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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,
I'm new here and impressed by the level of knowledge you all seem to have when it comes to DIY.
I purchased my very first home, a lakeside cottage from 1920. The cottage is on jacks by a steep incline with no ability to move the house further out, as it is situated just along the edge of the roadside.
Apparently, underneath has been over-excavated according to the engineer I paid to do the inspection. He also stated that, as it was a cottage, it wasn't unusual to have it on jacks. He jumped on the floors and said they were fine, but said that houses on jacks need to be 'leveled', and that this home didnt seemed to have been well maintained that way. Though there doesnt seem to be any massive bowing or anything like that.
I also asked about erosion, as it seemed to be sitting somewhat precariously near the edge of the hill which leads directly to Lake Ontario. He said, "Not in your lifetime."
SO! I want to just get rid of the jacks altogether and have it on cinderblocks as I paid in full for the cottage I havent alot of money and figured that must be the least costly functional option.
I just wondered what peoples opinion would be as to the cost of jacking the cottage, digging a trench to bedrock, and then making a wall of cinderblocks for it to sit on? And is that what you would do were it your place?
The home is 867 sq ft. and I am adding photos to help you better understand the nature of my issue.
Also its an area where there are Amish people, so maybe I could get them to do it.
Thanks:),
V
 

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Sorry to say this does not look like a simple or cheap fix.
1. You will need a building permit. The town will approve what ever work you do.
2. You will need footings at least four feet deep to support your block pillars.
I see some other post up on the hill portion that appear to be only 8x8 blocks sitting directly on grade. Town may require you to replace them as well.
The best solution might be to lift the building and rebuild all the support system. No point in making only part of the building supported properly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
:)Thats what I was afraid of. I spent $40,000 to buy the place.
Have you any clue on the cost to do that?
I saw that its $75 for a permit from the town to do work of say $20,000, so that doesnt seem so bad. But for them to approve it, do I need some expert to draw something up, or I just say I need a foundation done on my cottage? What price range so you think we are talking? And if I place an ad in like Craigslist then do I say, LOOKING FOR LICENSED INSURED person/company to create cottage foundation?
Thank you so very much for sharing yr thoughts, its so helpful!

Sorry to say this does not look like a simple or cheap fix.
1. You will need a building permit. The town will approve what ever work you do.
2. You will need footings at least four feet deep to support your block pillars.
I see some other post up on the hill portion that appear to be only 8x8 blocks sitting directly on grade. Town may require you to replace them as well.
The best solution might be to lift the building and rebuild all the support system. No point in making only part of the building supported properly.
 

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I would not go looking on Craigs list. I would look in the yellow pages for a foundation contractor. Get several to come out and give you an estimate. i would not expect less than $25k for this but I am not a contractor and it could be more or less depending on what they observe with an on site inspection.
 

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In order to get the job done correctly you would have to get a drawing done by a structural engineer and then approved by the city. Once that is done and you have your permit to build I would look in your general area of where your cottage is located to find a contractor who is licensed in doing this kind of work. Get at least three or more quotes and ask for references then go check out their work until you are completely satisfied on which contractor you will use.

Once you get your drawing done you will have a better idea on what the price will be to do the job.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Great, that is very helpful info. I am off to research Structural engineers! Thanks so much


In order to get the job done correctly you would have to get a drawing done by a structural engineer and then approved by the city. Once that is done and you have your permit to build I would look in your general area of where your cottage is located to find a contractor who is licensed in doing this kind of work. Get at least three or more quotes and ask for references then go check out their work until you are completely satisfied on which contractor you will use.

Once you get your drawing done you will have a better idea on what the price will be to do the job.
 

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the amish here are usually honest, hardworking, resonable to best pricing and have high work values. I would fix that soon. you will probably find the town inspections dept. very helpful
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Yeah I thought of the Amish for woodworking, like making some stairs and a deck that I will need to go down to the lake. My neighbor has a set but I dont. But I wasnt sure of their expertise in making foundations. Thing is Iheard some awful story of a father and son leveling their cottage and it fell on them and killed them! So it seeems like very complicated thing to do, thus I feel like I need people who have insurance I guess? And are very well schooled in this, but I wonder if Amish have that?
Thanks very much for sharing. I dont think I can fix it soon as I only live with what I have, thus I saved everything to buy the place and now I will haveto start saving another $25,000 just for the foundation! The house is only valued at $9000 so part of me wonders if its even worth it. The land has a high value though. Ugh, very upsetting.

the amish here are usually honest, hardworking, resonable to best pricing and have high work values. I would fix that soon. you will probably find the town inspections dept. very helpful
 

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amish here are excellent masons. when you talk to your engineer again see if he can design it in phases to submit to the inspections dept that way you build what you can afford. look at heating savings when its closed in
 

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amish here are excellent masons. when you talk to your engineer again see if he can design it in phases to submit to the inspections dept that way you build what you can afford. look at heating savings when its closed in
I had similar work done in 1979 for a 24 by 36 foot cottage and the slope was not as bad. It cost $11500 back then (32 years ago). It will not be cheap and is definitely not a DIY job.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Amish maisons

I had no clue that they were great masons, just knew they do amazing woodwork. So if I do it in phases, does that mean the cottage gets jacked up above the existing 'foundation' and remains there throughout the time that its getting worked on?
Yes, I would eventually like to make it winterized so this would help heatwise. Thanks again:)



amish here are excellent masons. when you talk to your engineer again see if he can design it in phases to submit to the inspections dept that way you build what you can afford. look at heating savings when its closed in
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I have had one quote of $40,000 and another of $20,000, so its amazing how quotes can differ. Would that I could DIY. But this is definately not the project to start on.:help:

quote=rjniles;613118]I had similar work done in 1979 for a 24 by 36 foot cottage and the slope was not as bad. It cost $11500 back then (32 years ago). It will not be cheap and is definitely not a DIY job.[/quote]
 

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When you have the drawings in hand showing what is required to do the job correctly including material needed all your quotes will be based on your drawings. There will be no second guessing because all the information is there so everyone should be more realistic on their quotes.
Right know with no drawings everybody is just guessing what is needed to do the job. Again, get your local contractors and yes even the Amish are very good masons and builders. Please make sure who ever you choose to be your contractor that they are licensed and insured to do this type of work.
 

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To be completely honest, this isn't as serious of a repair IMO as most people may think. The cottage is obviously light weight and the masonry wall system with footing will weigh more than the structure it supports. More manual labor on this one than anything. If you have bedrock close to the surface, it simplifies the project even more.

That being said, I'd still recommend paying for a good plan of action.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks

Thanks! Thats good to hear.
So as to the bedrock situation, would you have someone look at the bedrock, I guess, is it called a soil test? first, or would you get the drawing of the structural engineer done before you search for bedrock? Also, can I get away with just getting the back wall done with cinderblocks initially as an intermediary measure, or do you think I need definitively to jack up the entire structure asap?
Thanks alot:wink:,
V



To be completely honest, this isn't as serious of a repair IMO as most people may think. The cottage is obviously light weight and the masonry wall system with footing will weigh more than the structure it supports. More manual labor on this one than anything. If you have bedrock close to the surface, it simplifies the project even more.

That being said, I'd still recommend paying for a good plan of action.
 
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