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Old 12-21-2011, 01:33 AM   #1
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How far do you push it when jacking a house?


Okay. From my previous post, the 2x10 solved my sinking block problem. That temporary beam lifted, I removed those blocks and that section is set. For the next section, I'm experiencing wood noise but I haven't reached the point that the load is off of the blocks I am trying to remove.

3 columns of cinder blocks are affected by joists being lifted by my present temporary beam. It's the center column that isn't unloading. I've really not had very much cracking and popping noises from wood from any of the lifts I've done prior to this one, so after getting popping then pausing, and repeating 3 times, I figured I'll leave everything where it is and ask for feedback, let the soil compress and come back in the morning with hopefully some responses that might help me gauge whether a particular level of popping and cracking is too much or not.

This section is also under our bathroom. The entire floor in this area is replaced with plywood, under the bath tub there is 1 joist that is doing nothing because it was cut for the tub drain and not braced back to neighboring joists, but to make up for it they used 2 layers of 3/4" plywood.

Whatever the rest of the floor is, there are 2 layers of plywood with, for reasons unknown, a gap between them. Maybe that's the source of the noises.... Also, all 4 joists in this area being lifted are sistered. Left to right, the first joist is sistered (2 boards thick), then the next 3 are 4 boards thick. In most cases, the bottom face of the boards are not flush to each other, and at least 1 board is rotted off at the bottom on all joists.

It'll all go in the dumpster eventually, but 1 step at a time.

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Old 12-21-2011, 07:33 AM   #2
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How far do you push it when jacking a house?


You jacking method makes me nervous----I have always used three jacks on a center beam---on separate stacks of oak cribbing or directly off a footing.

This way if one jack has a failure the house load will settle onto the other jacks---So I will duck out and see what others say----Mike---

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Old 12-21-2011, 07:54 AM   #3
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How far do you push it when jacking a house?


And I've never used hydraulic jacks. They can creep. I always use screw jacks. Crackling noises are common, but will be much worse if you are jacking too fast, which is also easy to do with a hydraulic jack. The settlement took years. You shouldn't try to jack everything back in a few hours. Jack a little. Let it set. Jack a little. The joists, joints, etc. then have a chance to get accustomed to their new position before you strain them again. I jacked a sagged old farm house that took months to get back into position. A quarter turn on the jacks every week and slide some shims into the cribbing. Eventually the center of the house was supported on stacks of cribbing and new posts and footers could be installed. Then it was a matter of taking the pressure off of the last set of shims, removing them and transferring the load onto the new posts. You really never want to jack a long span at only one point. You'll get too much flex in your temporary beam.
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Old 12-21-2011, 08:31 AM   #4
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How far do you push it when jacking a house?


One thing to bear in mind, I'm not doing this jacking for any kind of levelling, I'm trying to remove stacks of concrete blocks where I need to dig, and then replace that with Tiger Brand SJ-15 jack posts supporting a short triple 2x6 beam, so the hydraulic jacks are only there to lift until the load is off of the concrete blocks.

So after half a night's sleep, I made an observation in the bathroom this morning. I noticed seperation of the caulk around the bathtub. I'm thinking that the stack that's causing me trouble might be supporting the wall, but when I lift the floor joist the floor joist is not lifting the wall.

So I'm going to sister on 2 more 2x6 boards, bringing the total thickness at this joist to 6 boards.

Typically, I seem to get less than half an inch of actual lift on the house structure, I use a lot more jack extension because of the dirt compacting.

And in this case, I haven't removed any of the old supports, so a jack failure would really just land the house back where it was. But as I think I said, this one is the one I've felt the least comfortable with. A close second was one I did a few months back near the center beam, there was a stack of wood that was in poor condition and a lot of the wood was crushing during the lift.
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Old 12-21-2011, 08:34 AM   #5
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How far do you push it when jacking a house?


Quote:
Originally Posted by oh'mike View Post
You jacking method makes me nervous----I have always used three jacks on a center beam---on separate stacks of oak cribbing or directly off a footing.

This way if one jack has a failure the house load will settle onto the other jacks---So I will duck out and see what others say----Mike---
One other note... For the most part, my practice has been that I will lift a temporary beam with 2 hydraulic jacks and next to each jack, I will have one of my jack posts and as I raise the jack I'll keep adjusting the jack post up so that it will hold the beam if the jack loses hydraulic pressure.

At this point, though, I've run out of extra jack posts. I bought 20 or so earlier in the project (forget the exact number) but at this point I have 2 left and I need them to put under the temp. beam I'll be using to replace the concrete block columns, so I can't use them under the lifting beam.

Once I get these 2 footings done, the next one is unobstructed, and I'll be able to build enough beam to start supporting part of the house so I can start freeing up some of the jack posts.. I'm starting to think that I will at least start sistering onto joists temporarily and then later on I'll do joist replacement after all the beams are ready.
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Last edited by WillK; 12-21-2011 at 08:38 AM.
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Old 12-21-2011, 04:18 PM   #6
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How far do you push it when jacking a house?


first off, your method has me a bit nervous also. jacking up a house is not a one man job! I hope you have 2 or 3 others helping you.

from the looks in your picture, you don't have a lot of working room there? if it had been me, here is how I'd progressed with this project.

#1- find 2 or 3 good strong guys willing to roll and crawl around in the dirt,mud, over critters, and whatever else is under your house? who can work together in an orderly fashion.

#2- I'd built my beam, and placed it in straight line, back maybe 2-3' from exterior of house beam across entire length, resting on hydraulic jacks or screw jacks? personally I prefer 10-12 ton hydraulic jacks spaced every 4 feet snug under beam. remember, you're not just lifting floor, but entire house, everything in it, and roof all at same time!

the popping and cracking you hear is the wood twisting, nails/screws bending/coming loose to a small degree, siding is shifting, windows are creaking, everything is moving.

once entire beam is set, each man takes one jack, again I prefer hydraulic jacks, at same time in unison each man pumps jack one pump, each pump will raise jack about 1/4-1/2" part of which will be absorbed into ground and beam, so you're only getting 1/8"-3/16" actual lift each pump.

#3- before moving to next section of beam, block up beam til snug. and move to next section. repeat till entire house is lifted about an inch to 1 1/2" off block foundation.

remove cinder blocks, dig footers, replace cinder blocks with concrete blocks, there is a difference!

when done, lower house in same fashion, slowly at same time. not just one thump!

this is how I lifted my 58' house to replace entire concrete block wall in basement. when done, there was one single crack in hallway leading to bedrooms in ceiling to refinish. no other crack anywhere.

as always, just my thoughts.

take what helps? ignore the rest!

good luck and be careful

coupe/Larry
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Old 12-21-2011, 09:34 PM   #7
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How far do you push it when jacking a house?


I really have to get a diagram together to show just what all I've been dealing with. Out of the 4 beams I'll be putting up, if I was numbering 1 through 4 going North (1) to South (4) then #3 would be the only one that I have not had to place any temporary beams for supporting what was supported by stacks of blocks.

I definitely have a non-rigid structure working to my advantage with this house.

In this particular case, once I got down there this morning, I was able to slide in 2 4' long 2x6 boards next to 2 of the joists which had been previously sistered twice. My suspicion turned out right, the floor joists were doing nothing to support the exterior wall, and when I had been jacking yesterday, the cracking and popping was the bad wood that wasn't strong enough to lift the exterior wall. With the new boards in place, the lift went smoothly without any cracking and popping.

A part of my prep for beam 1, I've had to reroute the main plumbing stack. There has been 1 footer poured after the original 3 (a 2'x2' slab about 4" thick) which held a stack of blocks in the way of beam2. Under the bathroom, that was just a royal mess of stacks of blocks, adjustable jack posts and verticle 2x6 boards acting as support. I've had to adjust footer placement due to the water supply pipe, hidden clay sewer pipe and the placement of the original 3 footings. I've had to remove skirting between the front room and the main house, and under the same wall there are 3 layers of 2x4 laid flat under the joist, which I've had to cut away for the beam. Ducting is one of the reasons I decided that ultimately I want to upsize to 2x8 joists from the existing 2x6 joists.

I have been doing this myself... There really wouldn't be room for another person at any particular site. Digging out 4 cubic feet of dirt or more per footing and carrying it out in 5 gallon buckets, then carrying down 60 lb bags of concrete mix, mixing it in a pan at the footing then shovelling it in 8 bags at a time per footing. 27 footings alltogether, so far I have 8 done and another 8 ready for concrete. My work that this particular thread relates to clears the space to dig 2 more footings for beam 1. 3 more to clear for beam 1, but the rest aren't too bad except that 2 of them are at the corner of the house and I haven't worked out my strategy for dealing with that yet, but I suppose I'll just have no choice but leaving a gap between the footer and the end of the beam.

Oh yeah, and I also have the advantage that I don't have any intention of saving any drywall or exterior finish. Eventually the brick facia will be replaced with Hardiboard siding on the outside, the first floor drywall will be gutted when the whole layout is changed (kitchen, bathroom and stairway are moving to different places on the first floor, entrance door is moving.) and the whole second floor is coming off and being rebuilt. Even though I've already gutted,rewired and insulated the second floor - I have done that work knowing it will be thrown out simply because the safety and energy savings over the first 3 years of ownership seem to justify the work.

Even the furnace is going to be moved and the ducting redone before I'm done with this house. We don't have central air, and I also want to get the furnace out of the crawlspace, and I want to eliminate the chimney so I want to go to a high efficiency furnace that can use PVC venting, along with a high efficiency tankless water heater. These will be under the new stairway which will be between the bathroom and kitchen, so the hot water path is minimized.
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Last edited by WillK; 12-21-2011 at 09:43 PM.
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Old 12-21-2011, 10:25 PM   #8
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How far do you push it when jacking a house?


well, seems as you have your plans almost figured out? sorry I butted in on your thread! just please be very careful!

good luck

coupe/Larry
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Old 12-21-2011, 10:32 PM   #9
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How far do you push it when jacking a house?


Oh hey, no problem, any time I start a thread I can't expect to be able to fully explain the caveats of my project nor can I expect that people responding are going to be familiar with my posting history. It is good advice in general, and anywhere I'm not following it there tends to be a reason I understand well.

I've taken a very holistic approach, I want to completely understand my end goal, and establishing a solid floor structure is the beginning, and there will be many aspects that will establish the ease with which the rest of the project can be completed. So I'm looking for as many ideas and inputs as possible.
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Old 12-21-2011, 10:59 PM   #10
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How far do you push it when jacking a house?


Quote:
Originally Posted by WillK View Post
One other note... For the most part, my practice has been that I will lift a temporary beam with 2 hydraulic jacks and next to each jack, I will have one of my jack posts and as I raise the jack I'll keep adjusting the jack post up so that it will hold the beam if the jack loses hydraulic pressure.

.

You are exercising some caution---thanks for clarifying that--

Be damn careful---I've seen some things ---

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