Yes, this is wayyyyy overboard for many of you, but us farmers are
used to doing things like this. However, this one is a little
overwhelming even to me. I have a barn that is a steel barn with wood
framing. It's roughly 70 feet long and 30 feet wide. The bottom is
where animals used to go, and was originally rock walls. The top is a
heavily built wooden frame with tin on the sides and roof.
The problem is that the rock foundation is gone on one side and one
end. All that is holding it up are the oak 6x6 posts in the center,
but the corner where the both missing walls are, settled about 30
inches and was literally floating. When I bought this farm, one of
the first things I did was shove a few massive rocks under that corner
to keep it from settling more. Today I decided to see if I could lift
it. Using a common Hi Lift tractor jack, I was able to raise that
corner about 15 inches, or half the height it needs to be raised to
get back to normal. Lifting that 15" not only had my eyes bulging out
to operate the jack, but caused the jack to bend. However, I have it
stabalized now, using a stack of concrete blocks under that corner.
My plan is to get it close to normal height and put railroad timbers
(ties) on end under the corner, and at 12 foot spacing along the wall.
Because there is still part of the old rock foundation below the
ground level, I can not dig them into the ground, but instead plan to
use 45 deg. braces on the top where the post meets the barn frame,
then pour concrete around the post bases, and embed the cement into
the old rock. Once it's close to normal height, I can then run
horizontal treated 2X8's from post to post. I dont plan to get this
barn exactly level, but with some shims, (and some luck) it should be
I am not sure what I will do once it's all back on posts. I have
considered concrete block, re-using the old rocks with mortar, pouring
concrete walls, or just using treated wood for the underground (and
above ground, since it's built into a hill, walls). At this point,
the wood seems the easiest.
Either way, I am posting this because I need more jack power. I have
a 20 ton bottle jack, but those things lift so little at a time. I
believe I can only lift 4 inches before I have to put more blocking
under the jack for another 4". The tractor jack is not strong enough
and neither am I to lift any higher with that jack. I do also have
some of those old screw jacks, but those things are harder to use than
bottle jacks, but will come in handy for temporary posts.
Does anyone have any idea what other jacks are available for this sort
I need POWER, and lots of it, because my tractor loader would not even
lift it, and I can easily life a one ton round bale with it.
The other question is how much does something like this actually
weigh? It's all Oak framed, an covered with steel barn siding. The
sill plate as well as the floor joists are 2x8 (actual size, rough cut
timbers). There is also a bad section in the sill plate (about 8
feet) where I will have to attach a large timber when I lift at that
point. I should note that lifting this will be a slow process and I
wont be lifting the whole building at one time. The barn will flex as
I lift at different points, and I'll be doing most of the lifting from
the outside until it is stabalized. Then I will work on the posts
under the building, which appear strong but some of the support beams
have dropped off the outer walls and are suspended in the air, only
jammed under those posts.