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Leveling older home

jb1961's Avatar
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08-08-04, 10:35 AM   #1  
Leveling older home

Need some advice on leveling an older home on pier and beam.
Some of the walls already have cracks in them and the doors
are not shutting . Have all the jacks and some six foot levels
and all the man power to do it with just need some advice.

Last edited by jb1961; 08-08-04 at 01:33 PM.
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jproffer's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 285

08-08-04, 04:36 PM   #2  
how far out of level is it?...if it's very much AT ALL....put your 6 foot levels away for about 6 months or more..depending on how much it's out. A house has to be leveled a little at a time, or, well you think the cracks in the walls are bad now , but thats not the real problem, the lumber and framing need time to adjust to your attempts at leveling. I would probably place the jacks, snug 'em up, and then once a week dial 'em up say 1/4 turn...or MAYBE 1/2 turn, I don't think I'd try any more than that.

Also(I assume you have already done this) make sure your footings your pushing against are solid and plenty deep the support the job.

Snoonyb's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 1,150

08-08-04, 09:17 PM   #3  
If your intent is some minor leveling of interior walls, it can be a tedious process depending on the extent.
Determine the low point and begin there, keeping in mind that the placement of the the jacks should correspond with the pier spacing.
Remove the nails from one end of the support posts.
Place the jacks on a piece's of 2x10DF under the beam with a 2x4 block between the beam and the jack head.
As you are jacking and leveling, place shims between the posts and the beam. When you are satisfied with the level, begin again, on individual piers, "load" the jack just sufficiently to remove the shims and pier post, cut and install the correct length post, secure with nails, "unload" the jack and proceed with the rest.
If you are raising near a closet ring, I would suggest loosening the toilet bolts and replacing the wax ring..

trance's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 406

08-09-04, 10:20 AM   #4  
If this house is old and undergoing full gut out and renovation, then level away. If it's mostly nice, take the advice of going slow. I've jacked a house 2" in one day and it was fine, however, the house was gutted out at that point. You'll get tons of cracks when you jack it, and yes, the framing will take some time to move to the new position.

good luck & be very careful!

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08-14-04, 10:59 AM   #5  
Dave McG
May I add that I agree to everything said, but you should use a water level. A 6' level isn't enough. If you can't afford a water level, you can build one for few bucks. Use a radiator overflow tank from an old car (see-though plastic type) and a section of see though plastic hose. The cheep kind of tanks sold in auto part stores work well, because they have a screw hole for mounting. You can mount the tank on the house (or under it) at a point of elevation you desire for the whole house. Attach the hose to the tank and fill the tank halfway with water. The water level in the hose's end will be at the same point of elevation as the water in the tank. You can move the hose anywhere on, in or under the house and find the same level of elevation as the water in the tank. You are limited only by the length of your hose. (Got a 1/2 mile of hose?)

Hope it helps

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