Sagging floor


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Old 11-17-03, 09:33 AM
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WGW
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Sagging floor

I'm not sure if this is the right forum but here's my problem.
The house we moved into 3 months ago is a 130 year old Victorian beauty but the floors sag toward the middle of the house on both first and second floor levels. Because of this, most of the doors don't close properly. I would rather put things as they should be than trim the doors to fit.
What is the best and safest method for jacking the house up (maybe 4 or 5 inches in total) and installing a couple of floor jacks to hold it in place?
The support beams in the celler are approximately 10 inches thick.
 
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Old 11-17-03, 11:06 AM
brickeyee
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Unless you have a lot of experience with jacking this is one you should probably hire out.
Footers need to be installed in the basement to carry the weight, then jacks installed and the sag slowly lifted. It took many years for the sag to develop, and jacking it out very quickly can cause even more problems. 1/8 inch per week is a pretty fast rate. The columns with screw jacks need to have the top, bottom, and screw collars welded.
New cracks are very likely in the walls as the jacking progreses.
 
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Old 11-17-03, 12:03 PM
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Thanks Brickeyee
So far, I have no experience in jacking up a house, but I can manage to build proper footings.
I know that SLOW is the only way to proceed in this.
What has held me back mostly, is that because a hydaulic jack is only about 15 to 20 inches in length and the beam is about 5 feet from the floor, what one would use to safely put the hydraulic jack close enough to the beam?
I'm curious whether I do it myself, or end up hiring it out.
While I have your attention, can you give a ballpark figure on what a contractor might charge for such service?
I know geographics vary prices, but am I looking at hundreds, or thousands of dollars?
 
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Old 11-17-03, 12:47 PM
brickeyee
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No idea on pricing for this one. I also would not use a hydraulic jack, A mechanical jack (railroad jack) or the steel columns with a screw jack are much safer for long term work such as leveling a house. I do not leave the screw jacks in place, but replace them with a steel pipe column (not a Lally, that is a steel pipe filled with cement), but the screw jacks are code accepted in many places for permanent installation if welded and the top and bottom plates are attached to the footer and the beam. The AHJ may want the screw spot welded after the jacking is done to prevent any further movement.
 
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Old 11-17-03, 01:09 PM
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By your description, I already have three screw jacks or posts in other locations in the celler. I thought that the screw ends were simply for fitting once the jack lifted the beam to desired height.
If they are used for lifting, then by progressing at a half a turn a week, it might just do it over the long run.

The beam I need the lift on is currently supported by timber logs. I'm guessing that they are the original supports and have decayde somewhat over the years.
 
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Old 11-18-03, 09:36 AM
brickeyee
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You can lift with the screws. A half a turn a week is about right. Take the post to a welding shop and have the solid plate welded to the pipe. When used against wood often a larger and thicker plate is required against the wood to spread the load. I often use 1/4 inch thick steel angle about 16 inches long to spread the load on the wood. If the beam is large enough two pieces and a 1/2 inch plate work. At least one brand of column tries to spread the load by putting the screw on the footing, but the column is still only 4 inches in diameter. Wood is only worth around 600 pounds/square inch before it will crush (older stuff will take more, newer stuff less).
If you understand how the building is put together and what loads you are moving you should be OK.
 
 

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