My wife and i ended up moving into her dad's old house ( the one my wife grew up in) her dad still owns it and dont need it, he has basically said if you can fix it you can have it...the house is not in bad shape ( we live 15 minutes from the beach and it held for hurricane ivan) i'm pretty sure it was built in the late 1960's... it has real hard wood floors and what looks like 5/8" thick boards under the real wood floor..but heres where it gets bad, it doesnt have a crawl space the floor joists sit about 4" off of the dirt under the house and it has some issues with the floor settling...this is due to a leaking hot water heater, and a washing machine (the washing machine and hotwater heater are back to back with a wall in between them)... When we first moved in the house about a year ago noticed one wall in the hall starting to settle ( this is the wall that seperates the hot water heater and washer) so i cut a hole 2'X5' in the floor to inspect joists, most looked solid ( so i repaired the damaged ones and jacked and blocked them up to where they needed to be ) but there is a beam running under where the washer and hotwater heater sat that is falling apart ( rot from the water) i need to replace about a 10'-15' section it appears..what is the easiest way to do this ?? i'm guessing cutting the floor along the beam and supporting the joists while i install a new beam (the one thats there now is a 2x8 with a 2x6 laying horizontal on the bottom ( like an upside down T) the 2x6 floor joists rest on the bottom ledge of the "upside down T beam" any idea the cost if i hired a contractor to do this work for me ?? just a ball park, i know it will vary depending on alot but just wondering $1000 or $2000 ?? i work with wood and power tools all day at work so thats no problem its just that i have to find out how to go about it the right way I have wondered for a while how much it might cost to lift the whole house about 18" or if its even possible, to make it easier for future repairs and any plumbing problems that might arise... any ideas on price or if its possible ?? again i know it will vary alot just looking into some options i just want to say i have been browsing around the site some and love it look forward to the advise and future posting thanks !!