ideas on jacking up a 2 story house

Discussion in 'Framing and Foundation' started by homersipes, Feb 2, 2014.

  1. Feb 2, 2014 #1

    homersipes

    homersipes

    homersipes

    New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2014
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    2
    So my house was built in 1903 and the back half is settling due to he stone foundation. I am a pretty good at doing DIY things, just never jacked a house. Okay so the house obviously has a stone foundation, the back half is about 8 feet from a very steep bank, the foundation in the back is kind of buldging out, so this is my issue. So my thinking was to cut out sections of the concrete floor, dig down and put in sauna tubes to put screw jacks on. build up a beam using 2x10s just as you would a header to go the entire length of the back side of the house, would need to probably use 6 jacks to raise it up then once its up put in a flat 2x8 on the top of the foundation as a gap filler and shim up to the sill, then just leave the jacks there permanently as I just build rc planes down there. then the weight isnt on the foundation, I could use bigger tubes and once its raised put in some 8x8s next to the jacks then could remove the jacks. is this feasible, or am I day dreaming here?the floor beyond the wall in the pics is perfectly level, its the floors above where my planes are that is the concern.[​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
    I live in vermont, and the main part of the house is a gable end here is what the house looks like from the outside, sorry I dont have any pics of the outside that are real good.
    http://www.realtor.com/realestatean...ws-Falls-Rd_Westminster_VT_05101_M46115-58565
    part of it is the kitchen to the right which is an add on, the other is the original house which is where the gable end is.
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2014
  2. Feb 2, 2014 #2

    JoeD

    JoeD

    JoeD

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2006
    Messages:
    1,524
    Likes Received:
    272
    This most definitely needs a structural engineer to give solution. Depending on the solution the implementation MIGHT be DIY.
     
  3. Feb 4, 2014 #3

    BridgeMan

    BridgeMan

    BridgeMan

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2011
    Messages:
    744
    Likes Received:
    80
    I agree with JoeD. A good engineer will be able to tell you the cause of the settlement, and the best approach for correcting the situation.

    If you try to do the job yourself, make sure to use heavy movers jacks and not flimsy automotive screw jacks. Also, take the sono tubes (a sauna is a hot room for sweating in) down far enough to get below the ravine's steep slope line--not doing that means the sono tubes could move and kick out in the future.
     
  4. Feb 4, 2014 #4

    nealtw

    nealtw

    nealtw

    Contractor retired

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2010
    Messages:
    23,889
    Likes Received:
    3,115
    Sono tubes would require a footing, size and depth to be decided after soil conditions have been judged by a geo-tech engineer. beams, posts and jacks can be dangerous combination. You didn't say about how far it has settled.
     
  5. Feb 4, 2014 #5

    havasu

    havasu

    havasu

    Guest

    Sorry, but the RC plane being built distracted me. Can you post more pics of it, since it seems to be one hell of a work of art!
     
    nealtw likes this.
  6. Feb 4, 2014 #6

    oldognewtrick

    oldognewtrick

    oldognewtrick

    Administrator Staff Member Admin Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2009
    Messages:
    10,811
    Likes Received:
    1,433
    Wonder if he's heard of Team Flying Circus?
     
    havasu likes this.
  7. Feb 4, 2014 #7

    nealtw

    nealtw

    nealtw

    Contractor retired

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2010
    Messages:
    23,889
    Likes Received:
    3,115
    Just post the link.
     
  8. Feb 4, 2014 #8

    mudmixer

    mudmixer

    mudmixer

    Contractor

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2006
    Messages:
    671
    Likes Received:
    76
    Keep in mind the settlement is probably not due to the stone foundation, but from the soil settlement.

    Unless you are soil expert (not just gardening), you need someone to look at the big picture since it may continue.

    Dick
     
    nealtw likes this.
  9. Feb 4, 2014 #9

    bud16415

    bud16415

    bud16415

    Fixer Upper Staff Member Admin Moderator

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2013
    Messages:
    4,652
    Likes Received:
    1,596
    Has something changed after 110 years to now start your house to settle? Have you just recently seen the movement? If the house is new to you and you see out of level conditions they could have been like that for 75 years. How much out of level is it over how many feet?

    Are there big cracks or gaps where the movement has taken that part of the house away? Any broken or stuck windows and doors etc? These can be clues as to how slow a process is going on. I agree get a pro in to study the structure and foundation and know that lifting it back if it has taken many years to change can cause other problems. You mentioned a steep bank close to the house. Is there ongoing erosion visible?

    Many homes here on the bluff of the great lakes have shown similar problems and it’s not a matter of fixing the house. In most cases it’s cheaper to move the house than try and stop mother nature. Those are sever cases but when something has been stable for 100 years and then starts moving IMO that’s a sign of an outside influence.
     
  10. Feb 4, 2014 #10

    mudmixer

    mudmixer

    mudmixer

    Contractor

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2006
    Messages:
    671
    Likes Received:
    76
    It could be local soil failure/settlement or a "global" soil movement that does not necessarily cause a lot of cracks but tilting and some small cracks, but in the end, one part ends up being lower.

    If you don't get to a stable soil with you repairs, problems could continue. That is the danger of not having someone looking at the big picture. most of the hillside home in CA that slide are built on a solid foundation, but the major big picture and long term changes cause the identifiable problems after they happen. That is an area extremes, but show what can be possible. - At least it is not the problem that happens in FL with the "small" sink holes that eat homes.

    Dick
     
  11. Feb 4, 2014 #11

    oldognewtrick

    oldognewtrick

    oldognewtrick

    Administrator Staff Member Admin Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2009
    Messages:
    10,811
    Likes Received:
    1,433
  12. Feb 5, 2014 #12

    nealtw

    nealtw

    nealtw

    Contractor retired

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2010
    Messages:
    23,889
    Likes Received:
    3,115
    I used to fly real planes, coming around a mountain one day came close to some fool hanging from a kite. I bet it was raining brown that day.
     
  13. Feb 5, 2014 #13

    homersipes

    homersipes

    homersipes

    New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2014
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    2
    thanks for the info everyone, think I will have someone take a look at the soil. We have been here almost 3 years, and have NOT noticed a change in the unlevelness of the floor. We have a small aquarium in the dining room where you can tell its not level and since we have been here it hasnt changed, but it isnt getting better either :D. it is about 2 1/2" in roughly 14 feet. no stuck doors, all the doors work great havent had to adjust striker plates or plane the doors. all the windows work beautifully, if it werent for the fish tank or a level eye you would never know. There are a few small cracks in the plaster, but none too bad, there is only one bad spot and thats right next to the chimney on the second floor, the plaster has cracked pretty good there, but then again has not changed in the 3 years we have been here. The bank has no visible signs of erosion, we have gutters which take the water down behind the garage. hahaha I knew I would get a ration over sauna tubes, I thought of it after I posted and was like DOH thats not how its spelled :rofl: glad you like the rc plane, its a 1/4 scale piper pawnee. here are some pics of my dads projects
    [​IMG][​IMG]
     
    havasu and oldognewtrick like this.
  14. Feb 5, 2014 #14

    bud16415

    bud16415

    bud16415

    Fixer Upper Staff Member Admin Moderator

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2013
    Messages:
    4,652
    Likes Received:
    1,596
    Sounds to me like every old home I have lived in. The only thing you mentioned is the bulging basement wall you talked about, and I would ask similar questions about that. Is the mortar popping out, cracked showing gaps? Chances are this all happened 75 years ago and has been stable for all this time. Lifting things back into place rapidly is going to flex a lot of stuff up thru the house. Windows, doors, plaster all don’t like being bent 2.5 inches. In my first old house I had all these problems and didn’t try and correct them for the above fears, but I did things to stabilize the floors take the bounce out replace bad wood etc. I also leveled where I had to. It will be interesting to hear what the eng. has to say.
     
    nealtw likes this.
  15. Feb 5, 2014 #15

    homersipes

    homersipes

    homersipes

    New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2014
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    2
    I am not 100 % sure that the foundation is bowing out or if it was built thicker. there are only a couple small places where the mortar has cracked out, I can look in between the paneling and foudation and its as straight as can be on the interior, but on the outside it is about 6" wider than the house. I am not sure if they built the back foundation thicker or what, the foundation inside the basement is as straight as a poured foundation, and its nearly perfectly level as most as I can tell. I think you maybe right all of this happened 70 years ago, but it bugs me hahaha. all the corners are fine and not cracked, seems as if the foundation was sinking on the back wouldnt the corners show stress? I only have 1 wall in the house that shows real signs of stress and its in 1 area next to the chimney. the wall down stairs at the top by ceiling and directly above it upstairs is the exact same. I mean the plaster has a few cracks but not enough to signify 2" of drop. I have seen a couple houses that the floors were 1/2" out in 25 feet and the doors dont work, and the plaster is all cracked up.
     
  16. Feb 5, 2014 #16

    bud16415

    bud16415

    bud16415

    Fixer Upper Staff Member Admin Moderator

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2013
    Messages:
    4,652
    Likes Received:
    1,596
    A lot of these houses were built and not plastered for several years. They sometimes used 1 inch thick sheathing on the inside for the walls until they could afford the luxury of plaster. My field stone basement is straight like yours on the inside and tapered on the outside I would say it’s about 2 feet at the top and 3 to 4 feet thick at the bottom. When I had my new well put in the guy had to make a hole thru that wall and picked a spot between several stones and started drilling only to find a huge bolder half way thru. He went right thru that thing I was quite impressed.

    If you love old houses you have to also learn to love some of the crazy things you find in them. They didn’t have 48” sheets of material so they didn’t care about things like stud spacing and spaced studs apart the length of their hammer. I have made quite a few adjustments to things rather than try and level the house. In my new house the kitchen stove sits on a base I made that looks to be part of the stove but is a big wedge that’s tapered 1 inch across the width of the stove. By the time I set the counters and got them level the stove looked stupid jacked up 2 inches on the front. The funny part is it causes an optical illusion and people think the floor slopes the other way if they study it and they say well I never would have noticed if you didn’t show me. Then I take a golf ball and put it in front of the stove and it appears to roll up hill. Sometimes things like your fish tank make us aware of the problem and no one else would even notice.

    I don’t know what you have as a plate on top of the basement wall I have a big beam that’s about 10x10 I think a lot of it came about over the years as wood shrunk up and compressed under the weight of the house. I can tell you when the snowplow comes down the road I can feel it half a block away and in the newer houses I cant. Not sure why that is.
     

Share This Page