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Old 03-29-2009, 11:58 AM   #1
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rotted sill plate, joist ends and stud bottoms oh my.


Hey guys. We've got an 1880's colonial home. 2 story ~1800sq ft +large attic. Brick over field stone foundation. We recently purchased as our first home together. Somewhere in the last 30 years the previous owners had poured a concrete pad along 25ft of so of the back side of the house flush the back entryway, which had become pitched back towards the house. We removed the pad and pulled the lower two feet of siding off of the house exposing the studs. joist ends and whats left the the sill.

The sill plate originally was 4x6 (or 4x8 im not exactly positive). In the center of the house the sill has completely rotted away. Leaving an obvious dip in the framing and the roof. The studs and joists are sitting on the brick. Some studs are not weight bearing. Most all of the studs are rotted for the first 4-6 inches. Most all the joist ends suffer the same. Solid parts of the joists however are resting on the brick inside the basement so they stable for now. The joists rot does not extend much into the joists (4 inches, on the top inch or two of the joist) or to the floorboards.

The brick sits from 12-18 inches on top of the field stone. Only the top few inches are exposed. The brick is loose in spots, pushed slightly in spots but remains stable as the house sits on it. This will be replaced by either poured concrete, or block. Which is better for this situation?

We already dug a french drain and graded the land away from the house. There are hopefully no more water issues.

The Plan so far;

note: We dont care if any of the existing plaster is cracked, since we removed most of it anyway. The entire 2nd floor slats and plaster have been removed and is awaiting insulation/drywall. The sill damage is limited to the backside of the house and possibly one corner extending 6ft onto the side of the house.

Plan is to jack the house up using a method similar to this picture. As well as using post jacks in the basement to raise and stabilize the floor joists.

After the house is raise we will cut out the bad sections of studs and replace them with pressure treated.

Questions: Since the studs are an odd size compared to todays available pt 2x4, should I rip down a larger peice to match this size, or should this not be much of a concern?

Also shoudl I sister the connection with a 2x4 or use the perferated metal (not sure what they are called) plates used in modern construction instead?


Floor Joists will be sistered. But since the supporting ends will be mostly cut out because they were rotted im not exactly sure how to go about this. I plan to use full length boards so they will span the entire way from sill to center support.


Also how should I go about dealing with uneven dips in floors and such? Would it be ok plane the new 2x, or instead lift the floor in places. Or would it be alright to float it under the floor slightly and nail it to the existing joist (which is solid except of the ends), or would this be the wrong route?


After we get all the wood healthy and back into shape we will put in a pressure treated 4x6 for a sill and have a mason come in and do the foundation work with us. If we concrete the new foundation in place of brick I assume we will have to keep the house off of the foundation for a few weeks. Is this true?

Any insight you have would be great. I can post pictures mon night.

Thanks!


Last edited by slowjo; 04-02-2009 at 09:05 AM.
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Old 03-30-2009, 03:00 PM   #2
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rotted sill plate, joist ends and stud bottoms oh my.


Any input in on the joists/stud bottoms guys? Im gogin to be starting work tomorrow. Ordering wood in a few minutes.

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Old 03-30-2009, 06:15 PM   #3
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rotted sill plate, joist ends and stud bottoms oh my.


Have you enough experience to do this safely/properly? The size 2x4 is ok, as long as the spacing is close enough to support the loads above. Why p.t.? Isn't the sill or the wood under it p.t.? Can you use a 4x12 or so to exclude new studs(and add another plate under it)? Steel plates do strengthen, I would use them, especially if there may be any twist involved.

Sounds like it's too late to suggest hiring a pro? The joists need full length and a lot of nails. I've ripped a 1/2" off the length before, then driven some 5/8 ply under each, once in position. The sill should be shimmed to lift the floor level.

The picture needs a tie 2x4 to the house studs and diagonal brace to keep the jack/ combo from moving or kicking out. I would build it this way, this may not be correct, and am not responcible for damages. As there is a lot going on and not one picture (and it is Monday night), and your name is slowjo!!!! lol Be safe, GBAR
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Old 03-30-2009, 09:31 PM   #4
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rotted sill plate, joist ends and stud bottoms oh my.


Quote:
Originally Posted by GBAR in WA View Post
Have you enough experience to do this safely/properly?
I work with metal as my primary trade. But not structural stuff. I've lifted a barn with sucess, but the joists were good. I plan to go very slow.

Quote:
The size 2x4 is ok, as long as the spacing is close enough to support the loads above.
16 on center in most spots some are 17.

Quote:
Why p.t.? Isn't the sill or the wood under it p.t.?
I realized this wont be needed so we are using non pt wood for the studs/joists. We will be using a 4x6 pt for the new sill.

Quote:
Can you use a 4x12 or so to exclude new studs(and add another plate under it)?
I'm not sure I understand what you mean.

Quote:
Sounds like it's too late to suggest hiring a pro?
The best quote we got was 4k over budget.

Quote:
The joists need full length and a lot of nails. I've ripped a 1/2" off the length before, then driven some 5/8 ply under each, once in position. The sill should be shimmed to lift the floor level.
Sounds like a decent idea for shimming.

The span is 12.6 ft, so I bought 2x8x14. The old joists are 2x8 not 2x10 (what I said they were in original post) Should this be alright? The old joists are solid except for very ends on the sill side where they are notched (the important part).

The original joists have a ton of those little wooden cross braces between them, after I remove them and sister up the joists, what should I replace these braces with?

Also would it be necessary to put glue between the new and old joists, and should I screw them together or will it be just fine to use a framing nailer?



Quote:
The picture needs a tie 2x4 to the house studs and diagonal brace to keep the jack/ combo from moving or kicking out. I would build it this way, this may not be correct, and am not responcible for damages. As there is a lot going on and not one picture (and it is Monday night), and your name is slowjo!!!! lol Be safe, GBAR
Thanks Gbar. The tie is a good idea, i will work that into the design of the jack studs. The jack pads will be staked in place with some rebar.

No pictures because its been raining hard the last two days. Fortunately the ground there the jacks are going is still very very firm and hard.

I bought all the lumber and I am using 1/2 lag bolts to tie a 4x6 header to the studs. If this setup starts to look unstable in any way I'm going to abort and bring someone in with much more experience to at least consult/direct.

I'll take pics tomorrow.

Last edited by slowjo; 03-30-2009 at 10:28 PM.
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Old 03-30-2009, 11:44 PM   #5
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rotted sill plate, joist ends and stud bottoms oh my.


2x8----16" o.c.------- IRC and UBC (codes) are: 12'7" and 12'10" with a 40 lb. live load. As long as no tile floor with a stove, refer., and island with slate tops.

The 4x12 was to bring the beam up to the cut studs, instead of scabbing blocks under the studs. (to make them longer after you cut them.)

Glue is up to you, wouldn't hurt, but not required. I'd go: 2-16d or 10d nails -- 16"o.c.

Just make sure the floor deck is level, and the joist is supported 1-3/4" on bearing.

The cross bridging is to strengthen and make the individual joists act as a unit. New metal ones are much easier to install from below rather than solid blocking. Be sure to put a teco nail into each one at the bottom. Be safe, GBAR
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Old 04-01-2009, 11:19 PM   #6
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rotted sill plate, joist ends and stud bottoms oh my.


Here are the pictures. I only took exterior pics so far.



You can see where we removed the new siding, that the original siding is dipped like the roof.



Previous owners, decided to ignore the problem and frame the windows/doors level. They tiled into the dip in the floor though.
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Last edited by slowjo; 04-02-2009 at 08:29 AM.
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Old 04-01-2009, 11:21 PM   #7
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rotted sill plate, joist ends and stud bottoms oh my.


Here you can see the worst rotted postition and how there is obsolutely no sill plate left.




Here is the left hand corner of the house. A lot of rot, and what is left of the sill plate. We will be removing the shed that is attached to the left hand side of the house to access this area from the side.

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Old 04-01-2009, 11:45 PM   #8
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rotted sill plate, joist ends and stud bottoms oh my.


Today I put a 16ft 4x6 in the basement as a header and began to jack at the lowest point. The 4x6 (on its side) started to sink into the lowest 2x8 joist and it started to crush the bottom 1/4" of the joist a bit. It stopped crushing into it, but I may just put 3/8"x4"x8" steel plates along the joists.

The joists started raising indipendent of the studs, so I am putting 6ft a header across the low poit on the exterior where we removed the siding (all layers of siding have been removed along that line) and will jack it up outside as well.

We plan on rebuilding the brick since it it pretty waisted. I will higher a mason to do the concrete work. But who knows how fast I can get this done.

Here are my main concerns.

Since we are wating for the mason I will have to install a temp sill to sit thehouse back down on.

I had a framer come in yesterday. He said that most all of the 2x8's are in great shape minus the very end of the joists (where they notch over the non existant sill plate.)

He suggested that I replace the sill with an 8h"x10w" hemlock, cut the existing joists so they butt against the new 8x10 and use joist hangers.
This would allow me to cut the 2x4 studs and nail a 2x4 foot under them and let them sit directly on the 8x10. This would also put my 2x8 joist span just under 12'. I could sister any bad/questionable joists with a double hanger. This way I wouldnt have to notch both ends of 26 2x8 joists, snake them in, fuss them into place and nail the crap out of them.

Would joist hangers directly into somethign like like an 8x10 be alright for this aplication? Can I get PT that big? Or should hemlock or somthing be alright when someone else is living in this house in 50 years?


The old plan was to jack the house up and replace every stud end, use 4x6 for a sill and sister every joist with a notched 2x8.

What would you do?

Thanks so much guys!

Last edited by slowjo; 04-02-2009 at 08:31 AM.
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Old 04-02-2009, 10:09 PM   #9
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rotted sill plate, joist ends and stud bottoms oh my.


hey man,
are you in great barrington?
i clicked on the photo, and the george yonnone name sounded familiar (think i had read it in the shopper's guide or something), and then i noticed great barrington!

i live here in town.

if you ever need a hand let me know.

b
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Old 04-02-2009, 10:20 PM   #10
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rotted sill plate, joist ends and stud bottoms oh my.


the framer's suggestions sound good to me, man.
do you know if the house is balloon framed or not?
much better if you can get away with cutting the rotted stud bottoms and have the new, dry bottoms (prime them!) sit on a bottom plate, rather than trying to sister them. make a double 2X bottom plate, if you have to cut up that far.
just snap a very good chalk line, and make accurate cuts with skillsaw or sawzall.
no reason you should have to use PT for joists or studs. the sill could be.
if you go hemlock sill, prime the bottom of it, at least.

i have a 100+ year old house, with probably hemlock 6X6 sills. the sills and joists are all painted white, like a whitewash or something. all of them are bone dry.

good luck man. you've got your hands full, all right.
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Old 04-02-2009, 11:21 PM   #11
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rotted sill plate, joist ends and stud bottoms oh my.


Yes its balloon, we just got in tonight its 20 after 12am. We can only jack 42-46" from the wall in the basement because of the steam and sewer pipes. We were constructing a temp wall across the first floor of the house to carry the 2nd floor up at about the area where we placed the jacking header. We didnt start till 9pm because we were both working, but we got all the wood cut and 1/3 of the temp walls up. Should I nail them on both sides of the stud, or will one nail be fine? The temp walls are 2x4 studs sitting on 2x8 plate and headers. Headers nailed on each end to ceiling, footer is not nailed to the floor (tile and hardwood) but I figure it should stay pu if the studs are level. Also I shimmed the studs to fit tight. Is this propper?

I'm actually in the Palmer area. I havent been to Great Barington in a while But if your out this way let me know!

Also, what should I prime the wood with?

Last edited by slowjo; 04-02-2009 at 11:28 PM.
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Old 04-03-2009, 07:04 PM   #12
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rotted sill plate, joist ends and stud bottoms oh my.


Beautiful home, even in the shape it is in. My ? is why are you considering using P.T. lumber? Probably a difference in our areas but down here our P.T. is made from Southern Pine and will shrink really bad once it starts to dry. P.T., whether in the big box stores or local lumber yards will still ooze treating material if you stick it with a pocket knife, it was probably treated yesterday. I have replace some sills in our area and try to use lumber as close to original size as possible. I like the idea of using taller sills to you can just add a footer to the existing studs. I wonder is schmolze's "primer" was some of that old style mild paint or something like that from back then. Keep us posted on your progress, Good Luck, David
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Old 04-03-2009, 11:55 PM   #13
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rotted sill plate, joist ends and stud bottoms oh my.


Pressure treated is used around here on pretty much anything that touches concrete or that will be outside. Here in new england with the winters, thaws, rains and humidity regular wood rots out quick if not protected.

I'm only considering useing it on the sill.

Today we started jacking the house up. We were using post jacks 3-joists apart. Till one exploded! We went out and bought many more, now they are every other joist across the whole backside of the house. We started rasing the house and got about 2 inches out it tonight. Working from 4 till midnight. We used a big 16 4x6, its Pressure treated, becuase thats what I had around. It tends to flex and when we jack it up, sometimes it squishes and oozes toxicity. We have a mason comign tomorrow, so it needed to get done.

We cant close the front door, had to remove a window and we popped all the tiles on that side of the house as well. But Only broke one tile. We expected all that. The only room thats still has plaster in it has cracked (expected). Not all the studs came up all the way. So i may have to jack them from the outside to get my line when I cut them.

Also this is kind of a biggie...

What I thought were 12'6" joists are actually like 25' that span across the houses center support to the back wall. I noticed this when I went to lean against the center support column and it almost fell over.

My 3 center support columns are no longer weight bearing.

How should I deal with this? Shim them? Or should I replace them? They look pretty beefy. They are wooden 10x10's could be 8x8's I guess.

time to sleep.
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Old 05-02-2009, 02:23 AM   #14
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rotted sill plate, joist ends and stud bottoms oh my.


I was going to ask some advice about the same thing. We have a two-story house about 140 years old in Kansas City. Someone built a second-floor deck years ago and didn't adequately flash it. Water ran into the wall and has rotted about 16' of sill plate. Most of it is non-existent. The bearing wall has settled about two inches. There is no basement, only a crawl space. The sill was set on what appears to be limestone fieldstone set in a trench. It looks like a major job to me, with a lot of weight and forces involved. I tried to find someone locally with reliable references and experience at this sort of thing, but I guess there aren't enough really old houses this far west for it to be a common problem. I don't know about tackling it myself. I am getting pretty old. I did install a bay window in this wall about fifteen years ago. I recall building a false wall inside, to support the second floor. But that didn't involve jacking an enormous amount of weight. I do recall that the studs were original-growth oak, two stories long, seasoned as hard as iron. I had to use a diamond-tip drill to get the screws through them. Screw gun ripped the heads off screws, nails just bent.
Do you have any details on the photo for jacking the walls on the outside? I'd like to know more about that setup. I will check back, hopefully learn from your experience...
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Old 05-02-2009, 07:37 AM   #15
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rotted sill plate, joist ends and stud bottoms oh my.


Quote:
Originally Posted by slowjo View Post
.

My 3 center support columns are no longer weight bearing.

How should I deal with this? Shim them? Or should I replace them? They look pretty beefy. They are wooden 10x10's could be 8x8's I guess.

time to sleep.
You need to support the middle area as you jack up the edge. I would use wedges over the posts you could tap in as you raised the structure. When you were finished installing the sill plate to it's original height and set the house back down, you would slowly release the wedges and let the house settle back down in the middle. This might take awhile as the joists were bent over the center posts for some time.
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