15 years ago
J T

Jacking up and leveling a floor?

I'm starting to repair an old house in rough condition. The foundation is based on brick piers. Towards the front of the house, one of the peirs has fallen over and the others have settled (due to water flow that also must be corrected). This floor obviously is unlevel. Additionally, in this same area, a couple of the floor beams have suffered termite damage and need to be repaired. I've researched several ways to level the floor but can't decide which is the best in this situation. Hiring a professional would be optimal, but is probably more than I can afford. Ideas? Detailed step by step process maybe?
Top 3 Answers
15 years ago
Anonymous
Favorite Answer
at least 2 bottle jacks a 4x4 post and a couple of peices of 2x4 to put between the jacks and the 4x4's this isnt really a job for someone that has no skills but you may be able with trial and error do it just dont be alone in case something happens you'll need someone to call 911.
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15 years ago
adirolffun
OK, here we go. For starters, most houses are built either square, rectangular or an "L" If you have a square or rectangular home, it is fairly easy to re-support the floor. The first thing you need to do is determine where the "sag" starts. You can do this easily using a laser level, aimed from the high side, and determine where the slope begins. From there, you need to look under the home, and start acessing the damaged footers. Prior to crawling under, I recommend you add a couple temporary footers, shim them tight, but do not put load on them, as you can create an unstable condition, making it worse to fix. Then, if possible, "sister" the damaged joists after killing the bugs. As I cannot draw here, see if you can follow this: Where the floor starts to slope, you want to pivot the house from there. Draw an "H" on a sheet of paper, then draw a line across the top two points, it should look sort of like an "A" now. that top line you drew is going to be your pivot point. Set a 4" X 12" beam across the entire width of the house underneath it, shoring it up solid to about 4 1/8" from the existing joists (the 1/8" is for the others to fit). Then, set as many 4X12s on top of it like the legs of the "H" aiming toward the low side, to make them no more than 4' apart; they will be angled down now. If your floor joists run parallel, you need to jack from the opposite sides to even the loads. The cross bar of the "H" should be where you can place jacks under it at the edge of the house, or as close as possible.Then, using baby steps, use 3 or four heavy bottle jacks mounted on blocks or wood to jack up slowly, being careful to take it up evenly toward level. Prior to all of this, I would pour some 2' square footers every few feet so that when you get it jacked up, you can shim to hold. Remember you will have to go slightly beyond level (about 1/4") so that when you shim and set, it will settle down to level. This is the grid method, and is the safest way to re-level. You can use the jacking 4 X 12s as new support also, just leave them in place and build footers for them too. It won't move again!Then, as you already know one side settled, you should go to the other side and shore up those footers as well. If you can, when completed, enclose the foundation and lay down a thick plastic barrier on the dirt, so that any water in the future will drain out instead of down. feel free to e-mail me with any questions: adirolffun@yahoo.com
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15 years ago
Tall Chicky
If you need to ask this I agree that you might end up calling 911....if not dead. LOL Consult with a person in the structural profession...such as a carpenter or experienced handy man
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