Just found the forum, and I've done a bit of search...thought I would ask the question and get some opinions.
The house: 50 years old, pier and beam brick venier/wood floors
The soil: Texas black gumbo clay (the stinky stuff)
The symtoms: typical cracks in walls and ceilings, only one exterior wall crack (!), fun house type wavy floors.
The project: DIY floor leveling, possible grade beam leveling.
Owner profile: Mechanically inclined, generally well equiped, hopelessly talentless, ignorant enough not to know the difficulties associated with any project.
The approach: A concern of either over or under symplifying this project has brought me here. Having an understanding of the use of a transit (but not a working knowlege) I intend to get an understanding of what the house is doing overall, and then plan to make decisions on whether to tackle only the floor joist issue (remove/add shims) or tackle the grade beams first.
I have some minor drainage issues, but the big challenge is the clay soil. It's said that the clay soil can expand up to four times. It sometimes seems as if it can expand 10 times, but hey, I'm not an engineer
I'm sure the best way to approach is to hire a pro and have them drill some pier holes (at $500 a hole +/-
) for the grade beams, but I'm convinced that a shovel, sweat, reinforced concrete, sweat, structural steel beam sections, sweat, and shims, a safe and sturdy jacking system, and sweat, and I should be able to adequetly repair the beams.
The floors shouldn't be hard...so what am I missing?
Except that I don't have cars on blocks in the front yard (mine are in the back...and they aren't cars, they're motorcycles), I can sometimes be the guy who gets started on a project and becomes lost and then let's the priority of the project get away.
So...am I nuts? Should I save the pennies for a pro? Should I jump in and look forward to the satisfaction of a job well done? Should I change the batteries in the remote and order up ultimate fighting and ignore the slanting floors and wall cracks?
Fire away...and thanks for any input! I appreciate your time.