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Old 10-30-2010, 05:23 PM   #1
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Proper jacking method?


Hi all,

I have a sagging dining room in our 1900 brick Victorian. There was a fireplace on the outside wall that had been taken out around 80 or so years ago, and at some point water damaged the floor beneath, rotting out the doubled up joists on either side of the former fireplace area where they sat in masonry pockets. This caused a substantial area (about 6-7 joists worth) of the floor to subside.

I've had a structural engineer draw up plans for repair, which involve running a beam fashioned out of (2) 1 7/8" x 11 1/4" VERSA-LAM beams (to sub for the LVL originally called for) to pick up all the joists on the sagging side. It's to be supported by 2 3" jack columns which are to be set into new footings, as well as a 4x4x1/4 piece of angle iron "ledge" on one interior brick wall.

My question is how to go about the actual jacking itself. Should I use a total of four jack columns, two to do the jacking on either end, and two set on the new footings, using the adjustment screws to keep them against the beam? The engineer's plans call for the footings to be poured several inches shy of the basement floor, the columns set on them, and then additional concrete poured around the columns - so I want to be sure that everything's nice and level prior to doing so.

Here's a drawing:
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Old 10-30-2010, 05:57 PM   #2
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You might get away with using only 3 posts, but the 4th might help get the one end up into place easier.
Be sure to create a large bearing surface under the 2 temporary posts which will spread the weight over a greater area, reducing the possibility of splits or cracks in the concrete.
And use plumbing strap or similar to suspend everything up into the floor system in case there is an Oops!.
Stuff falling down can hurt people.
Adjust the posts slowly to let the floor 'settle' into position. Be careful towards the end and watch for cracks in the drywall/plaster on the upper level. Don't be hasty.
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Old 10-31-2010, 08:14 AM   #3
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I think that you might want to consider building a temporary 'Jack Wall'.

If you don't know what a 'Jack Wall' is or how to construct one--just ask and I'll do my best to describe one.
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Old 10-31-2010, 04:04 PM   #4
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I'm afraid that I haven't heard of a jack wall before - I'd appreciate hearing more, thanks.

jlhaslip - I'll definitely be taking it slow, raising the floor over at least several weeks. Thanks for the plumbing strap tip - I'd thought of using rafter ties while maneuvering posts into position, but strap is probably better given its flexibility. Given the weight of the beam, though, I'm going to be awfully redundant in its use. I'll also be spreading out the weight beneath the temporary jacks with 6x6s and metal plate, and am hoping that 1/4" plate will be thick enough so it won't cup.
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Old 10-31-2010, 04:53 PM   #5
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A jack wall is used to lift floors and ceilings and to temporarily support the floor or ceiling .

This is it in a nutshell-----You will be 'stick building a stud wall,using 2x6's--attach top plate to bottom of floor joists--
---Lay bottom plate onto concrete floor Beneath the top plate---

Now you cut your studs,However you will need to cut them about 1 1/2 inches longer than the normal stud.

Toe nail the studs into the top plate below the floor joists-They will be leaning on a slight angle---

Beat them into place a bit at a time using a sledge hammer until they are straight --or you have lifted them enough to level the floor.

If you still need more lift than the 1 1/2 inch--add more 2x6 studs,once again cut 1 1/2 inches to long.--Beat them into place--

You can lift a house right off its foundation with a jack wall. They are commonly used while replacing rotted sill plates.--Mike---
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