Engineered Pony/Knee Walls

An engineered pony wall or a knee wall, Is a poured concrete wall to help brace/support a compromised foundation wall. Pony walls are typically required with foundations that were constructed using stone, brick or concrete blocks.

Concrete/cinder block foundations suffer more issues like buckling and bowing because of the number of joints. As well as the blocks are prone to shiting with ground pressure.

When these foundations fail, regular steel bracing is not enough. Because there are so many stones, bricks or blocks, bracing alone won’t work.

AAA Solid Foundations works with structural engineers to develop a plan to stabilize and reinforce these types of foundations.

When is a pony wall required?

Stone concrete block foundations began appearing in post-war houses. (the late 1940s to the early 1970s). This form of home foundation does not work well in Regina. The soil conditions in and around Regina (and across most of Saskatchewan) are clay-based.

Block foundation walls buckle and bow. Either as a result of poor construction or lateral pressure.

Unlike poured concrete foundation walls, block walls cannot be braced. There are just too many joints in the blocks. Thus, repairing them can be quite expensive, depending on the extent of the damage.

Cinder blocks are best used for interior, non-load-bearing walls. Not exterior, load-bearing walls.



Basic Process of Installing an Engineered Pony Wall

The block foundation that is compromised is identified and any repairs that can be done are completed.

Based on the structural engineer’s report, AAA Solid Foundation will add bracing, rebar and concrete forms. When possible, we will add more rebar to help prevent any future cracking.

The forms need to be installed so that the finished pony wall is higher than the ground level (grade) outside of the home.

Once the concrete forms and reinforcing steel has been added. A concrete pump is used to pour the concrete into the forms. A concrete vibrator is moved through the forms to aid in proper distribution and to remove any air pockets in the concrete.

After the concrete forms are removed and the basement is cleaned up. The foundation wall is safe and will never move again.

Your basement can now be finished if desired. 

Stone Basment Foundation


Stone foundations were common in pre-World War I construction. This style of foundation consisted of field stones with mortar filled between them. Mortar was also spread over top to bind them together into the walls that make up the home’s foundation.


Redbrick Basment Foundation


Homes built in the early 1900s used redbrick and mortar for foundation walls.
The problem with these foundation walls is that over time, they can become weak. The mortar can break down, bricks can start to deteriorate.
Inspect your foundation walls for bowing or leaning. The outside soil around these foundations will exert pressure on them, and push them in. This occurs when the brick and mortar breakdown.
Hiring a masonry specialist to repair the mortar and/or brick might be an option. But sometimes the walls need to have added support.


Stone Basment Foundation


Cinder block foundations aren’t always a bad option. If you are building a home in a rural area, sometimes a ready-mix truck can’t make it to your location to pour concrete.
In these cases, using blocks or cinder blocks is the only option. As long as they are properly installed. Installed on a firm, compacted, even ground. Taking no shortcuts. It can still be a great option in your home.
But if the cinder blocks aren’t sealed. Or if the ground beneath them wasn’t even and compacted before building. Big problems can arise. Settlement can cause cinder blocks to crack, shift, and leak. It is important to check cinder block foundations for changes.