Jacking up porch/replumbing column


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Old 04-19-14, 03:29 PM
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Jacking up porch/replumbing column

Hiya.

I have a multifamily house, it has 3 floors and 3 decks. The bottom left corner column is starting to "kick out" a bit. It has been like this for years, but it is slowly getting worse and I need to address it. It is doing this because the house is settling (100 year old house) towards the front. While that obviously is another larger issue....everything on the deck and foundation I sound enough where I could just reset this one column.
It needs to come back to the house about 3 inches on top and 4-ish inches on the bottom. I have temporarily jacked porches and put new columns in, just not on a deck this size. In the pic below, you can also see that the first set of columns is basically second story....that is where I need the pointers.

My questions:
1) Directly to the right of the brick foundation supporting the column(behind trellis), there is concrete. Could I use a jack post under there, then another one right next to the column itself? Would I also need to support the side or corner?

2) Would a bottle jack be more appropriate?

Any ideas/pointers more than welcome . I have a couple of people that can help me(one works in construction as well, mostly roofing) and I am very confident of being able to do this.

Thanks!

House, column is closest one on bottom:

Name:  Charles Porch 1.jpg
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Old 04-20-14, 02:58 PM
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If I zoom in, there seems to be a space between the bottom step & the concrete column. Is the front of the column sinking? If it is & you jack it up, you would still need a way to push or pull the top of it towards the house & then correct the footing. Check the plumb on the other columns too.
 
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Old 04-20-14, 06:22 PM
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I believe the space you mean is just the front board of the wooden steps. There is a loose brick, but I am pointing all 3 supports.

The supports on the ground level are all brick. I just checked the plumb on all of them. The bottom support all the way on the left is only about 1/2" out of plumb, leaning to the front. The first column that sits on it is 3/4" out of plumb, again leaning towards the street. I would have figure more than that, maybe it is deceiving when everything is combined/

Nonetheless, That one column still needs to come back to the house a few inches.

How about jacking this up? Will using a jack post just to the right of the corner support, and one jack post directly above that be sufficient to pull that column back? Or should I support or jack up the side along with it?
 
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Old 04-20-14, 08:15 PM
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I couldn't tell that the steps were made of wood, from the pic. Start with a jack to the right of the column. That might give you the opportunity to push the corner support towards the house but how are you going to straighten it. It seems to me that the footing under the brick columns is the problem not the mortar between the bricks. You may have to chop under the bottom course, of the bricks & pour cement, in there. If there is one thing that I've learned over the years, it's structure starts from the bottom up. It's a simple concept but many people miss it.
 
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Old 04-20-14, 09:14 PM
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Keep in mind that the corner column is supporting 3 levels of floor and part of a roof structure--lots of weight there. I, too, thought the problem lies under the tilted brick support column, and would repair/replace what's under that first before attacking the columns higher up.

You would do well to tell the tenants to not use their porches while the repairs are being done.
 
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Old 04-21-14, 03:49 PM
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Thanks guys.

I am honestly not sure what is going on with it. I am going to get under the trellis part tomorrow and see what I have. That column is not as far off plumb as I thought it would be...I am going to double check that tomorrow along with all around the brick support. I may just for the immediate short term, put a jackpost to the right of the support with a temporary column right next to the current column. That is mostly a "just in case" for safety while I figure out what is going on and the best way to correct it.

It has been like this for the nearly 11 years I have owned it, not sure if it has gotten much worse or not. I have always attributed it to that part of the porch being "freestanding" if you will. By that I mean that side is in no way attached to the house. I am going to dig up some old pics.....

You would do well to tell the tenants to not use their porches while the repairs are being done.
Yes, I will be doing that. 3rd floor(the very top one) doesn't even use it from the fear of heights. That's about 30 feet off the ground
 
 

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