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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
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    26

    Default Leveling A House

    We had a structural engineer check our 100 year old house and he said to level the house and replace some of the floor joists that were starting to deteriorate from the moisture in the crawl space. When there is a heavy rain water enters the crawl space but leaves quickly.

    Our house was moved to it's present location and over the years it has settled. We have had two contractors look at the house. One contractor is going to use steel I-Beams and support posts to level the floors and the other contractor is going to use engineered wood beams and support post to level the floors. The crawl space is four feet tall. Which method would be the best.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    5,081

    Default Re: Leveling A House

    Steel beams will be superior to engineered wood, everything else being equal.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Boston
    Posts
    820

    Default Re: Leveling A House

    steel beams would be superior but the structural engineer should spec out what to use.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Houston Texas
    Posts
    2,360

    Default Re: Leveling A House

    Where do you live? What is typical for your area?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    1,096

    Default Re: Leveling A House

    The real weak point here will be the foundations for the posts- either steel beams or engineered wood beams will handle the job if sized and supported properly. Both will rely on the foundations to support them. Go by price with all other being equal.

    I'd be more concerned with why there is water getting under there as this will lower the load bearing ability of those new foundations, and this probably also had something to do with the current levelness issue. You need to address that first or the levelling efforts may settle leaving you back where you are now.

    Phil

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    134

    Default Re: Leveling A House

    We just went through this on our 92 yo Arts and Crafts bungalow...

    Water redirection would be something to address. Our structural engineer cut thick metal pads and/or poured concrete pads depending on location. We have sandy soil in Central Florida.

    The floors are made "flat" as opposed to leveling as the house has settled in many places, I'm sure.

    Be prepared for drywall/plaster repair, and make sure they do this in incremental sessions that last at least two months in-between each session to give time for house to adjust to new position.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Posts
    26

    Default Re: Leveling A House

    I should clarify the water coming into the crawl space. I live by a small creek. When we get heavy rains the creek would rise but since the county cleaned the creek downstream from my house the water problem has not been very bad. I think the water was percolating into the crawl space.
    When the house was moved the contractor drove piling in the footing foundation about every six feet and placed additional pads with piling in them. There were support post installed but there were not enough causing the floors joists to settle.
    I live in North Central Indiana and I think most contractors use steel beams when leveling houses.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Posts
    26

    Default Re: Leveling A House

    I should clarify the water coming into the crawl space. I live by a small creek. When we get heavy rains the creek would rise but since the county cleaned the creek downstream from my house the water problem has not been very bad. I think the water was percolating into the crawl space.
    When the house was moved the contractor drove piling in the footing foundation about every six feet and placed additional pads with piling in them. There were support post installed but there were not enough causing the floors joists to settle.
    I live in North Central Indiana and I think most contractors use steel beams when leveling houses.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    1,096

    Default Re: Leveling A House

    Once again, address the moisture issue first. Even if the creek was cleared, that will never prevent it from becoming blocked again so in time you're going to see the same thing happening as before. Unless your elevation is very close to the highest level seen by the creek, then a lot of the moisture will likely be coming in from above the house, ie uphill from it. Regrading and french drains can mitigate a lot of this and waterproofing the outside of the foundation walls may also be needed based on how much water is being seen here. Oversize foundations for the new beams will also offer some extra peace of mind as that will spread the bearing area over more ground allowing for better support. Those foundations will need to be below the frost line and that minimum depth will be covered in your local building codes as will the minimum allowable size for the pier foundations under the new beam.

    Phil

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