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Old 01-05-2008, 10:29 PM   #1
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replacing rotten sill plate on brick exterior home


We live in a brick exterior home with a crawl space, built in 1977-79. We need to replace the sill plate and scab on several floor joists in one exterior corner of the house. Hoping someone has some suggestions. Most of the ideas I have found to fix the problem involve jacking up the house, which gets complicated since the entire exterior is brick.

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Old 01-06-2008, 12:09 AM   #2
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replacing rotten sill plate on brick exterior home


How high is the crawl space, what kind of damage have you incurred in the floor joists? Post a few pics if possible

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Old 01-06-2008, 10:42 AM   #3
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replacing rotten sill plate on brick exterior home


You have to jack it to take the load off the sill plate. There are NO cheap shortcuts. This is not a diy project,
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Old 01-06-2008, 01:03 PM   #4
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need more info but both other answers are right so far
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Old 01-09-2008, 07:15 PM   #5
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replacing rotten sill plate on brick exterior home


Do you know the source of water that caused the rotted sill and joist ends? The only reason I ask is that I had a similar situation this past year. I discovered that the flashing around a window sill had leaked allowing water to seep behind the brick, rot out the sheathing, wall framing, rim joist, mud sill, etc., etc., etc. I'd recommend, unless you know for sure, that you try to determine what the source of the problem is before tackling the project, as it may have a serious impact on what will need to be done.
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Old 01-23-2010, 11:20 AM   #6
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replacing rotten sill plate on brick exterior home


I feel your pain. When we bought our brick house I paid an exterminator to do a survey on the house and report the damage, he either did not inspect and just rubber stamped an earlier report or he was not thorough or concealed his findings. I was concerned about the sill because there were two floor joist that had termite damage. I did not know enough to not be dupped. Now I'm stuck with the bad sill. I have given the situation much thought as to how to replace the sill. I found a counter-rotating circular saw at Sears which I think will be the best tool for the repair that I have planned. I plan to use the floor joist ends to hold the weight of the wall while I replace the sill. I plan to place a beam across the bottom of the joists about a foot or so from the sill and support it with jacks. Once this is done, I plan to use the saw to cut wedges off the end of the joists about two inches at the bottom tapering to as close to zero as I can manage at the top. I will then chop the sill in a few places one two-by ply at a time in order to make them more manageable. The wedge that I removed from the joist should allow the sill plys to be pryed out at the bottom and lowered down and out. Hopefully, the top edge of the floor joists will support the weight of the wall while all of the sill plys are removed and replaced. Once, the new sill is in place, the wedges will need to be restored. I will cut a corresponding wedge out of tight-grained hardwood cutting with the grain, glue them into the void at the end of the joists, scab each side with plywood and set the joist ends in a metal hanger attached to the new sill. Remove the jacks and beam. I haven't started and I have never done this before. The only other alternative I can think of would be to remove the flooring, scab a beam to the wall, support it from the ground, support the joists with a beam, cut the joists enough to provide clearance, remove and replace the sill, repair the joists, remove the supports, and replace the floor. Comments and suggestions welcomed.

Last edited by one guy; 01-23-2010 at 11:29 AM. Reason: adding an afterthougt
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Old 01-24-2010, 08:16 AM   #7
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replacing rotten sill plate on brick exterior home


Quote:
Originally Posted by one guy View Post
I feel your pain. When we bought our brick house I paid an exterminator to do a survey on the house and report the damage, he either did not inspect and just rubber stamped an earlier report or he was not thorough or concealed his findings. I was concerned about the sill because there were two floor joist that had termite damage. I did not know enough to not be dupped. Now I'm stuck with the bad sill. I have given the situation much thought as to how to replace the sill. I found a counter-rotating circular saw at Sears which I think will be the best tool for the repair that I have planned. I plan to use the floor joist ends to hold the weight of the wall while I replace the sill. I plan to place a beam across the bottom of the joists about a foot or so from the sill and support it with jacks. Once this is done, I plan to use the saw to cut wedges off the end of the joists about two inches at the bottom tapering to as close to zero as I can manage at the top. I will then chop the sill in a few places one two-by ply at a time in order to make them more manageable. The wedge that I removed from the joist should allow the sill plys to be pryed out at the bottom and lowered down and out. Hopefully, the top edge of the floor joists will support the weight of the wall while all of the sill plys are removed and replaced. Once, the new sill is in place, the wedges will need to be restored. I will cut a corresponding wedge out of tight-grained hardwood cutting with the grain, glue them into the void at the end of the joists, scab each side with plywood and set the joist ends in a metal hanger attached to the new sill. Remove the jacks and beam. I haven't started and I have never done this before. The only other alternative I can think of would be to remove the flooring, scab a beam to the wall, support it from the ground, support the joists with a beam, cut the joists enough to provide clearance, remove and replace the sill, repair the joists, remove the supports, and replace the floor. Comments and suggestions welcomed.
One GUY, I am totally worn out and didn't even lift a hammer. Good Luck.
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Old 01-24-2010, 12:42 PM   #8
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replacing rotten sill plate on brick exterior home


Having replaced damaged sills under some homes which I could almost stand up and some I only had "belly-crawl" space, I now know how to do this job better- - -call "one guy"! S.Larue: good advice given here was-it is not a DIY project. This IS one project I would not advise anyone to just go tackle without the proper tools---jack, cribbing, saws, and experience. And, the source of the water, which caused this damage, has to be addressed first. Thanks, David
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Old 01-25-2010, 08:57 AM   #9
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replacing rotten sill plate on brick exterior home


One guy, just a few thoughts:

- If the sill rotted out once, it's going to again. Is the wood sill sitting directly on the wall, or is there some kind of break?

- Even pressure treated will have a limited life in this situation if it's continually getting water w/o being able to dry out.

- As "involved" as it may seem, I'd definately contemplate removing the brick, repairing the wood the easy way, installing an adequate weather barrier, & re-install whatever exterior finish you want. Yes' it's going to cost more, but there's no other way to protect the framing long term. It also gives you the chance to change the exterior finish to whatever you want.
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Old 01-30-2010, 07:42 PM   #10
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replacing rotten sill plate on brick exterior home


jomama45: Thanks for your reply. The sill was damaged by termites-that was probably confusing since this thread is about replacing a rotten sill. Rotten and termite damaged is often described identically by folks around here. I apologize. The front porch slab didn't slope properly and water was seeping under the vinyl siding (the brick stops on each side of the porch). The house didn't have rain gutters and water was coming down the roof valleys on both sides of the porch and wicking under or through the foundation and pooling under the house. I caulked under the siding and had rain gutters installed. My exterminator put plastic sheeting in the crawl space and he says that the sill is staying dry. He has an instrument with a probe to test for moisture in the wood. I don't think the wood is touching the masonry directly anywhere-builders usually place some kind of material between the two to prevent the transfer of moisture. I guess I could, maybe should, have the slab busted out and see what kind of access that provides. It needs to be sloped properly anyway. The only problem with that, though is the sill damage extends past the porch on both sides a couple of feet. The sill sits on top of masonry block piers. There is a masonry block wall supporting the back of the porch slab behind the sill. I don't think it is quite as high as the top of the sill. I'm calling the "sill" the double 2x10 sandwiched plate that the end of the floor joists are attached to and the sub-floor and the exterior wood-studded wall is mounted atop. I may be calling it the wrong thing?

Last edited by one guy; 02-07-2010 at 11:27 AM.
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Old 02-04-2010, 09:11 AM   #11
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replacing rotten sill plate on brick exterior home


[quote=Thurman;388164]" This IS one project I would not advise anyone to just go tackle without the proper tools---jack, cribbing, saws, and experience. And, the source of the water, which caused this damage, has to be addressed first." I don't disagree with you on this, Thurman. This is probably one of the most involved and difficult jobs that there is in home repair. Anyone attempting this repair should be aware of the time involved, the difficulty and the potential dangers. Whether I attempt this job or hire it done-which IS the more sensible option, I would like to fully understand the steps and techniques involved before deciding. That is my motive for being here, on this site. What I lack in specific experience in replacing sills, I was hoping to compensate for by seeking knowledge and advice. I am not and didn't intend to sound like some kind of expert-that is why I stated plainly that I had never done this. I was hoping that people like you would consider my plans and give feedback and suggestions. I am probably asking a lot from some one who does this for a living, basically his trade secrets, but realize that most people won't attempt this repair themselves and the information is out there elsewhere for anyone determined enough to find it. What about it is right and what about it was wrong. I read elsewhere on this site since my original posting about using a crib-wall between the floor and ceiling in the interior to relieve the weight from the sill. This can be found on the "how to fix rotted sill plate" thread, post #6 by AtlanticWBConst. There is even a picture. I think this is a better idea than trying to use the top of the floor joists. Thanks, AtlanticWBConst. What they are describing as a sill and what I am calling a sill isn't exactly the same, though. It sounds like they are talking about the double-stacked 2x4s that sits on the sub-floor and below the studs. I am calling the "sill" the 2x10 double-thick boards attached to the ends of the floor joists. I'm not sure that I am using the right terminology. Maybe I should be calling it the rim joist. They talk about using a reciprocating saw to deal with the nails. That's also a good idea, however, there may be some clearance issues with a saw that long working from the crawl space/floor joists side with the joists on 16" centers. I can foresee having to chip out the wood from around the nails and using a small grinder with a cut-off wheel in some of the inaccessible spots. (Suggestions)welcomed.

Last edited by one guy; 02-07-2010 at 11:36 AM.
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Old 11-02-2011, 08:50 PM   #12
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replacing rotten sill plate on brick exterior home


Hey "one guy" . How about an update? Did you do the project? I am facing the same challenge. Any advice would be welcome. Thanks,

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