replace beam with steel

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When we had our foundation replaced, it took about two days to get all the equipment in place, but the actual jacking up of the house took about half an hour to lift the whole thing 4 feet.
Rather than traditional screw jacks, they used centrally- controlled hydraulic jacks so that the whole house lifted evenly, no cracking, no split beams, doors and windows still opened and closed normally, etc. Much faster and less disruptive than my previous experience of lifting a house with screw jacks, and well worth the cost of having a professional with the right tools.
The house was lifted on two steel I-beams supported near the ends, around 30-foot span between jacks.
While it was up in the air getting the new foundation poured, we took the opportunity to sister every floor joist whether it needed it or not -- how often do you get a chance to work under the floor with 4-foot clearance and no foundation walls in the way?
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snipped-for-privacy@phred.org is Joshua Putnam
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com says...

If you're talking about temporary footings for the jacks, wood works fine, say 4x8 or wider timbers, long enough to spread the load and not compress the soil too much.
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snipped-for-privacy@phred.org is Joshua Putnam
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Yep, that's right. Pay some professional about $20.000 to fill out 12 reams of paper to analyze the problem, and then he will go to HD and buy a few screw jacks for about $50 to $100 each and jack the thing up. *OR* Save the $20K and just buy the screw jacks yourself, and raise it a little every week. Of course, keep in mind that it will be on your conscience that the professional will have to eat hamburgers and mashed potatoes instead of caviar, lobster, and t-bone steaks.
If your basement floor is lousy, put in foundations. If it's solid, jack it right off the floor, but get a 16 inch or larger piece of at least 1/2" thick steel under the post, and another the width of the beam under the wood. Go to any welding and metal working shop and they will cut it for you to size.
Screw posts involve screwing. If you dont know how to screw, hire the professional and but save enough money for your divorce.
Some people like to make things far too complicated.
PS. The first week you can probably raise it 1/2 inch. After that, give it one half turn every few days, or no more than 1/4" per week. Keep an eye on your doors and windows upstairs, and prepare to patch plaster cracks. Remember, the house used to be straight (usually), so you are only putting it back where it belongs, but there has been patching and door adjustments made over the years.
Mark
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Since the main column you have now settled 2" doing a footer first is smart, work without one and you may end up redoing it all over down the road. If the original pillar was done right it never would have sunk 2".
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So what you're saying is she has a choice of having someone with professional credentials, training , and experience come out and actually look at her problem, give advice, and make recommendations or she can go with you, someone who has never seen her problem but thinks that screw jacks are the answer. That's a tough decision.
Dave M.
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snipped-for-privacy@UNLISTED.com wrote:

Dude... don't think you are getting enough zinc in your diet.
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On Thu, 14 Apr 2005 22:33:09 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@UNLISTED.com wrote:

Right on, brother. I like the way you talk.
I have lost all respect for the jerks who come in to a newgroup and the only advice they can pull out of their butt is to say "Hire a professional".
What a cop out and waste of cyber space.
JimL
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Yep, I totally agree. Why ask the question if that is all that people can say. I am a farmer, and a handyman, and have been a handyman for nearly 30 years. I have jacked up many sagging houses, inclusing several of my own. It only makes sense that when anything sags, it needs to be lifted, and screw jacks are what is used to raise the sag in a house. As a farmer, I learned right from the start that when something needs to be done, you do it. The city folk who got too much money hire the pros, but out here in the country there are no pros. A house is not going to fall apart from lifting a sagging beam. At the same time, it is unlikely to collapse from not lifting it either, especially is it as old as the OP said. It's just saggings from age. A wooden beam will sag over time, if there is weight on it. Sag requires more support. It's not rocket science. My only cautions are to be sure the basement floor is solid, and prepare for cracked plaster and misaligned doors. That WILL happen, and there is no way around it. However, unless the doors were replaced, they will only go back to their original hang. However, old plaster will crack and just has to be repaired after. The only other option is to use screw jacks to ONLY support the beam from further sag. but not to life the beam. Thus the floors will continue to slope, but not sag more.
Mark
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Yea Mike rag on, how many have you done, zero I bet. There has been good info here unlike her" Pros". Ive done a few and so far you havnt said anything but the ol hire a pro routine, pure BS.
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wrote:

Yep...... If you dont use the steel plates and let the jacks act as a wedge to split the beam like a splitting wedge used to make firewood, you might end up with a disaster, or if you are in too much of a hurry to jack the whole sag in one day, you will end up with a real mess with cracked and falling plaster upstairs. However, with hand operated screw posts, it's near impossible to over do it, because you simply can not apply the amount of effort to over lift it. Just be sure to use the steel plates to avoid splitting the beam. However, if you were to use power jacks, then definately do hire the pros.
One other thing. When I have jacked buildings, I have always compromised a little. In other words, if there is a 5 inch sag in the middle of the house, I never jack it to exactly level. Jack it up 4 inches and leave it. While you will notice a 5 inch sag considerably, you wont notice a one inch sag much at all, and leaving that little sag is much easier on plaster and doors. One other thing. If you have existing posts under the beam (and you most likely do), be sure to add shims between those posts and the beam as you jack it up. You want those posts to continue to support the structure. Just use scrap pieces of solid wood and drive them in place. If you lift 1/4 inch, use 1/4" plywood.at first and eventually thicker boards.
Mark
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On 18-Apr-2005, snipped-for-privacy@UNLISTED.com wrote:

This makes you an expert? There are ways to jack a beam that will cause the beam to fail that will almost never be expected by someone like yourself. They teach that stuff to first-year engineering students to show examples of why some things are not so intuitive. Your method can turn a "cheap" lift into a $30,000 repair job real fast.
Just because you've been lucky doesn't mean you know what you're doing. The pros are there because most folks don't have a clue what they are doing. Advice on the internet is only worth the money you pay for it.
Mike
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Nor does the lack of an engineering degree make him NOT know what he is doing. Some of them old farmers are much wiser than book learned diploma carrying graduates.
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But he's not going to do the work. He's recommending that someone he doesn't know and who has an unknown level of knowledge or experience do the work.
Mike
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