This topic is actually related to a previous topic I started regarding replacement of a section of sill plate and rim joist (re: viewtopic.php?t=5731#p27638).
In order to gain access to the rotted section, I needed to have the concrete landing/stoop removed. I hired a guy to do that work who, in the process of attempting to remove the stoop, badly cracked and displaced two of the cinder blocks at the top course of my foundation.
Yesterday, I was able to break up and remove the two damaged block and, at least temporarily, slide a couple of new blocks into place (this was not easy, since much of the stoop remains).
Anyway, I noticed a few things that I am questioning.
- The top course seems to be an uncommon block size (actual 5 1/2" x 7 1/2" x 15 1/2"). It sits on a course of block that is 9 1/2" (deep) x 7 1/2" x 15 1/2". Is it particularly odd to have a shallower block as the top course? Could it be related to the fact that there was brick fascia on the house?
- Toward the center of the house; where the front door is (the area I'm working), the sill plate appears to be proud of (hanging over) the block by around 1 1/2". That dimension decreases as we travel toward the ends of the house. Is that a big problem? It has probably been that way for many years. I can only imagine how expensive it would be to try to fix it. Can I safely "hold my nose" and carry on with it like that?
- Possibly related to the sill plate overhang, viewing from indoors, there is some cracking of the mortar at the bottom of the top course of block. The crack is about 1/8" wide and stretches across all of the top course that I can see (much of the block is hidden behind a 2 x 4 sheet rocked wall). Is this something I should be alarmed about or, again, can I just "hold my nose", fill the crack, and carry on?
- I only found one anchoring bolt fixing the top course to the sill plate. When I replace the sill plate, do you agree that I should add more anchoring bolts? The blocks are hollow, so, should I fill them with concrete and set my anchoring bolts into the concrete?
- It has been very cold around here lately. Is it possible to do quality masonry/mortar work in cold weather?
- Lastly, is it foolish of me to try to accomplish this on my own? I have near zero experience with masonry work, but, if the conditions I've described don't send up any danger flags, I think I'm up to the task.