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Old 10-18-2009, 07:23 PM   #1
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BIG PROBLEMS with cabin mud sills and floor


I need some big help with the sills and floor of my back-woods cabin.

I bought this place a couple of years ago and just tried to level it up as the door wasn't closing right. I dug away what I thought was just a few inches of dirt from the side of the cabin to get at the supports, but it seems that this side of the cabin was built directly on the ground! The front side of the cabin is up on supports about a foot, but the back has no supports that I could find after two hours of digging with a pick-ax and spade. It's just sitting on the ground, from what I can tell.

I put in one support myself (see second photo), after I thought the cabin might sag more since I dug all the mud out from underneath. I couldn't find the end of the mud under the cabin and it must extend in at least a couple of feet before it breaks through to the open space under the floor. Everything is sitting on it, including sills and floor joists, on this side of the structure. There are actually roots as big around as my finger growing up into the wood. I couldn't pull them out with my hands. I couldn't even tell where the soil ended and the wood began.

Digging all the earth out from around and under this side of the cabin will be an enormous job. Do I put supports in under the structure as I go along? What about the rot that MUST be underneath? I doubt I'll ever get enough dirt remove and the cabin jacked up enough to actually be able to crawl under. Even crawling under from the opposite side (where it's actually up off the ground) would be impossible as it's not raised up enough.

What do I do with the rotten sills and floor joists if I can't get under there to replace them? Keep in mind this is a remote cabin with no electricity and it's located where no heavy machinery of any kind can get to. All digging must be done by hand. I can't even run a skillsaw up there, and I need a 4X4 to reach it.

I'm pretty handy, but this looks very bad. As you can see by the photos, I've only just begun to dig all the dirt from around and under. The digging alone will likely take several weekends, but I realize that's just the beginning. I'd appreciate any ideas.
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BIG PROBLEMS with cabin mud sills and floor-image085.jpg   BIG PROBLEMS with cabin mud sills and floor-image086.jpg   BIG PROBLEMS with cabin mud sills and floor-image087.jpg  

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Old 10-18-2009, 08:34 PM   #2
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BIG PROBLEMS with cabin mud sills and floor


Hey and hi,
typical floor joist run across a span and should bear on something IE stem wall, foundation , footing, pier support. A thorough inspection is a must and until you see how it has been assembled, speculation blvd. will be a very long trip? No access holes? Raised floor construction certainly isnt rocket science although you can not work on what you can not view, once located, pour pier pads and add mini wallee jacks (sp?) lift until good. big job but not insurmountable my friend........

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