Our house was built in 1959 and has a detached single-car garage. It
is frame construction on a slab, appx 12 X 24.
The garage is about 3 inches off plumb from the foundation to the
eave. The garage is still square to the foundation, so the foundation
must have settled on one side.
Is there something I can do to fix this myself? I was thinking that I
may be able to somehow jack up the garage on the low side and slide
another pressure-treated 2x6 under the frame. Then I'd have to cut
another shim at the proper angle to fit under the frame at the gable
Or maybe to have it mud-jacked under the slab is the only answer. How
much would that cost?
Any input appreciated,
Do some more research. Borrow a builders level ( the kind with the
tripod) or a laser. Shoot both sides of the garage. I suspect that the
end with the door has racked out of plumb, rather than one side sinking.
Another check would be to use a 4' hand level up the corner or up the
door edge to check for plumb. There is very little surface on the door
end to install wind bracing and this is a common problem. I do not
understand what you mean about the garage still being square to the
If I am correct, ask again if you need some ideas for fixing.
Keep the whole world singing. . .
(remove the 7)
On 19 Oct 2003 18:13:20 -0700, firstname.lastname@example.org (Brent Barkow)
wrote (with possible editing):
FWIW, I'd get it a tad past square with a come-along (or two or even
better three) and then install corner bracing between the walls and
ceiling joists. When you release the come-along it should settle
square. You might also brace the rear wall with 1 x 6's, although
that won't help the front.
If it is racked, you might consider having some 1/8 steel plate sheared
to the width dimension of the wall from the inside corner to the door.
Check each side. Pull, push, pry, or whatever it takes to get slightly
past plumb. Install the steel sheet to the bottom plate, stem wall (if
you have one), top plate, and all studs in the wall. Be generous with
the nails or screws (either will require pre-drilling). Look at the
possibility of installing the longest possible diagonal bracing that
will just clear the door's upper corner. Look at installing long
diagonal bracing from the side wall top plate to the top pate at the
corner. Flat steel strapping, wire rope and turnbuckles, and lumber all
count as bracing.
Keep the whole world singing. . .
(remove the 7)
Brent Barkow wrote:
If it truly is differentially settled and it is a monolithic slab curb
Dig six holes around the garage, four on the corners and two in the
middle of the long run. holes should be about 24" X 24" square 18"
deeper than the current grade beam bottom (or at least below the frost
line for your area if the original builder did not turn down to the
frost line) with 12" of the width actually under the grade beam.
back fill the holes with six inches of sand gravel mix. Set a short
timber in each hole. Place a low profile jack (rented) on each
timber. Set up an optical level (rented) facing the lowest corner
where you can see down both walls away from the corner and establish a
dimension that the wall is low from the highest point marking the wall
above each jack. take all the slack out of the jacks. get five
friends to man the jacks. Give the command to jack and the lowest
corner gets X strokes, the two closest to the low corner get X-1
number of strokes, the next two get X-2 strokes the high corner gets
no strokes. You will have to work out the exact math based on the the
stroke dimension on your jacks. Watch your marks, when they all come
to grade then stop. stack slag blocks in the hole next to the jack.
it may take a stroke up and then release down to get the wall
supported by the blocks and off the jack. Pull all the jacks and
timbers out of the holes and back fill them with concrete.
I had a small house leveled using this method. It was amazing how
simple it was. Guy charged $8K to do it (it had 16 pits around the
house) but it struck me that there was nothing you could not do
yourself if you wanted to do a little work. The house was in the deep
south with no frost heave potential so the turn down at the perimeter
of the slab was only 12".
Keep in mind that if your slab was improperly designed to start with
this method could cause it to crack mid span.
On 19 Oct 2003 12:44:56 -0700, email@example.com (Brent Barkow)
The most glaring thing is that the garage door is gapped away from the
concrete on one end. You can also see quite clearly from the street
that the garage appears a little closer to the house at the top than
at the bottom. It's probably just a cosmetic issue, but my street is
on its way back from being a "retirement street" to being a "young
family street". I want to do my part to keep things looking nice, you
Jacking and shimming it should be quite easy to do if you can detach the
sill-plate from the foundation (is it bolted?).
I've jacked and shimed my cottage many times - even replaced the support
posts it sits on. Two or 3 jacks work best. I have two "bottle" jacks and
a screw-type cottage jack.
I'm assuming (incorrectly?) that you jack from the inside. How do you
jack with even pressure along the wall? Do you screw a long piece of
lumber across the studs and jack against that, or do you shim a short
section of the wall at a time?
In my case, since the cottage is raised (sitting on posts), I jack from
In your case, the trick will be creating a secure spot to jack on and
getting the sill-plate to release from the foundation.
Without seeing the situation, is sounds to me like a 2X6 screwed or lagged
to the studs on the inside would do the trick. I'd locate it as low as
possible to still allow the jacks to fit under it. Ideally, 3 jacks
(located at each end and centre) and alternate from one to the other to
raise it sufficiently to allow insertion of the shim(s). For safety, you
could insert thinner spacers as you go to hold it should a jack slip.
I think you'll be suprised at how easily it will go up (provided you can
free it from the foundation).
and, since the adjoining ends of the garage (front and back?) will need to
raise as well, their sill-plates will need to be released and shimmed
accordingly. You may need to use a pry-bar to help release the sill-plates
from the foundation once the nuts/fasteners have been removed.
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