I suggest you find someone who has done it before. It takes a little
experience to know just how much is needed and an little engineering
knowledge to know what method is likely to work in a specific case.
Get a pro to do the house jacking and temp. support.. He can do this without
damage to the plaster or window/doors.
You will have to pay him to leave the timbers and cribing under the house
until the foundation work is done. But that cost isn't going to be that
great, since he has a yard full of such tembers.
These guys will be listed under the title of house movers.
Thanks for the advice.
Would anyone care to speculate on a ballpark cost of the jacking?
I'm out of the country right now earning the cash to fund the project
and may have to adjust the trip length to suit the cost.
A good friend suggested pouring a concrete foundation (and offered to
help) would this be better than replacing blocks. Or rather would it
be enough to justify the extra work?
I don't have any idea of what it would cost for the jacking and blocking the
house up, but that would be the least of your expenses. You don't mention
the size and configuration of the house 'foot print'. A simple rectangular
house without any add-ons would be realatively in expensive compared to
something more complex, etc.
Concrete footing and block will be cheaper but require the skill to set the
block properly, while poured foundation requires the building of forms. Then
you have to get the concrete pumped into the forms, unless you do it a wheel
borrow at a time.
To me the biggest deal would be excavation for the footings, which of course
would require first the demolition of the old foundation..
Sorry I couldn't give your a more encouraging answer..
BTW. My dad and I jacked up a 3 room house and moved it on utility pole
skids for about 10 miles. A big job but we ended up with a house for free
(if you don't count our time and efforts).
People will tell you to use a pro, but you can do it yourself, just be
aware of the right techniques and the risks.
These instructions assume that your house is raised up at least a foot or two.
6 or more 20-ton jacks
lots of 6x6, some 4x6, and some 2x10 shoring wood, 2' to 5' long
one steel plate at least 3/8 thick and 4x8 in size for each jack. Big
angle iron will also work.
Solid concrete blocks 8x8x16, and also some 4x8x16 and 2x8x16
Hardie board or other cement material for shim boards.
You may also need some shovels to dig out holes for your shoring, if the
house is very low.
You will also need something to measure the level. A fancy pro level costs
about $1,700; you can make a water level with some clear plastic tubing
and a couple rulers. Tape the ends of the tubing to the rulers, fill the
tubing, put both ends in the same place to 'zero' it out, then use the
rulers to measure height differences. If you don't do this, you won't know
if the house is level or not.
You want to jack up one section at a time, and just an inch or so at a
time. You will need two jacks for heavy sections like the corners. You can
also set up a row of jacks down one side so you can lift an entire sill
beam at once. If you have enough jacks, you can lift the whole house at
once, a little bit at a time. You will need a minimum of two people for
the job, and preferably more, especially if you have a lot of jacks.
For each jacking point, lay down a piece of 6x6, then the jack, then the
steel plate on top of the jack post; otherwise, without the plate you
would just punch a hole in the sill beam. You will have to jack up a bit
before you get any lift, and will probably need two or three jacks in one
area before you see any results. The jack needs to sit in the middle of
the shoring wood, and the post needs to be centered on the sill.
Initially, you will just push your shoring pieces into the ground; after
you do this, push down the jack, add more shoring, and jack again. (Called
'resetting' the jack.)
After you start getting some lift, you can begin to shim up the piers with
pieces of the hardie board. Then you would work your way around the house,
shimming a bit more as you went, until you got to the point where you
could add 2" or 4" blocks. How much you shim depends on where you need to
add height to level out the house.
If you are replacing an entire pier, only do one at a time. Make sure you
have at least two, and preferably three jacks in that section. This is
where you could have a big problem, for example, if you mess up and let
down a jack when the pier is removed.
It's crucial to use solid block NOT the hollow cement blocks. When you
knock out the piere, check to make sure there is a footing there.
Depending on the age of the house, this will be either bricks or a few
concrete pads that are much larger than the piers. You can buy these
precast if you don't have them, and it will be a lot of digging to place
When you replace a pier, build it up with solid blocks to the right
height; you may need to shim a bit with hardie board as well. While the
house is jacked up, measure the levels and adjust as needed. Be aware that
when you let the jacks down, the house will compress the pier and you will
lose some height, so you want to go a little higher than the measured
Disclaimer: I am not a shoring pro, although I have done this work with
someone who is. Anyone who follows these directions does so entirely at
their own risk. If your house collapses on you, it's your fault, not mine.
Jedd Haas - Artist
I really appeciate you taking the time for such a detailed response.
I think I need to go up about 3-5 inches at both ends. Currently th e
house sits on concrete blocks (solid wall of them all round) it was
built in about 1900 and most are in pretty poor shape.
I friend suggested starting by pulling up the floors (most in poor
shape due to the end walls dropping) . Would you agree?
On Sun, 16 Nov 2003 19:15:50 -0600, email@example.com (Jedd Haas) wrote:
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