Leveling a Pier and Beam home
WE bought an older home, built in 1948. It has a pier and beam foundation, on dirt. There is a LOT of crawl space under our home (Thank Goodness!) The house probably sits 2 1/2 feet or more off the ground. I believe the piers are some type of metal or steel (would have to ask the hubby).
We live in West Texas which is mostly dry and hot. WE don't have any water issues, other than maybe an outside faucet next to the back of the house, but it doesn't leak.
The house is not level, but doesn't appear to be too far off. If I pour water out on the floor in the kitchen, it will go all the way across the floor and under the cabinets. There is one area in the dining room that sags, about 1 1/ ft area. This area is next to a floor-to-ceiling bookshelf, that connects to a central hall wall. It is also in the walkway area that leads to the hall.
The sheetrock on the ceiling between the dining room and kitchen has a separated area (appears to be on a joint), but the problem with this area is that there is a room built over the kitchen that is connected to a room built over the carport. The carport has concrete flooring.
I think that the area that isn't level may be the area that has the rooms above (especially over the kitchen), but the whole house probably could use an adjustment.
How do we go about leveling our home? Can it be done by us, or should we hire a professional? If it can be done by us, what equipment do we need to do the project?
Thanks in advance for all the help!!
I have done this on a small cottage before I go into details on what I did and why I want to give you a few things to consider first.
You, or someone, needs to determine why things have sagged in the first place. Simply jacking and making level may ultimately fail again of the underlying problem is not corrected.
- Poor compaction
- inadequate footers
- expansive soils
- trash or debris under ground, under footer
So, figure out the cause of the problem. We can then go from there. 'round here its often termites in the sill, on top of the foundation, not the foundation itself.
My old home had water under for long time then flooded under house 3 times with a foot of water. Whole house needs relevel. Why doesnt leveling seem to work? Why does it seem house never built level in first place, seems I keep going to high in areas?
This is a common problem. I had a house in Virginia where a marble would run like crazy over the hardwood floors until we re-leveled it.
You might look at this old post too . . . particularly the point about oak shims instead of steel.
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