I have a house built in around 1970 with a rotted mudsill for about 8 feet in a crawl space under a one story family room, which will need about 3/4 inc jacking to replace. SOme floor joist ends are a little soft at the bottom too(shallow problem). I was told this was my only problem at inspection.
Now I am told that I should worry about the box joist too, although from the inside of the house it looks like only a tiny bit of the bottom is rotted in some places. (1/4 inch soft somplaces, and some more discolored)
The main source of water appears to be a place where the top of the foundation was buried by enthusiastic landscapers, on one edge of the corner of the house. I actually saw water coming in fast from that side once when the downspout was connected improperly to a frozen conduit and saturated the ground next to it. SO I will need a permanent fix for that, too. Temporarily I am diverting the water okay.
On the other side of the corner, however, there is a deck about 12" long which was apparently improperly built. I am told that it is bad because they poured concrete to 3-4 inches higher than the foundation of the house, and set it adjacent to what appears to be house siding (can't tell it there is flashing). On top of that, someone built a deck to the level of the family room floor. (The whole deck is just a few inches above ground, by the way - it has rim joists that are about 5" resting on the concrete). IT may be that some water has come in that way as well.
I was first told that I just needed to jack up the corner and put in new mudsill. for $800 or so, per an inspector.
However, a builder said, and a friend who is a building engineer said, that the deck is a no-no and the concrete has got to be cut back to be segregated from the house, too, or the concrete will cause the joist to rot. Also they think I really ought to get a look at the box joist hidden behind the concrete and siding in case it is already badly rotted on the outside.
NOw I am facing: stripping off 2 feet of decking, cutting the deck joists, sawing back 20" or more of concrete pad, inspecting and perhaps bracing the box joists, flashing the side fo the house next to the deck, lapping the deck joists to repair them with new pieces of joist ,and reattaching them to the house, and replacing the decking boards,
AND jacking the corner and replacing the mudsill.
Does this make sense?
Is there any way to tell if wood is rotted on the other side if you have access to one side? Aren't there ultrasounds, or something, which could help with this? WOuld it be necessary anyway to tear up the deck and cut the concrete, as prevention an correction , even if there isn't signficant rot affecting the box joist?
Is there any way to tell if the deck/house conjuncture is flashed without sawing back the concrete?? (there is a small crack from the top view, and from the side view all I can see is what seems to be siding)
HOw do I find someone willing and competent to do all of these things? How much should it cost?
The builder who first looked at it, spent a nice time advising me; said he thought the whole deck had to be discarded and that it would be easier to rebuild from scratch. He would "think about" an easier way. He hasn't called back and never gave an estimate. ( My friend the engineercame up with the idea of stripping back the concrete and then replacing the decking.)
A handyman/carpenter who claimed to have a lot of experience with jacking houses said that he would charge me $1725 just to jack up the 3/4 inch and insert new mudsill and do a small downspout fix; without any work on the deck problem and without any breakdown as far as how much money for which job. ( He was nice enough to look outside and start diagnosing the problems, though - got me on this banana peel)
ALso, if the jacking has to be done very gradually,, can I get someone to let me turn the screw or whatever the appropriate amount for them daily to reduce the cost of multiple visits for jacking?
Lots of questions! I hope to get this taken care of soon. If so, someone else pays half of the repair; if not, I pay all.
(The foundation itself seems to be fine)