Old Garage with sagging wall studs and broken rafters

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Old 11-11-15, 08:03 AM
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Old Garage with sagging wall studs and broken rafters

I have a 100 yr old garage. The concrete was poured inside of the wall studs/bottom plate at a later date I believe. The bottom plate and bottoms of the studs have rotted away and broken loose in a lot of spots. I think it has just sagged down and the siding and remaining studs are crushing into the ground to keep it standing. As a result, the top plate has a U shape, sagging in the middle on both of the long walls.

This situation is not great, but at least the garage was more or less functional. However, a huge tree branch/trunk fell onto the garage and now there are 4 rafters on one side that are basically completely broken (all in a row) and one that is cracked. On the other side, further down, there are two rafters that look like they are weak or might break at some time.

I've been looking for ideas on how to support the rafters. The idea I liked best was to install long metal brackets onto each of the broken rafters with bolts and then jack up the rafters until I can bolt the brackets to the other broken piece of the rafters. I think if I did this, the garage would last for quite awhile longer.

I've debated tearing it all down and rebuilding, but that seems excessively expensive when it is functional if it can be stabilized. Can someone show me how to jack up the rafters safely and what to use? I can't think of the a great way to do it. The rafters are the old style where a rafter from each side runs up from the top plate on either side and then meet at the top of the roof. There is no other support on the rafters in the garage.

If I wanted to try to stop it from sagging into the ground, how could I stabilize that? I will attach some pictures that are hopefully helpful:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B9U...ew?usp=sharing
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B9U...ew?usp=sharing
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B9U...ew?usp=sharing
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B9U...ew?usp=sharing
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B9U...ew?usp=sharing
 
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Old 11-11-15, 08:10 AM
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Adding concrete was not a good idea since it held the moisture & rotted the wood. Building a temporary header & jacking up the roof, is what I would do too. Try to sister whatever rafters you can. Correct the bottom first.
 
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Old 11-11-15, 09:14 AM
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How do I build the temporary header? I assume I would attach it to the bad rafters, jack on the temporary header, and then remove it when done?

I thought about correcting the bottom, but I'm not sure what to do there either, bolt on short pressure treated attachments to each rotted stud? I'm tempted to just leave the bottom as is though, as it has only sagged 2 inches or so over 100 years.
 
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Old 11-11-15, 09:28 AM
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web site showing how to fix bottom plate

Here is a website showing how a guy jacked up his garage and replaced the bottom plate:

Replacing Rotted Sill Or Bottom Plate In A Garage Wall

I think my bottom plate is resting on dirt unfortunately. I guess the best thing to do would be to dig a trench under the lifted up garage and put in some concrete to lower the studs down onto?
 
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Old 11-11-15, 01:58 PM
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You could jack it up the same way but you don't want to leave the bottom as is. That's why the rafters broke. Now that I think about it some more, someone saw the problem & tried to correct it with concrete. It didn't work because they put the concrete, in the wrong spot. That concrete needs to go. It's holding moisture. I don't know if you can get the wall high enough to pour some under the bottom plate. You may have to dig. Once you lay a decent foundation, you can sister some studs & some rafters, to whatever is damaged. You can still use some brackets. Are you in downstate NY?
 
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Old 11-11-15, 02:44 PM
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Well, the rafters may have broken regardless of the concrete or sagging. that was a massive tree trunk branch that hit the garage from probably 30-40' up. I'm surprised it didn't just crush through the roof entirely!

I also think the concrete was just so they could have concrete on the floor of the garage. It had nothing to do with the studs or rafters. It may have contributed to the rotting of the bottom plate and studs though, as you suggest.

I think your idea for the long-term fix might be good: Lift up a wall to support the garage, take off the bottom siding and cut off the stud bottoms and then install a small concrete wall that a new bottom plate can be put onto. Then, lower the garage/studs down onto the plate and attach.

To do that right in downstate NY (yes, I live there - Hudson Valley) shouldn't the concrete go down below the foundation pretty far? Can I just get away with building a 1 foot high wall on a trench filled with some gravel?

I don't want to get so involved with this repair that it costs a ton of money either. Otherwise, I'd rather just tear down the garage and build a nice, newer one.
 
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Old 11-11-15, 04:53 PM
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Under sized rafters.
No ridge beam.
Someone tried to to cover cracks in the floor by poring more concrete.
No pressure treated bottom plate.
Studs are rotted at the bottom.
Siding in direct contact with concrete.
Time for a tear down and rebuild.
How about a picture outside. That siding needed to be at least 6" above grade.
 
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Old 11-11-15, 05:19 PM
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you are mostly correct. the siding is not in direct contact with concrete. it is actually on the dirt and mashing into it from the weight.

i really hate the garage, and i am kind of looking for a reason to rebuild it. it makes me sick every time i go into it, but i also don't want to waste money. i've been thinking about tearing it down and hiring someone to level the site and put in a solid slab with footers. Then, i think i can build up a new garage with some buddies as a project. i'd like to try i think.

for now, i could at least just fix the few rafters somehow so that it is more stable though, right? then, i can tear it down in a few years when i have some other things out of the way, like a kitchen renovation.
 
 

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