
@chai2,
well that explains why there are no basements in Texas - when we were going to move there - we wondered why the heck does no one have basements especially considering tornados and such.

Granted from the northeast I would have thought it a good idea to have a basement, if warned of the reasons by neighbors about building one, I would have changed my mind. We did have a house built in Texas when we were planning to move there - it was a model without a basement never thought to ask to add one - I would have thought the builder would have guided them against putting one in if it was a problem.
Walter Hinteler
 
  2  
Reply Wed 27 May, 2015 11:29 am
@ehBeth,
A basement with sub-basement and sub-sub-basement in London-Chelsea (London Clay Foundation)

http://i60.tinypic.com/2rpvg50.jpg


My native town is situated on limestone deposits on the south-eastern edge of the Münster Chalk Basin (still with five cement works - 10 when I was a child). Every house has a cellar/basement.
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Wed 27 May, 2015 11:31 am
@chai2,
A shed just isn't the same as a basement when there are tornado warnings.

I suspect there are other factors at play. The water table may come into play, but even then, with good building practices, basements are possible. I'll have to ask my hometown friend who moved to Austin what he knows about it.
0 Replies
 
chai2
 
  1  
Reply Wed 27 May, 2015 12:01 pm
@Linkat,
Linkat wrote:

I would have thought the builder would have guided them against putting one in if it was a problem.


The builder was his dad. That's why they were able to build such a nice house. He built it for cost. He advised against it.... strongly. Stood there scratching his head while the water had to be repeatedly pumped out of the hole again and again. From what I recall, it wasn't built during a particularly rainy time either. The dad, who we got to be friends with said there was just no talking to the wife. She wanted a basement, and by God, she was going to have a basement, come hell or high water, and she's sure gotten both.

I looked up on google why no basements. Seems like the biggest reasons are the contraction of the soil, the wrong kind of soil, and the water table. Pretty much what I'd known.

Oh, BTW, I think a lot more people die of floods here each year than tornadoes. Even without the basement.
chai2
 
  1  
Reply Wed 27 May, 2015 12:03 pm
@Walter Hinteler,
Walter Hinteler wrote:

A basement with sub-basement and sub-sub-basement in London-Chelsea (London Clay Foundation)

http://i60.tinypic.com/2rpvg50.jpg


My native town is situated on limestone deposits on the south-eastern edge of the Münster Chalk Basin (still with five cement works - 10 when I was a child). Every house has a cellar/basement.



Hey Walter?
Let's get off the limestone deal.....It's been amended by me that it's the limestone/clay/soil expansion constraction that does it.

This isn't Europe. This is an area with very different heat/cold weather conditions.

It's not like people don't build basements here because they are lazy, cheap or stupid.

There are valid reasons.
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Wed 27 May, 2015 12:20 pm
The last free standing house I helped to build in the Houston area was a three story home that had an elevator and also a sort of basement two cars could drive into. It didn't go down deep the way traditional basements do. I wish I could remember where it's located. I would be interested to see how it fares with the current weather situation.
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  2  
Reply Wed 27 May, 2015 12:37 pm
@chai2,
While reading the various websites about "why there aren't basements in Housto, I cam across the basementking webside ("a unique company providing basement services in Texas")- the CEO of which wrote a book ....

http://i59.tinypic.com/8y6yc0.jpg
0 Replies
 
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Wed 27 May, 2015 04:05 pm
@chai2,
well dorothy had a basement - not granted it wasn't part of the house and it was not in Texas --- well I guess it doesn't relate huh....

To be honest, I really didn't give it much thought other than the tornado thing. I think northerners like to have their man caves and stuff don't know why a woman would want a basement - I find them dark and damp even finished ones - which we have a partial finished basement -- good to send the kids down to.
0 Replies
 
 

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