The great sinking house

Discussion in 'Framing and Foundation' started by nealtw, Oct 2, 2015.

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  1. Oct 2, 2015 #1

    nealtw

    nealtw

    nealtw

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    This house was built around 2002 and within a few months the settling started, first the back corner then a spot near the center of the house where two big bearing points where holding up a big beam about 8 ft long. The basement was finished and hard to see what was going on but the homeowner could see one of these bearing points behind the furnace and had tried to put a jack and post under the beam and lift it. The hole in the concrete floor behind the furnace is roughly the shape of the jack. I met these people after 2 engineers had looked at it, recommending either a house mover or mud jacking the foundation both of which would have cost a fortune and done a lot of dammage that would run the cost up a bunch more.
    I got involved because I like a challenge and am generally interested.

    The home owner is in the trades and has a pretty good knowedge of live and dead loads which is really helpfull when looking at something like this. We spent a few evenings with a laser level to see where and what was happining but it was hard to get the answers as the foundation is 11 ft deep in the front and 5 ft deep in the back with a walk out in the back and the concrete had been formed in foam forms which are left in place for insulation.
    After a few months of discussion and planning and going over the what abouts and what ifs. We sorta came up with a plan.
    The area where the deck is on the back needed to be lifted the most but we didn't want to dammage the floor, the ceiling or fireplace so we decided to add 2 2x10 blocks between the joists of the deck and bolt thru all those blocks to the rim joist so we could install a beam below and jack up the back wall. To get that beam closer to the house the board and bat siding was removed. We were lucky as the basement was 11 ft deep the ceiling in that room had been dropped to eight ft but it was 2x4s hung on plumbing straps so some temperary walls had to built so a man could crawl out there and tighten the bolts for the blocks under the deck.
    We still had a problem with the ceiling attached to the back wall and would lift off the temp walls when it went with the wall so we disconnected the ceiling from the back wall.
    Then we were looking at the fireplace wall and scratching our heads. We decided to leave that wall in place by seperating it from the back wall in the corner and removed enough siding just above the brown cat walk on the side to cut all the nails that held the rim joist to the top of that wall.
    We then turned our attention to the bearing points in the center of the house which we now had access to be crawling across the ceiling. The bearing point were below the floor with footing down about three feet below the floor with 6x6 concrete posts to the level of the floor which left us nothing to jack on and the floor had already failed once.
    We left everything and talked about it off and on for about 2 weeks before I came up with 2 huge hangers that are used for beams, the hangers that are held in place with 30 nails We re-shaped those so the side would wrap the bearing posts and we installed another beam below the first and cut the nails holding the upper beam to the posts so we could place jacks betweenthe two beams.
    Then we had a few meating on what we were thinking of doing and how to go about doing and making sure that we had everything under control.
    We made a multitude of spacers and wages as we decided if we moved something an eigth of an inch were were not going to lose it and we decided we would go 1/8 inch per day and inspect the house upstairs everyday for what might come up as a problem.

    The home owner and his partner did most of the lifting with with 6 25ton jacks. Mostly they followed the 1/8 rule but right at the end the partner got excited as they only need another 1/4 inch on the back corner. The concrete deck below the jack broke and went down about an inch and the jack went flying and the partner was hit with the poist. I understand it is really painfull to put the shoulder back in place when your arm is broken as he was on his knees when all hell broke out.
    After that we cut into the wall and removed a little bottom plate and laid a 6x6 post on the deck with one end on the foundation and successfully raised that cornner.
    The beam in the center of the house was raised and then we had to shim the floor joist that were landing on a bearing wall in the middle of the house and the stairs beside that bearing wall gave us a little trouble and we had to cut it loose from the floor and afterwards each tread had to be fit with different thickness of plywood to bring them back to code ( so each riser is withn 1/8" of each other).
    In the photo you can see the new white trim board above thew catwalk that hides the work we did in sepperating the rim joist. You can also see the white step that has been added to the little landing and the 2 2x4s under that landing as that is how much that corner was lifted. Three of the white posts under the deck were changed out to re-level that. And the wood deck was added beacuse the concrete deck would have been a bigger job to fix.
    The actual cost of the lift was less that $500 including the jacks and not including all the pretty stuff that had to be repaired around the house.
    After three years I can say this job was successful

    IMG00157-20140811-0110.jpg
     
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  2. Oct 2, 2015 #2

    oldognewtrick

    oldognewtrick

    oldognewtrick

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    What about continued settling? Any chance its stablized?
     
  3. Oct 2, 2015 #3

    nealtw

    nealtw

    nealtw

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    It hasn't moved since.
     
  4. Oct 10, 2015 #4

    slownsteady

    slownsteady

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    you need more pictures :)
     
  5. Oct 10, 2015 #5

    CallMeVilla

    CallMeVilla

    CallMeVilla

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    :banana::banana::banana:

    I want to see the pictures of the injured guy .... cast? sling? Stupid look on his face?
     
  6. Oct 13, 2015 #6

    nealtw

    nealtw

    nealtw

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    No more pictures, sorry what you see is what you get. Sorry.
     
  7. Oct 13, 2015 #7

    slownsteady

    slownsteady

    slownsteady

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    tsk, tsk.:worthless:

    (always wanted to use that one!)
     
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  8. Oct 13, 2015 #8

    nealtw

    nealtw

    nealtw

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    Not fair, there is one picture.
     
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