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Old 03-26-2012, 10:33 AM   #1
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Jacking up shed


AS many of you probably know already, I didn't hire the best contractor and the foundation is not as good as it should be. Now that the money is gone and what's done is done I want to fix this myself because I can't afford to hire anyone else. What's the best way to lift the shed corner by corner about an inch so I can support the thing better? It's a 12x16 btw. Basically I want to lift a corner, take the blocks away, dig a hole and use a sonotube filled with concrete as suggested by someone here.

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Old 03-26-2012, 10:52 AM   #2
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Screw jacks may be what you need.
http://www.ellisok.com/ellisok/products_screwjacks.html

Also,glad to hear you're going to fix that! It was shocking to see he set that up the way it is.


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Old 03-26-2012, 11:18 AM   #3
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Jacking up shed


Put one of your 4x6 leftovers from side to side, cutting the corner, underneath. Make a temporary base with a block and put your jack on that, or two blocks side-by-side and a 4x6 piece across them. Bottle jack might get you done. Lift as little as possible because any movement beyond that is going to put horizontal pressure on your other already shifty corner supports. The hardest part is going to be then digging the hole while the shed is still above it. I've seen other posts on here about that.

Oh yeah, and I'd have a 6' pole on that bottle jack.... no way in heck I'm sitting underneath while jacking it up.
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Old 03-26-2012, 11:36 AM   #4
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Thanks guys. I was just going to put a fairly large piece of plywood down and the 2 solid blocks side by side for the base. I dont have any 4x6 left since there were only 3 16 footers and they are my skids. I want to bury the tube atleast 4 feet but how do I ensure it's level when I put the shed back down on it? Should leave it a little low so I can shim it?

Also where do I get this sonotube? Is there a better alternative?

Last edited by nikeman; 03-26-2012 at 11:49 AM.
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Old 03-26-2012, 12:36 PM   #5
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Jacking up shed


Little late for Sono tubes, your going to have to go with footings instead.
That building is so unstable if it was my job to do I would use doubled up 2 X 8's long enough to span the whole width and stick out behond the sides of the building to do the lift and use cribing to support the building while your working under it.
I would not use plywood as a lifting platform. I use doubled up 2 X 12's laying opposite to each other instead sitting on a leveled out area dug out to a soild base.
On that low side you do not want to use a base, the jack then something like a 4 X 4, way to tippy. Your going to have to use cribbing or double up solid blocks to get the jack high enough so it can be a direct lift with no post needed. I always set a piece of 1/2 X 6 X 6" steel between the jack and the beam so the piston does not just crush the beam like a cookie cutter.
I've got a short piece of steel pipe welded to steel plates just for this job. That way the plate stays centered with the piston.
(cribbing is stacks of 4 X 4's, 6 X 6's ect. stacked like Lincoln logs)
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Old 03-26-2012, 12:49 PM   #6
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Know anybody with a forklift? That's how places that sell sheds move them. If not, you could rent an all-terrain one for half a day.
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Old 03-26-2012, 01:11 PM   #7
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The fork lift idea is excellent, make sure if you rent one it has adequate capacity to lift the shed.

If you elect to lift the shed, a word of caution. NEVER work under a shed supported by jacks, unless those jacks are SPECIFICALLY rated for support. Hydraulic jacks, at least the standard consumer type, are NOT rated for support, they tend to bleed out under load, which will lead to the shed crushing you. Even if you use rated jacks, make ABSOLUTELY certain the jacks are properly supported, and the building is stable, before you get under it to dig or do anything else. No reason to turn an unfortunate construction fiasco into a coroners investigation.

If you elect to use cribbing, same thing goes, make sure the cribbing is bombproof if you are going to work under the building. Lifting with a forklift, setting the shed on some temporary 6x6 beams on the ground away from the existing blocks, installing the foundation, then reinstalling the shed is a good plan.
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Old 03-26-2012, 01:19 PM   #8
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If you go back and look at this posters pictures in another post of the site you would see he would need a 4 wheeled drive and articulating fork lift because it's built on a hill in the woods.
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Old 03-26-2012, 01:40 PM   #9
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I can't get a forklift back there due to my gate and trees. I wouldn't need 4x4 and it's not in the woods like it may appear in the pictures. Thanks for all the advise guys.
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Old 03-26-2012, 01:41 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nikeman View Post
AS many of you probably know already, I didn't hire the best contractor and the foundation is not as good as it should be. Now that the money is gone and what's done is done I want to fix this myself because I can't afford to hire anyone else. What's the best way to lift the shed corner by corner about an inch so I can support the thing better? It's a 12x16 btw. Basically I want to lift a corner, take the blocks away, dig a hole and use a sonotube filled with concrete as suggested by someone here.
I don't think you will need to do any jacking. Sorry, I should have included this in my post. I think if you brace around the post you will just be able to knock out the pile of block. I would probably (gently) use a 5 pound hammer to break one of the blocks (after it is braced). Just hammering in the bracing members will take some of the load off of the stack of blocks.

Check level before you put the new post in. If you braced it properly, it should have dipped when you removed the support. If it did, then bang in the braces a bit more (from the bottom end) to get back up to level. The corner of a shed like the doesn't weigh thousands of pounds, so it shouldn't take too much to get it back up to level. This structure has 6 supports, so temporarily replacing one of them with braces should not result in a shift of the structure.

This picture shows some braces at 30 degrees,
http://files.walkinlove.org/pic2006/...MG_0008-bg.JPG

In your case, I would just make a triangular notch in the center of the end of the board about 2" deep. You just put seat the corner of the horizontal 4x4 into the notch and kick the bottom of the brace into the ground until it's tight. You may have to trim the board to get the length right, but guess for a longer board instead of a shorter one. You may also have to adjust the center notch some and cut down one side to get the brace all the way in. Just take you time and don't think you have to do it all in one step. It's better to make several small cuts than to make one that is too big and have to start again. Once the brace is tightly in place, it will be bearing load. Anchor the ground end of the brace, fasten the support end of the brace to the under structure with a screw if you want to, and move onto the next one. Put one brace on the back and then one on the side, then the back, and the side again. At that point, you should be able to get the blocks out. If you are worried about leaving it overnight, you could put the blocks back under the beam nearby somewhere, but it should be a problem to leave the braces. People do this for much larger structures all the time.

LMHmedchem

Last edited by LMHmedchem; 03-26-2012 at 01:47 PM.
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Old 03-26-2012, 07:54 PM   #11
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Now one of you guys have seen the shed in person. He can explain what I have and if I do not here from the current builder by the weekend then I am going to see if the member here will help me out and get it fixed up. I will let him respond before I say his name just in case he doesn't want people to know for some reason.
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Old 03-26-2012, 08:04 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by nikeman View Post
Now one of you guys have seen the shed in person. He can explain what I have and if I do not here from the current builder by the weekend then I am going to see if the member here will help me out and get it fixed up. I will let him respond before I say his name just in case he doesn't want people to know for some reason.
It's very nice that someone was willing to give you a hand, but I'm not that surprised. I have found folks here to be both knowledgeable and helpful. This is not a huge job, but it will be very nice to have someone there who knows what to do. That can alleviate allot of the stress and prevent mishaps.

I probably wouldn't do this all in one day if it was at my place, mostly because I like to take my time and I'm not as young as I used to be (funny thing that), but you probably could. You can use cast-in-place post bases and attache the post before you fill the tube. As long as the post is plumb, you just fill the tube up to the bottom of the post base and you are done. This pdf has a nice description of the hardware. Look on page 10-13. I would use 4x4 posts and 2x4 cross braces. You can put the cross braces on the front or back, but I think they look best flush.

I'm sure that you will get it straightened out if the contractor doesn't finish the job like they should.

LMHmedchem
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Old 03-26-2012, 08:08 PM   #13
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I looked at the photos, I am at a loss for words on that. whom ever did that is an idiot. Too far for me or I would bring a couple rail road jacks over.

Last edited by Hardway; 03-26-2012 at 08:19 PM.
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Old 03-26-2012, 08:33 PM   #14
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So I should pour concrete footings and while it's still wet put some anchors in it? I'm not sure I want to use wood as the support beams though. What if I poured concrete and then put a block on top while its wet and maybe put some brackets to prevent it from ever moving? Does that make since?
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Old 03-26-2012, 09:22 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by nikeman View Post
So I should pour concrete footings and while it's still wet put some anchors in it? I'm not sure I want to use wood as the support beams though. What if I poured concrete and then put a block on top while its wet and maybe put some brackets to prevent it from ever moving? Does that make since?
For the posts, I would use treated 4x4. You can use untreated if you paint it up with fence post preservative. I would use one of the case-in-place post bases in the .pdf I linked to (page 11). You would dig the hole for the tube so that 2-4" of the tube remains above ground. Put 1" of sand in the bottom of the hole and insert the tube. Rough align the tube so the is is more or less centered where the post will come down. You want to cut the post at a length so that it goes ~1" into the tube. Attach the cast-in-place post base to the bottom of the post and then attach the post to the 4x4 substructure with a post cap. The post should hang down and the case-in-place post base should go well into the tube (look at the link ablve under "Gallery" about half way down the page, select the image on the far right that shows the post base embedded in the concrete.

All you need to do at this point is make sure that the post is level in both directions and the the shed is level horizontally. Make a final alignment of the tube to make sure that the post is centered and the tube is level in every direction. Fill the tube with concrete and stop just at the bottom of the metal standoff on the post base. The concrete should not touch the wood or that junction will collect water and cause issues. This system uses a metal standoff between the bottom of the post and the concrete. When the concrete has hardened. you can fill in around the tube with dirt and tamp it down. I like to cut off the tube, but not everyone does this. The important thing is to keep the tube and the post in position while you are filling the tube. I do this by screwing some boards into the tube at right angles. The post should stay in position if you installed the post cap with the post properly aligned, but you can stabilize it with the same method if necessary.

Once you have the post done, you can add the cross braces. I might add 4x4 to fill in the gap in the back between the 4x4s so that you will have something good to anchor the cross braces to.

If you can post measurements, I will post a diagram of what I mean. That way others can comment on the plan as well.

LMHmedchem


Last edited by LMHmedchem; 03-26-2012 at 09:26 PM.
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