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Old 11-18-2014, 10:44 AM   #1
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Piers instead of concrete footing for floor jacking?


Hi all,

I'm buying a frame house on a crawlspace, and it has a pronounced sag that has racked all the bedroom doors on the center hallway.

While it isn't too noticeable when walking, I'd like to try to jack the floor joists back into position. Even if I cannot jack the floor to correct the sag, I feel it will be necessary to at least stabilize the sagging areas to keep the floor joists from any further movement.

I've noticed when under old homes that people frequently used stone pilings to support floors in the middle of structures. I'd love to use a similar technique using large concrete or treated lumber pads instead of having to cut out sections of floor to pour concrete footers to jack against.

Is this a practical method? If nothing else, I definitely want to add supports both to stabilize the floors and in a corner of a room where I'm planning to install a woodburning stove.

Here is a picture of what I'm hoping to accomplish, although in the case of my house the clearance is much tighter - only a slender man can scoot around under the floor joists.

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Old 11-18-2014, 11:14 AM   #2
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First you have to know what is there now.
Stone is probably not a good choice. Concrete blocks on a proper footing would be fine.
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Old 11-18-2014, 11:26 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joed View Post
First you have to know what is there now.
Stone is probably not a good choice. Concrete blocks on a proper footing would be fine.
What do you mean by 'proper footing' - are the concrete surface pads such as in the photo OK? I really want to avoid having to rip up my floor to pour footers.
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Old 11-18-2014, 12:24 PM   #4
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If you have a crawlspace there should have been at least one steel access door on the outside.
Never seen a house without one.
Going to need 24" X 24" X 8" thick footings with rebar in the middle.
If not there going to sink or crack.
I agree, no way would I be using stone! It needs blocks.
If you saw one like that you where looking at about 100 year old house.
It does 0 good to just have one pier under one joist.
Your going to need several footing and piers with doubled up 2 X's to act as a beam to span between them.
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Old 11-18-2014, 01:20 PM   #5
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Glad to hear it is possible to use concrete pads! This is nothing but good news.

I imagine it will take quite a few pads/jacking points to do this right... and perhaps even a cross beam of iron or wood to give me a solid surface to jack against under the floor.

I have yet to find my crawlspace access, but I know one must exist as I can see plumbing repairs and tv cable that had to require someone in the crawlspace.

This house is going to be an adventure.... whether it is Alice in Wonderland or Indiana Jones in the Temple of Doom is something I will have to wait to learn.

My belief: Anything is possible with the assistance of the DIYchatroom.
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Old 11-18-2014, 02:25 PM   #6
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Here is a good little jacking post that looks the right size for this job. Best news; only $15 each!

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Old 11-18-2014, 02:37 PM   #7
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Quote:
If you have a crawlspace there should have been at least one steel access door on the outside.
That may depend on where you live and/or when it was built. In my area, it is usually an access hatch in one of the bedroom closet floors.
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Old 11-18-2014, 05:17 PM   #8
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Those jack post will be fine. However I don`t know about an 8 inch pad. I would think at least a foot thick.
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Old 11-18-2014, 05:30 PM   #9
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No way in heck are those post or tiny pads expectable!!!
You would never even pass a home inspection if that's what they found.
And using a pressure treated 4 X 4 like that would be less then useless.
They shrink, check, have no side load strength, love to curl, and curve.
I've spent the last 20 years working on old houses and even a few three story churches and know what does and does not work.
What you posted is exactly what I find when I show up and it's already failed an inspection.
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Old 11-18-2014, 05:35 PM   #10
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The house I'm buying is 1 bad storm away from a teardown.

My budget is small, I'm on a fixed income. You may think a $5000 footer and pier system is a good idea, but believe me - as an ex-resident of New Orleans, even stone piers can support the weight of a house for 100 years.

It is unfortunate so many people think "Holmes on Homes" (a Canadian contractor known for tearing out marginal work and replacing it with a sky-high budget and commercial construction standards) is a good guideline for repair procedures on an ordinary person's home. Must be nice to have an unlimited budget.


Last edited by imautoparts; 11-18-2014 at 05:38 PM.
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Old 11-18-2014, 06:17 PM   #11
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Concrete is cheap Ima.

While excavation is going to be a PITB, digging a proper hole, proper depth, and pouring some concrete isn't going to break the bank and is a permanent fix as compared to some block or worse yet...wood.
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Old 11-18-2014, 06:46 PM   #12
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Ayuh,.... 'round here, at the pre-cast concrete plants, they sell 18" round, by 6" thick Deck Pads,....

They also have 24" round by 6" thick Camp Pads,....

Either would supply a decent base for a post/ jack, so long as the area is cleaned to solid, level soil,...

The family lodge at Chemo pond Maine is 24' sq., 'n sits on 16 of the 2'ers,...
No problem,...
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Old 11-18-2014, 06:59 PM   #13
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Before you undertake a project like you are describing, you really need to understand what the problem is, and what the cause of the problem is, before you can develop an effective solution. I am not clear from your post if the sagging of your floor is due to foundation settlement, settlement of the joists and beams, or undersized joists and beams.

I think from your posts you are planning to jack the joists back to level. I am unclear what your plan is to support the joists after you have jacked them back to level. Temporary jacking of joists or beams can be done using supports that are far less than would be acceptable for permanent supports. Permanent foundations for the supports are typically constructed using concrete pad footings. Temporary supports for the jacks use a wide range of techniques, including concrete or wooden pads, that are intended to be removed once the jack is no longer needed.

I have worked on a number of projects that involved temporary support of a building, followed by installation of permanent supports (piles, helical piers, grouted foundations, minipiles, some other techniques). The methods needed for the permanent supports are often dictated by code considerations, so you certainly should talk to your local building inspector about your plans. Temporary supports used during the jacking process are almost always left to the discretion of the contractor. If you are doing your own work, make sure you fully understand the complexities of jacking, it is easy to damage your building by jacking too rapidly, jacking in the wrong place, or using the wrong type of jack for the process. It would be a really good idea to get the help of someone who has done this before, temporary support can be difficult and dangerous if not done correctly.
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Old 11-18-2014, 09:48 PM   #14
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Nothing in my experience indicates that over-building foundation supports is anything but a gift to contractors at the expense of ordinary homeowners.

As I said, visit New Orleans or the Mississippi Delta sometime - crawl under a few 100 year old homes. You'll find jacks, X beams, stone piers and/or screw type floor jacks.

Why overbuild? Code (which does not apply, as this is a rural property) in this case represents ridiculous expense and unnecessary labor and materials - especially since I'm doing the work myself or using experienced day labor.
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Old 11-18-2014, 11:15 PM   #15
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Soil stability is going to be your issue----if the soil is hard packed and stays that way--a pad may work fine---

However, if the moisture in the soil changes throughout the year--the pads will sink--
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