How To Repair Someones Failed Attempt At A Garage Door Install

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    Ok, so this is a pretty bad project but a guy was asking what he could do to seal a garage floor that was extending past the opening of the garage door.

    At first glance I thought ok someone decided that they wanted to install a wood floor in their garage and maybe it is an older home with an attached garage where they didn’t have the money to install concrete and didn’t want to live with bare dirt. I thought that the wood was on grade or on the dirt and my first response was that he should cut back the flooring that was exposed and insert about a foot wide strip of concrete that would be centered on the door.

    This seemed like a reasonable solution but then he came back at me with how would that effect the basement below the garage.

    Well I knew at that point something really bad is going on here. First he has a wood floor in a garage. Second he has a basement below it? This is not the right way to build and with further thought and inspection it was evident that for some insane reason the previous owner decided to cut a hole in the wall of their home and extend their driveway up to a new garage door that they installed.

    This was not a garage in any way this was a secondary room that the home owner converted to a storage area.

    What they should have done is just bought a shed or built a free standing or attached garage separate from this insanity that they started.



    The only possible thing that I could think of is maybe this person was living with a disabled relative and they needed a wide opening to allow easy access to a vehicle and a standard or even a french door would not be enough. That they were also strapped for cash and this was their only available solution. Ok.. so maybe this but nothing else makes any sense.

    As you can see from the illustration what they did was remove a portion of the exterior wall exposing the wood plank decking. This home must have been built in the early 1960’s or before that time considering it was using wood planks for decking instead of plywood.

    Not only that but they went to all the effort of regrading that side of the home to cover the exterior rim joist which is now below grade and in direct contact with dirt.

    Since this home is older you can only expect that the wood used in the framing is not pressure treated and not rated for direct soil contact.

    So, this guy is looking for an easy fix but honestly there isn’t one. He just got screwed by the previous owner, his realtor and the home inspector who decided that none of this mattered to them.

    To cure this problem you are talking about removing the asphalt, about a foot and a half of dirt, and regrading so water flows away from the home so you will probably have to cut the driveway back a good 10 feet or more from the home.

    You will then need to repair any damage to the rim joist caused by being placed underground.

    Then you need to remove the garage door, install a standard exterior wall and then cover the area with siding to cover the wall, joist and about 2 inches of the top of the foundation.

    This is an extremely expensive repair just to replace that wall and the fact is there is no other fix for this.

    If the Rim Joist or Sill Plate is in direct contact with soil it will fail in under 10 years. Once the joist fails the wall that it supports will fail, the roof or second floor of the home will fail and you are talking major damage and cost.


    Final Note

    Work that is performed to a home without permit often means it can not pass inspection.

    In this case a home owner either performed the work themselves or a contractor decided to do work which would result in future problems with this home’s foundation and support system.

    If work like this is done prior to you owning the home you may have the right to sue to cover the expense of repairs. However the best situation is to have a competent home inspection and then just completely stay away from a home like this.

    Anyone who would do such substandard work which also took lots and lots of effort must have also done other work on the home that you can not trust.

    When you are talking about plumbing, electrical and framing these items are hidden from post inspection for the most part and if someone performs substandard or dangerous work of this type there is no believing they stayed within code when doing other work.

    I really hope this was the previous home owner and not a contractor or a home flipper that did this work but I can imagine it could have been anyone.

    Keep alert and keep safe.


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