Sagging Floor Under Chimney

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  #1  
Old 03-19-08, 03:26 PM
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Cool Sagging Floor Under Chimney

First I want to start by saying how awesome this site is, I've been reading off it for 2 days and have learned lots, in anycase my wife and I just bought our very first house, and now that we've been in it for about a month I'm ready to undertake my first project.

My house was built in 1910 and understandably has undergone some settling, the only substantial issue is the sagging to the center of the house, where the chimney sits. Underneath is a crawl space where a beam was orignally installed about a foot to the left of where the chimney sits. I've read this thread, http://forum.doityourself.com/showthread.php?t=296497 and learned lots but I have a couple specific questions. Also the beam I will be installing will be about 20 ft.

1. How far apart should I space the jacks?
2. Should I use the final beam initialy or should I do the raising with some other sort of beam?
3. Would a 12" sonotube dug a foot down be sufficiant for a story and a half with a finished attic (not currently finished)? If so how far should I place these?
4. Should I use a LVL, 4 x 6, or ???

Thanks for any help you can provide and I'm sure I will come up with more questions along the way, so any side points would be greatly appritiated!

Jonathan
 
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  #2  
Old 03-19-08, 03:42 PM
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Sagging Floor Under Chimney

I am assuming you plan to do some raising and put in a new beam. If your house was built corectly, the fireplace/chimney should not be carrying any of the house load.

Do you have any idea what the load on the beam will be?

Raising a section of a house is very dangerous, mistakes can be costly in terms of repairs to the house and some experience is required. - You need professional help.

A 12" Sonotude is very strong. Unfortunately, the strength is rarely tested because, in reality, it is limited by the soil and area under it. A properly sized wood post sitting on a concrete spread footing with a Simpson connector would be a better solution. - How do you propose to get the Sonotube form in, put it in place and fill it after it is on solid enough soil?

Just some questions/comments.

Dick
 
  #3  
Old 03-19-08, 04:20 PM
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I so totally agree with the above post. Jacking up a house is not - NOT - a DIY project - without at least professional advice. You're not just raising the floor, you're raising everything attached to it from the jack point up. I tried it once when I was young - knowing it was a relatively simple task (Just jack it level, right?) - and ended up almost ruining the house I was working on.

If you were lifting a main beam a half inch to level it - I might say go for it... but it sounds like a much more involved project than that from your post.
 
  #4  
Old 03-19-08, 04:41 PM
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Cool

Yes I am planning on doing some raising, I do have a professional that said he would come by to help me. I'm also an electritian by trade and have been doing projects for quite some time, so I think I should be able to handle this. In anycase you are correct, the house isn't supported off the chimney, but the chimney was built off the floor, not the ground. The original beam was installed on 18 x 18 concrete footing that simply sit on the ground, since they haven't settled I would wager my new footings won't settle much either.

I'm more interested in doing a good job rather than the easiest job. So as far as placing the sonotubes, I would cut them down to a foot and place them, and like you said fill in after. If a concrete spread footing will be just as effective I can use that as well. The ground is extreamly dry, so I'd guess going down a foot or less (to get debree out) would be more than enough???

The load, couldn't tell you a number but the beams down there currently are a 4 x 6 and the new one is a 6 x 6(from my understanding this was placed to stop further sagging). These are guesses, I can go down and measure if somebody would like. The area is aproximatly 24' x 27' and the beam would be traveling the 27' length. The orignal beam would stay (the area is level to the point of the beam) and my new beam would mainly be carrying the load of the chimney. Does that provide enough info?

Jonathan
 
  #5  
Old 03-19-08, 05:54 PM
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Sagging Floor Under Chimney

The chimney is built off the floor and not off the footing/ground???? - That is much worse than supporting the house off the chimney, which is bad enough!!

That is a definite red flag to make you think again.

You are trying to lift the floor, house and chimney and keep them straight and not tear up all the drywall/plaster corners.

Any time you raise, you must do it slowly (over days or weeks) to give the 100 year old house a chance to adjust.

It is totally wrong to suport a chimney off a wood frame floor. If you have any problems doing the job or later problems (leaks, mold, fire, etc.), you will probably have no insurance. - That is your choice.
 
  #6  
Old 03-19-08, 06:52 PM
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Yeah I couldn't beleive it when I saw it! But being that I was willing to tackle the job it was a plus in a way. For your own info, you would probably love to see this, in anycase, you can see the 2 x 6's sag from the beam that is already installed 1 foot away, lots of weight! Bout leaks, mold, and fire. The chimney isn't being used and the attic is currently unfinished so I can keep an eye on that. I was planning on raising it over then next year, nice and slow, I'm in no rush. But I am still wondering about my original questions, I will be puting a footing directly under the chimney (which is going to be taken out down to the attic floor). What about the spacing of the rest? Thanks again for the help, cautions, and warnings!

Jonathan
 
  #7  
Old 03-19-08, 07:14 PM
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Let me add this. Like stated this house is 100 yrs old. All in all there is maybe 2" of sag where the chimney sits, not good no doubt, but it could be much worse. So I am prepared to lift, but it seems as though there is some thought against that, what are your suggestions? Put a footing underneath the chimney, but leave the sag? Or just figure It'll take another 100yrs for it to be a real issue? I can wire a place but when it comes to structure and raising of floors I do as I'm told. I feel confident I can perform the work, but if it is just part of the "character" that is fine, I just want to make sure no more damage is done. Like I said I'm more interested in the job done right than the easy way out.
 
  #8  
Old 03-19-08, 07:29 PM
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Sagging Floor Under Chimney

On a job such as you propose to do yourself, you will not get any accurate, intellegent answers on a forum. - Only opinions and warnings from people that cannot see what you are facing.

When you are attempting to change something that has been there for 100 years, jacking up in one year is doing it in a hurry.

If you do not need the chimney, get rid of ALL or as much as you can before starting to jack the floors up. As you remove the chimney, the house will come up some and make the raising easier not as dangerous. As you remove the chimney, you will realize that it probably weighs thousands of pounds that you will not have to raise and you will gain space above.
 
  #9  
Old 03-20-08, 03:51 AM
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Hi,

Jonathan, could you upload some photos to Picasa or photobucket and post the link here?

Perhaps if we could see what you see, it will help.
 
  #10  
Old 03-21-08, 12:54 PM
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Cool Pictures

Here are two pictures, they are not the best but might give you an idea, if you would like more I can take more.
http://s276.photobucket.com/albums/k...albumview=grid

Let me know what you think.

Jonathan
 
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