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D-ru15 08-19-2013 09:50 PM

cottage lift (literally)
Hello, first time on site hoping someone can point me into the right direction.

Just purchased a cottage, it has a lot of improvements that need to be done to it, old owner really let it go for the past 10+ years.....

The cottage is built on a 2x4 structure. I would like to lift the cottage up and sister the 2x4 with at least 2x6 to make it stronger. the problem is that the clearance as of right now is maybe 3 feet under the deck but then goes to a foot it im lucky under the cottage itself so clearance is minimal, and also if i was able to jack it up a little at a time to get it to a point that I can get under it to sister the joists how or what do you sit in on? Do I need to dig down and sonotubes ? if so then what if i hit rock after 2 feet?

Basically, I need to make a better foundation for this cottage so it will not move or something worse.


Windows on Wash 08-20-2013 06:50 AM

My guess is that anything built on 2x4s is probably not set on footer that will accommodate jacking the structure.

I would dig down around one of the existing piers and verify the soil compressiveness as well as the depth of the existing footer.

daveb1 08-20-2013 07:13 AM

Do an honest evaluation of the building. Is it really worth all the labour and cost of raising? When was it built? By who and to what standard? How is the plumbing and electric? Many cottages are built by weekend warriors without the slightest idea of a minimum standard.

Windows on Wash 08-20-2013 07:42 AM


All of your efforts need to measured against the value in preserving the structure based on its valuation and quality.

Good observation Dave.

D-ru15 08-20-2013 08:14 AM

I really appreciate the fast responses.

The cottage is approx 55 years old. We purchased it off the gentleman that built it himself, having said that the cottage has sloped or dipped in a few weird ways that i have noticed.

A) when you look at this one window it seems to be on some kind of an angle
B) one part of the floor inside the cottage actually dips, you can see it pus feel it when walking

I do not know much about foundation (never done anything in that area) I have done a lot of other home renos and believe I am pretty handy.

I wish I took pics to show. the best that I can see is that he put it on 24x24 concrete patio stones and then placed foundation block on the patio stones. I do not believe he dug down very deep.

I am going back up on the long weekend, so I will check out the footing more then.
So I should start off by digging around one of the footing/piers what ever there is now. If it is just on the patio stones do I need to dig down 4 feet and built proper footings?

daveb1 08-20-2013 08:39 AM

Sorry to say this but a 55 year old cottage with sloped floors, odd angled windows and sitting on patio blocks is a prime candidate for demolition. The depth and type of footings it will need would be determined by your location and frost levels. Try to find a builder (who hopefully doesn't have a connection to the gentleman who built it) near the cottage to give an honest opinion. Do post some pictures of the footings, floor, roof, windows, etc.

BigJim 08-20-2013 09:39 AM

If it were mine I would at least give it a shot before I gave up on it, unless there is a lot of rot or insect damage. It is hard to say if it is worth saving or not sight unseen. What ever you decide we will do our best to help, if we can.

Just a thought though, if you start jacking it up you could mess the plumbing/water pipes up.

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