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OhReally 08-21-2012 03:37 PM

Support Beam Shims
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I am selling my house. As part of the agreement, I have to fix some support beam shims that the inspector found. They just want them level again.

I thought it was something that wouldn't be any big deal. Once I talked to a few people, it appears I was wrong.

The area around the support is all dirt. I was wondering if I should just buy new smaller shims and wedge them in on the other side, try just slowly jacking up the house and move the shims, or just hire a professional. What do you guys think?


kok328 08-21-2012 04:08 PM

Jack it up, shim it and call for re-inspection.

nealtw 08-21-2012 05:13 PM

The post looks like block that has not been filled with concrete, is mortered together or just stacked up.

OhReally 08-22-2012 09:32 AM

The house is drywalled. I shouldn't have to raise it much. What are my chances of the walls cracking?

From what I remember, the blocks are stacked. I haven't had a chance to check since I got the report.

nealtw 08-22-2012 04:22 PM

I wouldn't worry to much about cracking drywall.
I would worry about setting some sort of jack on a dirt floor and lifting the house off an unstable pile of blocks.

BridgeMan 08-23-2012 09:40 PM

Should be a very simple operation. Place the jack on a crib made from heavy timbers, and use a spreader plate at the top to avoid penetrating (crushing) the beam. The new bottom shim should span the entire block width or length, such that the load is spread over the blocks' vertical ribs (more the better).

LMHmedchem 08-24-2012 03:03 PM

I would also ask why the original shims have shifted.

Is the stack of blocks plumb? If the stack is leaning at all, then you need to address that. As as stated above, the blocks should be mortared together and on a concrete pad. A L shaped stack is much more stable than a straight stack. You could look at alternate support members, such as a lally colum(s) on a concrete pad or sonotube.

Structural masonry is not necessarily something I would advise doing on your own if you have never done it before. Your inspector would also probably feel better about it if you had a mason do the job. A steel column is easier to do, but again, it needs to be perfectly plumb or it will shift over time.

Is there any other structural issue that you can see that may have caused the shift the displaced the original shims?


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