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Laser4G63 01-06-2009 03:55 PM

Support post question
2 Attachment(s)

I have a question about support posts or columns. In the basement of our house, we have 3 old timber support posts that appear to have seen better days. We purchased our house (1930's) 2 years ago from someone that entirely remodeled it. These posts appear to be the original ones.

I know I need to replace these, but what I need to know is with what and how should I go about doing so? There are footings under each post, but have a rough surface. I would like to try and tackle this myself since we do not have the funds to hire out someone to do so. So that being said, any help is greatly appreciated.

Termite 01-06-2009 05:23 PM

Temporarily support the beam with a 4x4 as close as you can to the existing post, and nice and tight to prevent settlement. Bear the 4x4 on the footing if possible. Remove the old wood post, and get all the wood out of the concrete slab/footing. Mix up some concrete and fill the void left by the wood. Let that harden for a few days...It will take a few days to gain enough strength. Then get an adjustable steel pipe column to fit the height and install it. Pipe columns can be purchased from steel suppliers in your area.

Pretty easy job to do.

Maintenance 6 01-07-2009 06:45 AM

I think it's easier to buy an extra telescoping steel post and use it as your temporary as you work from post to post. They aren't that expensive. There's a good chance that your 4x4 will need to be cut to a different length for each post, so if you go that route, make sure you start with the longest post. Whatever you do, make sure your temporary posts are in good and snug. You don't want anything to sag.

Aggie67 01-07-2009 08:14 AM

Couple years ago we bought 24 jack posts for a job, which is basically a beefier version of an adjustable lolly column. Same height, etc. It's what we use to support structures we're working on. No reason you couldn't use a lolly column as suggested.

Big thing will be positioning the lolly column. Make sure your wood columns are supporting only one overhead beam, not a structural joint. Otherwise you'd need temp support for each member. Also, spread the load of the temp column on the slab to avoid punching through. We use a sandwich: sheet of thin plywood, with steel plate over that, 24x24. Sometimes we use 6x6 wood cribbing instead of plywood/steel.

Take a pic of the top of the column and post it, if you can. I'd like to see it.

Laser4G63 01-07-2009 11:06 AM

2 Attachment(s)
Thanks for the help, it is appreciated.

Here are the pics of the top of the columns.

Where can one purchase these lolly columns?

So basically what I want to do is install a temp column without lifting anything, which makes sense, get it tight as possible and then install the lolly column. Is there brackets on the top or bottom that need to be installed as well or do they just sit wedged in there?

Again, thanks for the help.

Termite 01-07-2009 11:22 AM

As Aggie67 mentioned, the beam splice at the left would need to be supported by two temporary posts, one for each side of the splice. The lally column would be placed right where the current one is and tightened before removing the supports.

Most of the steel columns have a square plate with holes in it or a H-shaped steel plate at the top for bearing. You can add a couple nails to secure it in place or bend the H plate tabs depending on configuration.

Under that splice it might be wise to add a 6" long piece of 1/2" steel plate beneath the splice on top of the column, just to get plenty of bearing. Ideally, you need a couple inches of bearing on each side of the splice. Or, leave that flat piece of wood. I'd go with steel just for a cleaner installation.

Maintenance 6 01-07-2009 02:01 PM

Where can one purchase these lolly columns?

They are sometimes called tele-posts or jack posts. I've seen them in the box stores like Lowes or HD.

4just1don 01-07-2009 03:14 PM

one thing you MAY wanna do in conjunction with this 'repair'. Stretch a string real tight across the edge of that beam,from one end to another,,,see how much sag is old age settlement mostly from rotting off old wood posts as you have. How much remodeling done upstairs,,,all floors above this? If you can,,correct what you can by screwing up the jacks like 1/2 turn per week or so. Straight houses are HAPPY houses!!

F your joist area is open,might want to stretch a few srings cross wise too above the columns say 2" up on joist so you can measure alike everywhere. IF there is a discrepancy of the strings,what to do,,,compromise or go with the one that screws up doors above, the least!!

Laser4G63 01-08-2009 07:23 AM

The house is completely finished. We purchased it move in ready. What I don't understand is, why wasn't the guy that flipped this house made to replace the columns? The way he talked, he couldn't blow his nose without the city inspecting something on the house.

At this point, I am not going to bother trying to level the floor upstairs. More than likely it would mess too much up (drywall, tile, etc.). I just want peace of mind knowing something better is in place than those old timber columns.

Can someone either post a pic of the lolly column in place or direct me to a link that has pics of some. I just want to get a better understanding of all this.

Thanks again for the help.

RippySkippy 01-08-2009 08:15 AM

Usually, if the re-modeler didn't mess with the sub floor of it's supporting structure, it wouldn't be included in the inspection process. So it's not too difficult to see why it wasn't a mandatory replacement item.

The Lally columns that are being spoke of here are available in nearly ever home improvement store...HD, Lowes, Menards etc. Hardware stores will be a hit an miss.

Here's a picture of the typical red color showing the threaded end. Do a google search for Lally Column and you'll find lots links and pictures. Here's a decent article describing what one should think about when looking at adjustable columns.

Laser4G63 01-08-2009 08:35 AM

Thanks for that, RippySkippy. That helped a lot. So I guess what I am going to need are 2 telescoping temporary columns and 3 single piece permanent ones.

Do them one at a time, of coarse, and on the split beam have 2 temp columns on both sides as close as possible to the timber column. Tighten the hell out of them, but do not raise the floor. Either use the piece of wood or get a steel plate to span the 2 beams.

Now, do I cut the old columns out, or what would be the best way to remove them? Probably answered my own question, but I would rather ask than find out the hard way.

All this help is greatly appreciated! Thank you all.

4just1don 01-08-2009 10:16 AM

you get the screw jobbies real tight on both sides,,it will maybe fall out!! Or a swift karate kick,,,when all else fails cut it in half. IF nailed on top,,,pull those first!!! Some care needed so you dont split up and make top beam look worse than it has too. this isnt those TV shows where they show how 'tuff' they are!!

As to that flipper,,they get by with as little as possible,,budgets and profits are words that come to mind.

Laser4G63 01-08-2009 11:05 AM

Trust me, last thing I am going to do to anything supporting my house is kick the hell out of it :).

I seriously doubt the guy that flipped this house made much money on it. We got it for way less than what he was asking and made him pay all closing costs plus made him give us $2000 in concession money. Not only that, it took him over 2 years to remodel the place. Overall he did a good job.

Maintenance 6 01-09-2009 06:45 AM

I doubt that most people would replace them unless there was a problem. Plenty of houses are supported on wooden posts and they will easily carry the load. The drawback is that most were installed on stone slabs or concrete without any vapor barrier. The moisture that they absorb very slowly and continuously rots off a tiny bit of post. After 50 years or so the post is an inch shorter (or more) and the floor is now out of level. If people started remodel projects by taking care of the sag caused by the posts they could save a lot of hassle later on when they are trying to square up door ways, walls etc.

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