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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Idaho
    Posts
    4

    Default stuck on new foundation

    Ok, I am really stuck and need advice. Winter is coming and I don't have much time here in Idaho. I have just begun building a foundation under my 1867 house that was built without one. Each room was an addition to the original house which was just one room (my kitchen). I chose to start with the spare bedroom which is on the SE corner of the house. The SE corner of the room raises fairly easily and I have plenty of room even now after I have poured the 9" thick footer and laid 3 rows of concrete blocks. The NE corner, though, is attached to the rest of the house and seems to be impossible to raise. I can't even get my fingers in between the top of the blocks (which I still have to fill with concrete) and the bottom of the beam that I installed to support that outside wall when I picked it up off the ground. I don't have enough room to get the pressure treated sill plate in the space I have left and I still need to get the lag bolts in there, too. I have tried to raise it more, but it's cracking or threatening to crack the new floor joists I put in and/or the wall itself. Any suggestions?
    Last edited by iBrafting; 08-20-2012 at 10:26 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    5,103

    Default Re: stuck on new foundation

    Looks to me like you messed up a little bit on your measurements and calculations. Can you remove the top course of blocks and cut them enough to allow you to pour concrete and to place a sill plate once you re-install them?

    I doubt that you can find any other alternatives.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Idaho
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: stuck on new foundation

    I didn't think about cutting the blocks...that would be a lot of cutting in order to keep it level...23 blocks! I can't remove them as they are already mortared in so, I'd have to cut them where they are. What would I use to cut them? Would I have to use one of those big concrete saws? But, that gives me another idea...I might be able to cut a couple inches off the bottom of that 6x6 beam with the sawzall.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    5,103

    Default Re: stuck on new foundation

    That's a lot of cutting, but can be done with a diamond blade on a saw.

    If you trim your 6x6s, will you be able to fill the blocks with concrete and fit the sill plate in?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Idaho
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: stuck on new foundation

    I got another idea from a local builder today to buy a 1x8 redwood board to put in if I can't get the 2x8 in. Also, I managed to switch out one of the jacks holding the SE corner (a higher bottle jack for a lower one) and the lower one fits into a spot on top of the concrete blocks in the NE corner. I started jacking that corner up this morning and it was moving, but lots of creaking and cracking going on. I will get back to it tonight after work when I have someone there with me! Thanks for the suggestions!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    5,103

    Default Re: stuck on new foundation

    There's a reason why pressure treated 2x is used for sill plates. Redwood is a wonderful wood, but it won't give you the protection that PT will. Also 1x is too thin.

    Let us know about your progress.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    137

    Default Re: stuck on new foundation

    iBrafting:

    Some photos would be helpful so we can visualize what you're doing.

    You have to understand that jacking up a house is not like jacking up a car-----if you don't want to crack the joists and wall sill & studs you have to take your time!

    I know you're pressed for time, but the tremendous weight of a house should be lifted no more with the bottle jacks than the point where you first hear cracking or get strong resistance from your jacking activity----the lifting is done in fractions of an inch intermittently several times a day for weeks on end, or even months; if you hear cracking, stop immediately and try again several hours later.

    Google some sites to read up on the topic such as "jacking up an old house",etc. to get a feel for the process, and watch some of the You Tube videos to get some technique ideas.

    Don't expect to get a wood structure that has been sagging for years and years back to perfect plumb; be ready to make some compromises in your mind; be gentle, be kind---treat the old building with respect as you would an elderly person; as a person who has given years of faithful service, and can't be expected to move so fast anymore.
    Last edited by Pelton; 08-21-2012 at 11:49 PM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    NY, USA
    Posts
    18

    Default Re: stuck on new foundation

    You should use concrete to fill the blocks . You can cut a couple inches off the bottom of that 6x6 beam with the sawzall.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Idaho
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: stuck on new foundation

    I didn't have to us a 1x; my friend and I got the PT 2x8 in on the South side with the lag bolts last night! I feel much better about it, now and I'm pretty sure I'll be able to get the same done to the East wall tonight. Pelton, thank you so much for the advice! This project is far from done and next spring, when I start the NE corner of the house, I will do my best to go slower...especially now that I have a bit of experience under my belt and have some idea of what I'm doing! Never thought to look on YouTube. I'll check that out over the winter.

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