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Old 02-03-2013, 05:35 PM   #1
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Joists, Sill Plate, Foundation and broken main beam


Ok..first post so hello to all of you and thank you in advance. We're taking ownership of this beauty in a few weeks and have some pretty advanced DIY stuff ahead of me and I'm starting with these issues. Any or all advice will be extremely gracious.

First..the main beam is rotted and broken from some genius boring three..THREE toilet pipes through said beam and then add some leakage. The beam runs from the foundation to the chimney where it rests and another beam..much longer starts on the other side of the chimney and continues to the other side...that beam is in good order. All the joist that run from this beam are kind of hap-hazardly attached and there are none that run directly from the beam to the sill plate. ALL of the joists that run from the beam are rotted and need to be replaced. Should I replace the main beam..hang joists and run them all the way to the sill (all that plumbing is gone anyway..day one) or should I replace joists and add a steel beam below the joists to support them? How do I support the house while this beam is out?



Second: one side of the house has a small bay window with what is a very..very scary foundation wall..any thoughts?


Third: opposite of the bay window is another foundation add-on. The floor above is broken and slopes dramatically toward the foundation. There is no sill plate...at least not a wood one. There seems to be buckled steel plates where the joists sit and they are in good shape. Should I jack this up and simply add a wood sill when it's level?



Fourth: Where the joists go into the sill area in the main basement area...there are these bricks? What purpose are they? I'm assuming they are weather proofing or to keep the joists straight. Removing them is not going to reduce structural integrity?


Thanks much...:D

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Old 02-03-2013, 05:43 PM   #2
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Joists, Sill Plate, Foundation and broken main beam


You bought this why????

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Old 02-03-2013, 05:48 PM   #3
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Joists, Sill Plate, Foundation and broken main beam


Well...I hate payments...I have a garage full of tools, plumbing, pex, wire, endless supply of lumber and I spend more on Coffee than my mortgage payment...
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Old 02-03-2013, 06:16 PM   #4
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Joists, Sill Plate, Foundation and broken main beam


Looks like I might have to try to find a different "diy" forum
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Old 02-03-2013, 06:26 PM   #5
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Joists, Sill Plate, Foundation and broken main beam


Bonebags,

Welcome to the Forum!

My best suggestion would be to hire a professional engineer to evaluate your existing home and determine a proper course of action for making the necessary repairs. Determination of structural framing (beams and joists, etc.) requires eyes on the site to determine the transfer of loads from the roof down to the foundation. Doing so from a few photos leads to mistakes and errors, some that could lead to structural failure (more than you currently have).

They can size the points, determine point loads and the construction necessary to make repairs. This way you know what you're going to have to do from the start and don't have to go through trial and error.

I know it's not what you want to hear, but it's what you need to hear.

Good luck!
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Old 02-03-2013, 06:37 PM   #6
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Joists, Sill Plate, Foundation and broken main beam


Well the thing is, there really isn't much there worth keeping. The foundation appears to be field-stone with dirt? for mortar. The lumber appears to be dry rotted, and poorly suported, etc. etc. etc. Maybe these pictures arent indicative of the rest of the house. Are the floors level?
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Old 02-03-2013, 06:47 PM   #7
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Well the thing is, there really isn't much there worth keeping. The foundation appears to be field-stone with dirt? for mortar. The lumber appears to be dry rotted, and poorly suported, etc. etc. etc. Maybe these pictures arent indicative of the rest of the house. Are the floors level?
I've indicated that I am more than willing to replace all that you see...I've done it before and I do have a structural engineer friend who will be coming over before I mess with that main beam. All those joists you see are being replaced as they are rotted (dry/wet..you name it). The rest of the joists in the home are solid and the floors are level..of course except for were you see..you can imagine what it's like to walk on that. 135 year old mortar does that...the walls are well over a foot thick..so I'm not too worried about them coming down but some repair in the future is in order...first things first.

What I was looking for was some "possible" plans of attack..knowing that I must get it checked out before by someone with some knowledge...what about those bricks in the sill area?

thanks
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Old 02-03-2013, 07:21 PM   #8
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Joists, Sill Plate, Foundation and broken main beam


Any If done that bad most often we end up cutting out all the floors.
Even your old subflooring is rotten, the joist are cut up under sized and over spaned. You do not even have much that's strong enough to support the floors while that main beam is replaced.
Looks like someone may have used under sized main runs with that copper pipe.
I know i would have had that engineer friend take a look at it before even making an offer.
I have all the tools, man power, and know how and I still would not have touched that one with a 20 ft. pole.
One of those holes in the foundation may have been for a coal shoot.

Last edited by joecaption; 02-03-2013 at 07:24 PM.
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Old 02-03-2013, 07:52 PM   #9
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The whole place is 2x8 dimensional lumber..like I said..that side needs to be fixed right away...
I'm not flipping it..I'm gonna live in it.

I'm cutting out the floor over that area..it's majorly screwed and needs all new...the remainder of the first floor is solid..great condition original oak with little or no squeak or movement and fairly level up to where the water damage was and what is represented in the photo.

The plumbing is a non issue as I'm completely gutting the entire thing and re-plumb..re-wire..insulate and go from there.

In my experience it's easier to do it that way then even attempt to do a live-in remodel.

My questions are..why would anyone span joists like that? What are the bricks on the sill? What's with the metal sill plate? I've been involved in many structural jobs where some hack deemed it a good idea to destroy a house with toilet pipes...

Honestly..you guys are acting like a few grand for an old house has never been done before..or you don't appreciate a challenge :D

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Old 02-03-2013, 08:00 PM   #10
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Joists, Sill Plate, Foundation and broken main beam


Does there happen to be a set of steps, porch or stoop right where those bricks are?
Often time that's right where the rim joist rots out because the outside wall was not water proofed before building them.
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Old 02-03-2013, 08:06 PM   #11
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Does there happen to be a set of steps, porch or stoop right where those bricks are?
Often time that's right where the rim joist rots out because the outside wall was not water proofed before building them.
They are all the way around the perimeter of the interior foundation...they have been knocked out in a few places..and the main foundation rim joists look ok..I was half planning on replacing all the sill plate/rim joists on the whole house but they seem to be solid and good color :D
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Old 02-03-2013, 08:19 PM   #12
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Joists, Sill Plate, Foundation and broken main beam


I lived in Wisconsin for ten years, and saw quite a few houses that look something like your place. I lived in a house with a stone foundation for three years.

As to the repair, it is good that you are enthusiastic about effectively gutting the whole place, and replacing all the framing. This will make it possible for you to develop a rational plan for framing, consistent with current construction practice.

I am guessing that place is at least a hundred years old, and has probably been repaired/updated several times. It is fun to speculate on why certain techniques were used, but in the end you never really know why anyone does what they do, perhaps they had an iron plate laying around and decided to use it as a lintel?

It is fortunate you have an engineer friend to assist. As there is considerable liability involved in gutting and repairing a house, plus you will need a permit which will probably require plans, you really need to discuss having a formal contract with your friend. They will likely need to prepare and stamp plans, submit them to the local building official, and may need to certify that the construction was done to plan. There is considerable room for trouble on such a complex project, it would be unfortunate to have a misunderstanding with a friend. Personally, I have never performed work for a friend or relative, because of the potential for misunderstanding. It is sometimes difficult to retain a professional relationship with someone you know, especially if they are on a budget.

My suggestion would be to ink a contract with your engineer friend for them to perform professional services to evaluate the condition of the house, recommend needed repairs, prepare plans and specifications for the repairs, and recommend a method of temporary support during the repairs. This assumes your friend is a licensed professional engineer in the State of Wisconsin. If not, you had best check with the local building inspector if the inspector will accept plans developed by an unregistered individual. When I lived there (in four different locations), the building inspector would not have accepted plans from an unregistered individual, but of course your Town may be different.

Good luck, and enjoy the project.
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Old 02-03-2013, 08:26 PM   #13
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Bone, there are challenges, and there are forlorn hopes. From what we could see in the pictures, you have purchased the latter. Maybe there are other views that would substantially change things, but with that foundation, you are pushing chain. That's what the stacked bricks, metal plates etc etc were trying to tell you.

You may very well be better off starting from scratch a little way off, if you have the land, and live in this place in the interim.
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Old 02-03-2013, 08:38 PM   #14
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Bone, there are challenges, and there are forlorn hopes. From what we could see in the pictures, you have purchased the latter. Maybe there are other views that would substantially change things, but with that foundation, you are pushing chain. That's what the stacked bricks, metal plates etc etc were trying to tell you.

You may very well be better off starting from scratch a little way off, if you have the land, and live in this place in the interim.
Ok...stacked bricks in the interior..between joists...are not something that would throw me off...

the metal plates are on a 12' addition and are a sure sign of "what are we going to put here to level the foundation"

the rest of the issues I posted...don't you think a replacement of joists with same dimensional lumber all the way to the beam or 8' LVL's would suffice....this building has been standing and solid for longer than most of our family trees go back...?

My friend is an owner of a large construction/re-puroposing company and I don't feel I need a contract with him..I do what I can to make him happy...I'm not interested in getting the local code commanders involved...but am interested in safety and doing it right.

I'm confident replacing the joists/subfloor/any wall studs that are bad would bring the structure back to strength.


btw..I'm not living in it...I wouldn't live in it...no way no how in the condition it's in....what I do know is that installing 50.00 worth of drywall costs 3000 dollars and I enjoy the challenge :D

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Old 02-03-2013, 08:40 PM   #15
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Joists, Sill Plate, Foundation and broken main beam


Looks like you've got your work cut out for you. Anything can be done if you've got the time. Not sure what the purpose of those bricks are.

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