Raising the roof and replacing sill plates


Old 06-21-07, 02:04 AM
paul11's Avatar
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Location: Southern California
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Raising the roof and replacing sill plates

My question has to do with lifting the 2nd floor wall enough to insert or splice in a new sill plate and do some inspections.

I am attaching a walking balcony off of the 2nd floor of my house (circa 1972 California). This has been DIY project and has been according to plans and so far has been blessed by Structural Engineer and inspectors.

The balcony is attached wood to wood into the rim joists of the house and everything was ok. However, I opened the exterior stucco to attach the flashing for the plywood flooring, exposing the subfloor and sill plate for the second floor and noticed sever dry rot/termite damage that has to be replaced. I opened the interior wall and noticed that the damage extends through the entire 2x4; the subfloor and studs look and feel ok, but I really won’t know until I can remove the old stuff for a better inspection.

Here is a bit about the layout. Starting from the corner of the house, the wall with the damage is 6 feet long, wood studs, 16 oc, and fire blocks, and then there is a 96” sliding glass door [was to be replaced during the decking phase] then the wall continues down the length of the house.
The slider has a 4x8 header, framed between king and jack studs.

Not sure of the technical description here but the roof is low pitch and there are no trusses, only joists running from the center ridge to the exterior wall in question. The ceiling of the room is attached to the underside of the roof joists forming a cathedral ceiling.

A band of about 10 inches of the exterior stucco and about 24 inches of the drywall have been removed down most of the 6 foot wall so I can work from the inside or outide.

I was going to place a 12-ton jack inside and use a 4x4 beam with ¼ steel plates at both ends, the lift point was under the double plate at the top of the wall next to the king stud. The jack will rest on a piece of 4x12x24 wood beam, attached from underneath, to a new piece of ¾ in plywood. This in turn will be screwed into the joists over the old subfloor. The jack will be about 8 inches back from the wall, about 5 degree off plumb, in case I have to replace some of the sub floor. This doesn’t look too likely but I don’t want to have to move the jack if it turns out that I have to.

One of many concerns is that trying to lift the wall so close to the corner of the house might not be feasible. I will be about 5 feet from the corner and I think it should be ok to lift the wall enough to insert the new wood but if that is too close or if I have to do anything that involves lifting the corner its time to toss the flag and get a pro.

Assuming that I can do the lift myself, I would welcome any comments or concerns that anyone sees with this project. Also, what are the issues with splicing in a sill plate or sistering any bad wall studs; any minimum lengths, sizes, or strapping needed?

Thanks in advance,
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Old 06-21-07, 02:42 PM
chandler's Avatar
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Although the "work" probably could be done on a DIY basis, you really need engineering help to determine if it is feasible in the first place. Secondly it would probably take alot of hydraulic equipment with special bleed valves, etc. to do the lift, and framing support will be mandatory.
Old 07-03-07, 12:19 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2007
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Sorry for the delay in responding, a lot of other things going on in my life.

I took your advice and had a General Contractor with lifting experience come in and he said that while he could do it, the job was really too small for him.

However, he was more than helpful – actually, it turned into more of a consulting job - but he and made a few suggestions on what I needed to do and how to do it.

I already had most of the material due to another project I am working on and with his tutelage on lifting and bracing, and along with a few magic words; I was able to replace the damaged subfloor and sill.

While the king and jack studs needed to be replaced, the other wall studs were not in as bad of shape as I had thought (or the GC) and this was confirmed when I was able to get my nose into it.

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