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bick22 03-24-2013 10:10 PM

Newb Home Remodel Project
Hey everyone, Got an old house on the coast of Maine givin to me from my Grandparents... Now its time to make it awesome. Past experience is a boat builder and a weatherization tech. Currently work on an ambulance cause I HATE carpentry! A little bit about the house.

45-50'x22'w, Sitting on cedar sills ( rotten and house is sagging in spots inside ) Floors in side are going on the corners of the rooms from moisture damage from sitting on the ground, Pipe poking through the new roof cause of sag in the back bed room ( roof is 8 years old ) ceiling are stress cracked, walls seem ok but need attn as far as sagging, Paneling ( old ) will need to be replaced, Cedar shingals are about 8 years old as well. Electric is old glass fused ( I know not up to code ) among im sure other REALLY bad things.


I want to rebuild this house without burning it flat ( I am a fire fighter and it sounds great in my mind ) But getting stick on where to start and how to do it. I have no room to "move" the house cause im in the middle of a fishing village and property is really small with a house that I can spit on next door. But I know I need to get the floors straight and rebuild the floors but what do I replace the sills with? if I cant pour a cement slab ( which I know I cant not enough money and a lot of work to dig it lift it et ) THEN WHAT do I use? I will be posting pics as I go and any and all info would be great.

I want to have a nice Ocean cottage feel to the home and it sounds bad but it is livable now. The wife and I are staying in it at the moment to work on it and play around with it. I have 5 gallons of dark blue paint that I am going to put on it and repaint the trim to give it some love and maybe keep the people across the street happy since they own a fantastic art gallery with high end clients.

Again I will be posting pics and from what I have said besides burning it or bull dozing it what are some good DIY idea's that will be cost friendly?

nealtw 03-24-2013 11:34 PM

First thing is to lift it and sorta level it, you didn't say whether you have a foundation under the sills. I think consulting a structural engineer would be the first step.

bick22 03-25-2013 10:24 AM

There is nothing under the foundation. It sits on sits which are dug into the muddy rocky coast of Maine. Bad option but the house was built in 1940 and they didn't take time into concideration lol

nealtw 03-25-2013 10:39 AM

You are talking a fair amount of money to fix this now. A foundation would sit on a footing at least the depth of the frost in the area which may be as much as forty inches below the ground level. That will require a house moving company to lift the house and then a lot of digging.
If you don't think the house is worth that much, you could jack up the areas of the house and just change the rotted sills with treated timbers, working around the house and you would have it back to the way it was. It would still be subject to frost heaves so leveling it may be pointless.

bick22 03-26-2013 07:43 AM

I was thinking of running sonotubes ( spelling wrong maybe ? ) 4 feet down onto a 3x3 pad and lifting the house my self a foot with lattice work around the bottom to keep air movement through it. I want it to be nice but really trying to plug along by myself. I can afford the moving company but I want to make it livable and have a "cottage" feel. So perfect is not where I need to go cause I want it to be a rental at some point for summer people. Let the house make money and then rebuild it from scratch if I had too

nealtw 03-26-2013 11:17 AM

Sounds like a plan, but not one that I would do. Just a few things to think about. You will have to figure the weight of the house, special pointloads in the house, size of beams required, placement of jacks, stablelize it while you jack it and make sure it stays stable while you live in it and work under it. That just gets you up, now you have to figure where to put the footing and maybe you can use the same beams, maybe not. Remember, if the house should have 3x3 footing under the posts, the jacks will need a simular footprint in the mud.
Jacking up one corner or one side is done all the time and the house stays stable because most of it ia still in place. Lifting it in the air is where the danger is.
Do you have crawl space under it now and how much?

bick22 03-27-2013 08:03 AM

There is a crawl space yes. Its about 3 feet ?

nealtw 03-27-2013 10:55 AM

I think it could be done. I would start with just working at changing the sills and removing ,repairing any rott you can and leveling as best you can.
Once you have that done you will have some idea how the lifting process will go and maybe figure if the extra work will be worth it. If you have the house stablized like that you could take one side up an inch or so, dig out and put your footings. You could install the required beams and hold them up with cribbing off the footing. When the whole house has been done like this you could work around the house lifting it one inch or so at a time.
Other things to look at, chimney, interior bearing walls, and special point loads coming from the roof.
It's not good to assume that if it isn't supported now, lots of mistakes have been made in old houses that have to be looked at.

BridgeMan 03-27-2013 12:56 PM

Let me see if I understand this correctly--you absolutely hate carpentry, but you plan on spending the next umpteen years doing carpentry on a house that's falling apart? Forgive my being abrupt, but why on earth would you even consider such a project? It's one thing to undertake a potentially lengthy job of any kind when you love doing the work--in fact, it soon no longer is considered work, but actually can transform itself into a form of very soothing therapy. Since you readily admit your intense dislike of carpentry, it will only get worse once you start the project (if that's possible).

My advice is to stick with the ambulance work, and hire someone to work on the house. Put the wife to work if you need to supplement the EMT salary, in order to get the house done before you're both in your 90s.

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