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Roundeye 08-01-2011 11:39 AM

house sitting on wooden beams?
I bought a bungalow last september and at the corner of a few of the the door ways there were cracks in the wall going up to the ceiling. I repaired those and they cracked again. I was in the crawl space and noticed the house is sitting on big wodden beams which are sitting on concrete blocks. At one end of some of the beams you could move them. The house isnt sitting on them all the way. Do I put something in between the beams to shim them or is there something else that should be done? By the way the house was built in 1905.

Broughton 08-01-2011 12:25 PM

Shimming the beams is a good idea since the support the house but I doubt it will help with the cracking plaster too much. A house that old, unless you level it with jacks and poured piers, will expand and contract with weather changes. If you properly patch the cracks with mesh tape embedded it will most likely stop cracking if it is just hairline cracks in plaster. If the cracks are greater than 1/4" you should have a foundation repair specialist come in and evaluate the structure.

Roundeye 08-01-2011 12:41 PM

I used mesh tape, its actually sheetrock. Who ever lived here before put sheetrock over all the plaster. The cracks are about 1/8 inch. Is leveling the house with jacks pretty expensive? Also should I just use wood for shims?

Broughton 08-01-2011 12:56 PM

I've seen wood or steel shims used. Leveling a pier and beam house isn't too difficult so it won't be nearly as expensive as a concrete slab. And much less than structural failure. I would recommend having a reputable foundation repair company come do an analysis and give and estimate. Those should be free, then you will know what has to be done. Update us after that and we can decide if you want to do it yourself.

Roundeye 08-01-2011 01:03 PM

Alright sounds like a plan. Thanx

Roundeye 01-22-2012 09:57 PM

I had a foundation repair company come and look at the house, they said I need to dig holes and pour concrete in certain places under the house and place jacks under the house. He didn't give me a quote and said I could do it myself. I really didn't want to do it myself but figured id give it a try, if it works I save money. My question is how big and deep do I dig the holes? He also said something about using cap blocks too, not sure if they're suppose to go on top of the jack or what.

Daniel Holzman 01-23-2012 08:25 AM

Jacking up a house to install a new foundation is an advanced DIY project, with the potential to get you killed if not done properly. I am surprised that a professional foundation repair company would tell you to go do it yourself, I mean isn't that their business? Are they so busy they haven't got time for your project?

Before you undertake such a project, you need to do a lot of reading about temporary support, permanent support, and safety procedures. Certain types of jacks are totally unsuitable for the project (read car bottle jacks) because they tend to bleed out when you need them the most. You also should have a chat with your local building inspector, you may not need a permit to do this, but they may have some helpful ideas. It would also be a good idea to visit someone who has actually done this before you consider doing it yourself. Kind of like repairing a car transmission, not for everyone.

Roundeye 01-23-2012 01:49 PM

That's kinda what I thought, I guess they don't want my buisness. I might call another company before trying to do it myself.

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