I can walk downhill...in my house

Old 02-07-09, 12:10 PM
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Question I can walk downhill...in my house

I wasn't quite sure where to put this - I know there is a problem with the foundation, but it is causing damage to the floors.

This one-level home was built in 1912 - rather sturdy - however there has been termite damage in the past. The problem has been contained and currently there is no problem with the nasty pests!

SO, a load bearing wall is beginning to sink. The previous owners really didn't do much to the house, though tenants seemed to do more. There have been a few "support beams" that have been replaced, yet there are still damaged beams remaining. Why they didn't just fix everything while they were down there is beyond me....

The foundation is beginning to crumble, however, the previous owners had filled the basement in with sand. Apparently, a quick cheap fix for the problem...that doesn't really fix the problem at all.

My question is/are this:
1. Do I jack the house up first before repairing the foundation?
2. When I jack the house up, what are the measurements/specifications I am looking for when I purchase a jack?
3. Does anyone have any suggestions for what kind of jack to purchase and appx. what a one level home would need in the way of support (tons)?
4. I have no clue what I am doing, but I know that it can be done without paying someone thousands of dollars. So, if anyone can explain in lay terms the process if they have the time, that would be great too!

I have never attempted anything like this, but we simply do not have the money to have any kind of professional come in and do anything about it. It is a do or fall situation...

Thanks in advance for any help in this!
Miss MariahBeer 4U2
Old 02-07-09, 01:08 PM
Join Date: Oct 2008
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Hi Miss Mariah, "I have no clue what I am doing" I'm going to try to forget you said that. The normal response for a project with the potential problems you face would be to hire a pro. But I grew up poorer than dirt and will never forget what it is like to simply not be able to do many things because there was NO money. So I'll get you started, but prepare yourself.

With the proper planning this can be done and in a reasonably safe manner. The key is, don't get ahead of yourself, or the building. Now, you will have to spend some money as new materials, support materials, and tools (like the jack) are a must. But before you run out and but a jack, you need a plan. That plan may tell you to stop before you start as it will add up all of the costs that can't be avoided and the challenges you face.

You or someone will have to determine if your existing foundation can be salvaged and if so how much needs to be replaced.

You or someone will have to determine how much of the building will need to be replaced. Remember, there is ALWAYS a lot more needed than what you can see.

How far out of level is it and will it come back to level. Often times the walls, ceilings and floors will be damaged in the process. Be prepared for that.

Even though you want to do this by yourself, get a couple of estimates and listen to what they say.

If everything works out to where you have a plan and you decide to do this, take it slow. One small area at a time. As each area is completed it will add stability to the overall building and give you a base to level everything to. Going into more detail now is not needed as you have a lot of planning to do first and I will be happy to fill in the blanks if that time comes.

If the project becomes too big and too expensive, I would suggest you look for ways to stabilize what is there so it does not get any worse.

good luck
Old 02-07-09, 04:53 PM
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Thumbs up

I appreciate the quick response, Bud!

I will get estimates and ask some professionals for some tips. I've been speaking to a few people who have done work like this before. Perhaps I could smile and grin and they'll knock off a few grand...lol That is really just a joke...but man...if it could work!!

The problem isn't completely out of control yet - so we have time and I am hoping that their "quick sand" fix we'll buy us some more time. And in the mean time, I have decided that I have the world's largest kitty litter box...so I could do some pet sitting in the meantime to gather some more funds.

Seriously, though - I will look into the info I need to get the ball moving. I am not as "helpless" as I sound...I was a "tomboy" growing up and hung around my father quite a bit, so I'm sure with a bit of direction, I can do this.

I will probably be coming back to take you up on that offer for advice at a later time, as I believe that this good ol' house can be saved!

Thanks bunches!

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