Mysterious Turn-buckles In Basement - General DIY Discussions - DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum


Go Back   DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum > DIY Repair > General DIY Discussions

CLICK HERE AND JOIN OUR COMMUNITY TODAY...IT'S FREE!

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 01-30-2013, 09:04 PM   #1
Member
 
randlefactor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Upstate NY
Posts: 41
Rewards Points: 27
Default

Mysterious turn-buckles in basement


Hello,
This time around I need some help figuring out what I saw in my basement... Scary There are 4 or 5 cables and turnbuckles running lengthwise under my floor between the joists (?) A cable provides tension, inferring that the beams were bowing out horizontally. It doesn't make sense to me. Please let me know what your take is on this and why someone would do it.

House built in 1830, upstate NY

Thanks!!
Attached Thumbnails
Mysterious turn-buckles in basement-image-3586308677.jpg   Mysterious turn-buckles in basement-image-3679826271.jpg  

Advertisement

randlefactor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-30-2013, 09:09 PM   #2
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Hartfield VA
Posts: 27,774
Rewards Points: 664
Default

Mysterious turn-buckles in basement


Go quite a mess down there. Really like the main beam cut 1/2 way through with a lolly proping it up.
What's the other end attached to?

Advertisement

joecaption is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-30-2013, 09:13 PM   #3
Member
 
randlefactor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Upstate NY
Posts: 41
Rewards Points: 27
Default

Mysterious turn-buckles in basement


Joe, ya there's a reason I didn't show you any other pics! Haha! I learned after buying this place that a really intense DIY'er did some crazy stuff back in 1998-2002... then he sold it!

The other end pops through the vertical beam that sits on top of the sill plate at the front wall of the house... Behind those bushes out front. I can actually see 5 steel plates and nuts just like the pic outside the house.
randlefactor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-30-2013, 09:19 PM   #4
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Hartfield VA
Posts: 27,774
Rewards Points: 664
Default

Mysterious turn-buckles in basement


Only times I've seen this done is when the walls start spreading out.
Most of the times it's because of a failing foundation with a poor footing that starts tipping.
joecaption is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-30-2013, 09:28 PM   #5
Member
 
randlefactor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Upstate NY
Posts: 41
Rewards Points: 27
Default

Mysterious turn-buckles in basement


Hmmm yes that sounds familiar. The whole left foundation wall was reinforced with concrete (originally stone/shale) at one time. We are on a slight hill with water flowing by underground. The window frames and doors are all slanted towards the downhill side so I know this house has got some lean to it.

So how would I know if this house is still sinking or if that stopped long ago?
Also, should I replace those floor jackposts with something more permanent?
Deep square cut: All the beams are cut this way! Were the builders in 1830 totally clueless to the fact that this reduces the beam strength to that of the remaining thickness?!

Last edited by randlefactor; 01-30-2013 at 09:33 PM.
randlefactor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-30-2013, 09:32 PM   #6
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Hartfield VA
Posts: 27,774
Rewards Points: 664
Default

Mysterious turn-buckles in basement


That jack would be fine but only if they dug out and pored a footing for it that was big and deep enough with rebar in it.

You sure they did not just smear morter on that wall to try and cover up the cracks?
joecaption is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-30-2013, 09:37 PM   #7
Member
 
randlefactor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Upstate NY
Posts: 41
Rewards Points: 27
Default

Mysterious turn-buckles in basement


I can't really be sure of anything right now except that I should have hired a structural guy to inspect this heap before I bought it! I'm just praying it holds until I sell it and the next buyer is as clueless as I was or wants to put lots of money into it.
randlefactor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-31-2013, 07:05 AM   #8
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Springfield OH
Posts: 768
Rewards Points: 500
Default

Mysterious turn-buckles in basement


In Charleston SC, one can see a LOT of examples of similar setup, though mostly through second-floor walls. These are intended, I have been told, to keep the walls from spreading out, and were added after a large earthquake in the late 1800s.

Perhaps this was used to pull the house back together after some geological event, and simply left in place?
oberkc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-02-2013, 11:51 AM   #9
MarginallyQualified
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Winston-Salem NC
Posts: 3,813
Rewards Points: 2,300
Default

Mysterious turn-buckles in basement


Quote:
Originally Posted by randlefactor View Post
I learned after buying this place that a really intense DIY'er did some crazy stuff back in 1998-2002... then he sold it!
The only thing worse than doing nothing at all...
TarheelTerp is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-02-2013, 12:05 PM   #10
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Southeast Wisconsin
Posts: 80
Rewards Points: 75
Default

Mysterious turn-buckles in basement


Quote:
Originally Posted by randlefactor View Post
Deep square cut: All the beams are cut this way! Were the builders in 1830 totally clueless to the fact that this reduces the beam strength to that of the remaining thickness?!
Well, let's see. They built a house almost 200 years ago with crude hand tools, and it's still standing today. And did it all without access to all of us geniuses on the internet. Clueless?
More specific, if you look at the joints they used back than and realize they didn't have things like joist hangers and even decent nails, they had reasons for what they did.
wrongdave is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to wrongdave For This Useful Post:
chrisn (02-02-2013)
Old 02-02-2013, 01:33 PM   #11
Civil Engineer
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Boston
Posts: 4,306
Rewards Points: 2,190
Default

Mysterious turn-buckles in basement


Wrongdave has made a very important point. You cannot judge 200 year old construction technique based on current practice. Similarly, it is very difficult to find craftsmen capable of replicating 200 year old design practice. This often leads to a confusing amalgam of techniques when old houses are repaired or improved, which is what you have.

It is very difficult to evaluate the condition of a house over the internet, especially one that has multiple construction techniques. My suggestion is you try to find a local architect, structural engineer or contract who has experience with old construction practices, and pay them to perform a detailed evaluation of the condition of your house, and prepare a report detailing what actions are critical, which are important but not critical, and which actions are irrelevant.

As to the turnbuckles, they are commonly used in older construction, generally to hold walls in place. Without a good history of the construction of your house, it is difficult to evaluate the original intent of the turnbuckles, possibly they connected to walls which are no longer present.
Daniel Holzman is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to Daniel Holzman For This Useful Post:
jomama45 (02-02-2013)
Old 02-04-2013, 05:30 PM   #12
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 600
Rewards Points: 512
Default

Mysterious turn-buckles in basement


Quote:
Originally Posted by wrongdave View Post
Well, let's see. They built a house almost 200 years ago with crude hand tools, and it's still standing today. And did it all without access to all of us geniuses on the internet. Clueless?
More specific, if you look at the joints they used back than and realize they didn't have things like joist hangers and even decent nails, they had reasons for what they did.
Mine was built in 1800, and the main beam sits below the joists. No cuts. And most of the joists are rough timber. Obviously, though, if that house is still here, then it was done adequately. All the bozo shacks fell down a hundred years ago!
operagost is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2013, 06:16 PM   #13
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: cleveland ohio
Posts: 445
Rewards Points: 250
Default

Mysterious turn-buckles in basement


Most of the houses out here under 10 years old are literately falling apart at the seams. These were built and inspected by the best and brightest of our time.

Advertisement

paintdrying is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Old Home - Basement addition insulation vapor barrier question 1870 Building & Construction 0 10-14-2010 08:36 AM
How to solve problem of moist basement walls moist Building & Construction 4 08-30-2010 06:18 PM
Basement Cooling BTU requirements? neilt HVAC 5 05-29-2010 04:26 AM
Insulating basement ceiling - your recommendations? jtmann HVAC 8 11-24-2009 05:44 PM
Turn a basement into a garage pls2pgh Remodeling 2 10-03-2006 06:44 PM




Top of Page | View New Posts