I inherited a house from my parents which I had been renting to a family
for the past 12 years. Recently they vacated and I did an inspection. In
one corner of the house, the foundation has been sinking very slowly
(about 4-5 inches over 35 years). There is now a gap of about 4-6 inches
between the sill and the house. Unfortunately for me, I am unemployed
and I have a tenant scheduled to move in on August 1, so I have neither
the time nor the money to have the foundation re-engineered- but I need
to fill the gap before they move in. The gap is around 25 feet long,
going around a corner. Should I fill it with cement? Should I shim it
with two-by-fours and then patch it with cement? Is there a better
material or a better way? Could I do it myself? If not, what kind of
contractor could I call to do this work? Thanks in advance.
And the house hasn't fallen? That's a good house. Yes, use pressure-treated
lumber and possibly some hardwood shims (available at Home Depot) for the
"fine tuning". It will be difficult to get cement filled in to the gap so
that it would actually carry weight of the house, so just use wood and keep
the pressure on each block somewhat consistent so that the house is actually
resting on each block.
Obviously, the best advise is to fix the foundation and find the
problem. You should go back and look at it with someone who has
construction knowledge. This is a tiny house you describe. With a 4-6
inch gap over 25 feet, what's holding the house up? Not only has the
foundation sunk, but the house would have sunk some as well.
As a temporary fix so you can rent it, I would first determine how
much that side has dropped. How level is the house? If possible, you
would jack the house slowly and carefully to about 1/4" over level.
Then fill the gap with pressure treated wood as tightly as possible
and lower the jacks. If you can't or don't need to raise it, just fill
You really need a longer term solution. However, I understand that
this is a rental. In Detroit there are all kinds of homes like this
that would not meet code. The inspector approves a CO (certificate of
occupancy) anyway because they want the home on the tax rolls.
One temporary fix after another might last a lifetime.
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