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Old 03-26-2010, 10:23 PM   #1
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lifting a house with wood beams


Ok here goes.....i have a home that i have been told is over 200 years old...has tree trunks for floor joists. The house has no foundation other than sandstone in about 12 places....i need to put in a foundation at the very least and with any luck a full basement....i have price professional house movers to just lift the house and it just plain costs to much....many of the old timers around the rural area have jacked up their homes with 25 ton pump jacks....i was going to use steel i beams but i cant find any that would span the house...and leave me enough beyond the house to support the jacks.....i then began thinking about what if i made a beam with 2x12's glue and osb if that might do it. the house is 30 feet wide so i would probably use 2x12x16's to make the beam...my question: is this possible and if so how would i make the beams and what width how many layers of 2x12, do i need osb in between and if so how many...etc.... please help
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Old 03-27-2010, 06:58 AM   #2
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Ayuh,... Not near enough Info....
The house is 30' in 1 direction, but what about the other,..??
How Big is the house,..?? How heavy do you estimate,..??

I'd buy or rent Steel I or H beams big enough myself...

What you're looking to do isn't really a normal DIY project,+ you only get 1 chance to get it right....
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Old 03-27-2010, 07:53 AM   #3
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A couple of years ago I saw a house that was probably a 30x50 single story that the owner and friend lifted it only a foot or so to put in a foundation "without a basement". They had it up for a few days and were working on forming it up. I was working about 3 blocks away building a deck and just a little before lunch we heard what sounded like a bad car wreck but then again it didnít. It was close enough to lunch we stopped to investigate and guess what. The house fell over. The guys werenít even there (thank God). It fell off to the right and dropped only a couple feet to the ground but the damage was done. It racked the whole thing so that the 8í walls were about 2í out of plumb. A few months later there was a new dbl. wide on the lot. How much do you think they saved?

I Lived on a flood plain and about 10 years ago we had 3, 100 year floods in 4 years after that the government said lift your houses or no more flood ins. Iíve seen about 30 of these done and worked on a few. It cost about $3000 for the lifters to come in (from 90 mi. away) jack up the house (in most cases about 9í) and set it on cribbing. Most of the time they were in and out in a day, two at the most. They gave you 30 days to get your work done (without extra charges) then came back to set the house back down.

It seemed like a small price to pay for "instant house out of the way".

The proís beams arenít always long enough either but they have extensions that bolt together with steel gussets to get the length they need.
 
 
Good Luck.

Last edited by kwikfishron; 03-27-2010 at 09:49 AM.
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Old 03-27-2010, 09:24 AM   #4
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wow guys thanks for the quick responses......i have had 3 estimates for lifting the house and in this neck of the woods the lowest was 6500.00...believe me if i could find someone for 3000.00 it would be a done deal....

the house is timber framed with a beam for a sill plate....it is two stories....i dont know how much it weighs i havent been able to find anywhere i could rent a beam and buying a beams that length is very expensive including shipping to my home...

i guess i am not even sure if a beam can be made to do this....i know that when i was in constuction and before the use of lam and other manufactured beams we used to make these in the field everyday.....i just thought it might work....
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Old 03-27-2010, 09:50 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jammer28 View Post
wow guys thanks for the quick responses......i have had 3 estimates for lifting the house and in this neck of the woods the lowest was 6500.00...believe me if i could find someone for 3000.00 it would be a done deal....

the house is timber framed with a beam for a sill plate....it is two stories....i dont know how much it weighs i havent been able to find anywhere i could rent a beam and buying a beams that length is very expensive including shipping to my home...

i guess i am not even sure if a beam can be made to do this....i know that when i was in constuction and before the use of lam and other manufactured beams we used to make these in the field everyday.....i just thought it might work....
Do not even attempt to try and do this on your own. Asking someone here to size beams for this is dangerous. This HAS to be sized or done by a professional.
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Old 03-27-2010, 10:04 AM   #6
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I've seen 3 local properties that were jacked up for a foundation
2 of the 3 were destroyed when they fell over
The 3rd was done by a Pro & completed without a problem



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Old 03-27-2010, 10:46 AM   #7
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you guys are all very encouraging......i too have seen homes jacked up and none have fallen over.....i agree this is not a project for the weak at heart or stupid.....but with correct cribbing and other safety measures i know the house can be jacked up safely....i am just entertaining the thought of doing it with a wood beam instead of steel......please....and i say this with the utmost respect for your opinion, if you don't have a constructive comment then limit your comment.....thank you.
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Old 03-27-2010, 10:48 AM   #8
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I suggest you talk to a Pro
There isn't anyone on a DIY site that will size a beam for such a use



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Old 03-27-2010, 10:53 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jammer28 View Post
you guys are all very encouraging......i too have seen homes jacked up and none have fallen over.....i agree this is not a project for the weak at heart or stupid.....but with correct cribbing and other safety measures i know the house can be jacked up safely....i am just entertaining the thought of doing it with a wood beam instead of steel......please....and i say this with the utmost respect for your opinion, if you don't have a constructive comment then limit your comment.....thank you.
Yes house can be jacked up safely. It's all figured out by professionals. You come here and questions about what size wood to use to jack up your house. You don't like the answers so far. No one will ever give you the answer to that question unless they are idiots. Figure it out yourself now since you think your so smart.

The constructive comment is to use common sense and have a professional figure what size beam to use to jack up your house, it's that simple!!
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Old 03-27-2010, 02:21 PM   #10
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All I will say is 2 - 16' beams wont be long enough for a 30' house.

you need at LEAST 36' to stay on firm ground outside the hole area because your hole is about foot bigger than house o lay block and get outside work done.

I just lifted a 20' X30' house and dug a basement under,,but it was gutted inside so was little more than a bare garage with a floor inside,,so it was light.

A two story with lath and plaster or even drywall,,spend that extra bit and hire the $6500 dollar guy,,call it a cost of doing biz. they will know and have correct sizes of beams and jack correctly. you could easy spend that on repairs if done badly,,one little slip. and it may not be a little slip. CALL IT HOUSE INSURANCE PREMIUM!!
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