Hello All, I need some advice.
I have an addition on a 1920's house (addition built in the 50's or
60's I think). It is fairly small probably 6*6 or there about. It is
supported by the house on one side and two cinder block pillars (it
looks like). It appears that the pillars have sunk or something
because the whole thing slopes downward toward the pillars. The
pillars themselves I assume were built straight up now slope slightly
inward and at a slight angle away from the house (would they have been
built like this on purpose). Neither exhibits any movement or flex,
but the floor of this thing is very bouncy. I would like to put a
washer and dryer out here (the space is enclosed), but am afraid it may
fall down or something. I was not able to find any rotting boards in
the floor (it is exposed from the bottom).
If I were to jack it up using a jack (what weight is recommended) would
it be acceptable to use 6*6 square pressure treated supports dug in and
cemented into the ground? How do you join these as they will probably
have to be longer than the eight feet I have seen at home depot? Also
how much cement needs to be pour to stabilize them? Anyone know what
the frost depth line is in Fred, VA.
Unfortunately I can't afford to pay out anymore money on the house as I
already fixed a major sag, new kitchen and new bathrooms (and to boot
had a miserable contractor who I am still fixing damage from).
Any help would be appreciated.
Sounds like incident in progress. Honest. Knockdown and redo, maybe.
In compliance with code. Someone could really get hurt, from your
knowledgeable in "Fred." WTH is that, really? Fredericksburg? Local
folks/officials should answer your questions. Can't see your place from
As emergency measure, you might put vertical timbers under center of
horizontal framing, sitting on suitable (for soil/load) footings. Just
so it doesn't fold in on itself, with you or yours in it.
Personally I'd be thinking along the lines of digging holes pouring a
little concrete with some re-bar and doing what the original builder
should have done, build a footer. The above ground part could be done a
number of ways, screw jacks like seen in basements would work & would
give adjustment if it sagged a bit later on, you could build
Hardy-board boxes around them for appearance's sake. or you could just
round up a couple of Simplex jacks and raise it enough to put the
blocks back with proper shims so it is level and plum. 6 X 6 isn't
really much weight, travel trailers probably weigh as much.
This may be a very serious situation. Not being able to see it, I surely
cant say exactly what is needed. A few tips though. Footers should be at
least 36". Your building inspector will know exactly. More is better if in
There are various types of jacks. Screw, bottle, etc. Before you do any
jacking, look for some information on how to do it properly. You may need
two or more jacks. They must be firmly situated on something solid to take
the weight. You can only jack in small increments to avoid doing damage.
I'm not sure why you must join the 6 x 6's. Are you laying them horizontal
as a sill support? With vertical support below them to the footers? Are
the 6 x 6 replacing the existing pillars? How high are they? If more than
8', you don't join the supports, you buy the length you need to make them in
one piece and cut them to size. They come up to 16' long. Using sonotubes,
you can pour a pillar that starts 3' or more in the ground and extends up,
thus needed shorter wood supports. I think I'd go 4' or more down.
If the floor is bouncy, there may be other problems, like weak and
undersized joists. It may be smarter to tear this down and start over with
a safe design.
Thanks for the information all. Here is where I am at currently:
I did some more serious investigation last night. The pillars the
provide the rear support are very solid. I.e. they don't move sway at
all they have just sunk about a 1/4 to a half an inch over their life
(which I can live with nothing in my house is straight. My concern is
the akward angle. I'll post some picture on my site at some point this
week to show.
I did discover the the floor joists are the actual culprit. The boards
that make the perimeter of the floor are tripled 2*6 which look like
pressure treated or newer board and are in very good shape. However
there is an interior board which is older and lightly cracked nailed to
these which provides the support for the floor joists which are also
old and cracked. The whole interior is in danger of falling through if
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where above each there are three outer boards from the house to the
pillar and from pillar to pillar. These are very solid. Then nail
inside these is a cruddy board with a notched joist resting on it.
I'm thinking at this point I'm going to empty everything out of the
room (like sunday) and redo the innards using metal bracing off the
solid three outer boards and redo all the joists before i find myself
on the ground below.
Any better suggestions. I know its hard without some pictures. I try
and post so people can see.
Thanks so much,
Edwin Pawlowski wrote:
Sounds like a pretty straightforward job. Sooner or later you are going
to have to address the foundation however and that means some support
resting on undisturbed soil below the frost line.
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