Need basement bulkhead ideas

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36,475
Location
ME
So I have a 2.5 story Colonial with a half-basement. House is on a hill, so it's a stand-up basement on the low side, where the entrance is, which narrows to a crawl space up top. I need access in winter for a freezer down there and to monitor the oil tank level, and for any necessary repairs. The sheathing on this side is rotten and getting fixed. The current basement entrance is also in sorry shape and should come down. The house ridge line is parallel to the internal (real) basement door, so snow falls off the roof onto the current structure. It's cleverly/akwarly designed with a "dormer door" that pops up out of its roof. Its roof ridgeline is perpindicular to the main houses'. The basement entrance is below grade by a couple feet and this entrance structure is half concrete-- to a foot above grade-- and half wood. Would probably keep most of the concrete. I'm contemplating simplifying things and putting in something slightly smaller, with a bulk head. The current "box" is about 9 feet square. My musings are that a bulk head isn't really an every day entrance-- they are fire escapes for houses with internal access to the basement. (I have none and don't want one for tax reasons.) Also most prefab basement entrances are nearly horizontal; I want doors that are nearly vertical. I wouldn't know where to find something like this. I'd like a rounded (metal) roof that can take icicle bombs and to have it stick out a couple feet to take the worst of the snow. I want to shrink the size of my "box" and pour new concrete wall(s) to effect this, and fill in the rest. Would make a good flower bed etc. A person turns 90 degrees between the outer door and inner; am considering making it a straight shot. But the hill starts here too and I don't want standing water. I want a full size "man door" in case I need to bring in a new oil tank or freezer. Struggling with ideas. Any? Outer view of current door with house siding in background: View from inside basement door towards "Far wall": Looking out from the mid-shed: Looking out the "real basement" outside shot, where I imagine a door... a long shot...
 
Messages
385
Location
PA
Tax / entrance ramifications aside, I believe that you could lop the roof of your entrance off, extend the main roof existing pitch down over your side window, make the bottom of your side window sill your door sill elevation, and frame up and connect the concrete wall with your extended roof line. Relocate the interior steps from the front to the side and I think that is what you were looking for. Downsides I can see are the 2 side windows in the main house are lost and your view to the front from the porch will be lost.
 
Messages
9,110
Location
Marshfield , MA
BTDoingT still after 36 yrs, as far as house renovation is concerned. If the basement is never going to finished. Will a bulk suffice without the need of interior access? That is all I have for access to the very rough space for the utilities. I only go down there if some plumbing has to be done. In a good year, I'm only down there every six months to change water filters. The bigger the access to the cellar, the easier it will be to service your stuff. In '04, I redid the brick foundation for the bulk head, I formed and poured a new sill. I replaced the rotted to pieces wood framing with PT jetsam I took off the beach and ripped it to suit. From my attic, I used two pieces of 3/4 AC plywood which were probably the cut offs from the earlier doors.
 

eljefino

Thread starter
Messages
36,475
Location
ME
Originally Posted By: toneydoc
Who did the electrical in that addition? And where do the power cords go and what do they supply and I am just curious.
Existing electrical. The thick cord is a 12 ga / 25 footer that goes in to a transfer panel for generator hookup, I have it hanging just inside the door so it's easy to find and hook up. The other extension cord was for a sawzall outside as the renovations started. The romex on the surface is actually kinda legal as it's not living space.
 
Messages
6,367
Location
Midwest
Yikes. Given the DIY mess that is in the pictures (structural and electrical), if I were to buy the house to remodel and sell I'd hire a competent remodeler/architect to design and fix it correctly. They can also recommend ways to make the space much more usable.
 

JTK

Messages
13,453
Location
Buffalo, NY
Originally Posted By: tstep
Tax / entrance ramifications aside, I believe that you could lop the roof of your entrance off, extend the main roof existing pitch down over your side window, make the bottom of your side window sill your door sill elevation, and frame up and connect the concrete wall with your extended roof line. Relocate the interior steps from the front to the side and I think that is what you were looking for. Downsides I can see are the 2 side windows in the main house are lost and your view to the front from the porch will be lost.
^^ This does sound like a pretty feasible option, but the more I look at it, the more my head spins. Ugh.. The roof line touching the bottom of that second window (nightmare) would be eliminated. Water/snow load would be pitched away. The back of this structure would be right up against the deck behind it. Obviously you could hire an expert, but my experience with experts is, they'll all vary hugely in options on how to fix this. Build something to code with quality materials and be good to go.
 
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