Foundation repair

Need to replace some perimiter foundations in my home. Dug down to hard pan, placed rebar into spread footing and spaced verticals so as to use concrete block for the stem walls. Approx. 3-4 feet high.
QUESTION: Anybody have suggestions on how to finish off the top course of block? Do I pour concrete through a small gap (between the new block and the old 2x6 plates)? Then do I shim with pressure treated wood, or form the last small gap and pour non-shrink grout? I'm sure some of you have done this. Please advise as to what is easiest.
BTW, my existing plates (double 2x6) are in excellent shape. No bolts were used so I would like to drill up into the plates and hang bolts before I pour concrete. I also need to level out the house. It goes up and down about 2 inches, which is why I am replacing the foundation in the first place
All replies appreciated.
Ivan Vegvary
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Ivan Vegvary wrote:

I would think you would want to jack the house up in the area so the sill plate is a bit above the expected final height, perhaps 1". Set the anchor bolts in place through the holes in the sill suspended by the nuts and washers accounting for the gap you will close up later. Pour the cement / grout to finish off the top bond beam course and appropriate finish height, presumably using a small form if needed. When everything has cured properly lower the house and sill down to final height and tighten the anchor bolts. Of course use all appropriate precautions when jacking and cribbing, etc.
Pete C.
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I do need to raise the house about 1 to 3 inches. So, yes, I will raise an extra inch and pour some non-shrink grout. We'll see if other solutions are forthcoming? Thanks,
Ivan Vegvary
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-snip-

I'd want to add another [treated] 2x6- but it is your choice. If you're in a dry area that doesn't have termites, then it probably isn't a big deal. I'd still at least treat the parts of the sill that you'll [hopefully] never see again.
Here's how I did mine a couple years ago. This old house managed to lose 25' of foundation [100 yr old dry stone] on one wall- and 20 feet on the adjacent wall. The corner held, and we managed to replace the walls without even cracking sheetrock upstairs.
Cribbed the crap out of it immediately. Replaced sill & drilled holes for 'L' bolts. Replaced cribbing with a solid steel post every 10'- Post gets buried in wall- and has its own footing that goes below wall footing so the final footing is an uninterrupted, reinforced unit.
Level house to its final elevation. Insert L- bolts in holes. Ran wall to within block height plus 1/2". I used bond beam block for final course. [block with one side solid so you can fill it with concrete] Using wedges to force it tight against sill, I placed block- then used a 'pastry bag' to fill gap with mortar. Removed wedges an hour or two later- and filled gaps left by them. Filled top of bond beam blocks. Snugged up bolts next week.
I used 10 inch block & set the wall deep enough to allow for 2" insulation and a parge coat on outside- so I had room to get a 3lb coffee can up there to fill the blocks with concrete.
Good luck-- this isn't the most fun I ever had, but the end result was gratifying.
Jim
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Jim Elbrecht wrote:

Well, that sounds like... er... "fun"...
Did you run out of expletives while doing the work?
Pete C.
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wrote:

Don't understand terminology. My blocks have "all sides and ends solid" unless I buy "Speedblock" which has no ends and therefore does not need to be 'threaded' over the vertical rebar. Are we talking about the same things?? Everything else you mention makes a lot of sense and should be easy to effectuate. Thanks for the good hints.
Ivan Vegvary
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Ivan Vegvary wrote:

Bond beam blocks are different and are designed so that you can lay horizontal rebar through them and fill the cavity with cement / mortar to create a continuous bond beam. They are necessary at the top of the foundation and at certain intervals of vertical spacing. Take a look at (and perhaps purchase) the Taunton Press Foundations and Concrete work book you can find at Depot / Lowe's.
Pete C.
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Raising the house sounds easy , it isnt and will require alot of equipment, even special foundations for the jacks. Leveling it off can be done with screw jacks slowly, maybe 2" a month but your doors and windows wont work right and windows wont work at all again. I dug out my basement and put in foundation walls, For the sill to house in areas I just cut up screw jacks to be 6" and put one in every few feet for the house to foundation connection and used wood in areas. You could get it up a bit higher then your decided on height and custom plane your sill to foundation wood to just fit in and lower the house. But raising the whole house is a much harder job.
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m Ransley wrote:

I don't think he's lifting the entire house, just a portion of perimeter. If the house was build level and he's putting it back to level his doors and windows may start working properly again. Even if he is lifting the whole thing, that book I mentioned even has that at the very end (though they don't expect you to actually do it).
Pete C.
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snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (m Ransley) wrote:

Good point. Hopefully your house was level when it began and leveling it will make doors and windows right- not render them all useless.
Depending on a lot of things, my first thought was that "2 inches a month is 'worst case' ". The key is to take 1/4" or so-- give the house a few days to settle- then take some more. Ransley might have done the math-- that works out to 8 jacking days and 24 'rest days' - or a month. Slow is good.
Jim
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wrote:

[block with one side solid so

I do know what a bond beam and block looks like, Pete. It's just the above "one side solid" that still confuses me. Bond beams have both ends and the middle web notched for the rebar. Since my main question was 'how to fill the last row of concrete' I thought you were referring to a specially made (one side solid?) block just for that occasion. Thanks, Ivan
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-snip-

I probably started the confusion by not saying- 'solid *bottom*'.
Sorry 'bout that.
Jim
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