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Victorian main girder support post-- how much can I safely crank up?


WestJersey's Avatar
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04-09-14, 06:58 AM   #1  
Victorian main girder support post-- how much can I safely crank up?

Hi,

I've got a small 1893 Victorian that was framed fairly well but settled about 3" at the bearing post in the basement where the two main girders come together (T). The span lengths are about 14'. The first and second floors incline from the outside walls to this center point and I'd like to take some of it out with adjustable lally columns.

Anyone done this? I don't want to crack old dry structural members and I know I'll get some plaster cracks (which is fine). But is it possible to bring it up slowly, say 1/8" every 3 months?

Thanks

 
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Pilot Dane's Avatar
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04-09-14, 09:24 AM   #2  
You can move a house quite a bit if you are patient about it. You could probably go faster but slower is better if you've got the time.

One of the most annoying problems I see when jacking that much is all the stuff that has been done to the house through the years to accommodate the sag. Door get cut so they can open and close so when you get back to level they really show. Door catches/strike plates need to be moved. If built in cabinets have been installed at some point they were probably made to accommodate the unevenness and will come out wonky when the house is back to level.

 
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04-12-14, 01:41 AM   #3  
"Slower is better," she whispered romantically. Oops, wrong forum.

I'm far from being an expert, but I think 1/8" every 3 months is way too slow. Trying to correct 3" of settlement will take you 6 years. I'd consider going at least 1/8" per month.

 
Hal_S's Avatar
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04-12-14, 03:30 AM   #4  
Anyone done this? I don't want to crack old dry structural members and I know I'll get some plaster cracks (which is fine). But is it possible to bring it up slowly, say 1/8" every 3 months?
I've done this twice.

One was a 30 x 30 garage/barn, the front hayloft overhang was supported on one side by a stone wall, other side was a wooden post. Front had sagged about 6" over about forty years.
Turned out the front beam was actually sistered 2 x 10s.
Raised it up over a 2 week period, no real problems.
I had two old style house jacks one 2.5 ton, the other 5 ton.
Since these were big screw jacks I found that you did get a "feel" for how much the wood
had lifted. After it was lifted, then used lally columns.


Second time was a 1700s farmhouse. One long room had the floor supported and leveled by a wood beam, one supported was a steel lally column. The base of the steel column rusted and buckled, so there was a single, noticeable "drop".
Used the same screw-style house jacks to quickly raise the floor up a bit, then slowly lifted back to level over about 2 weeks.

I found that the screw pitch on the lally jacks was ok for small lifting,
but for an entire house you may want to find a good sized hydraulic bottle jack,
do some lifting, THEN snug up the lally colums.
Wait a few hours, lift with the hydraulic, snug up with the lally jacks.

 
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