Foundation Sagging

Our old house that we have been remodeling has a foundation problem. Apparently, the awning had been leaking so badly for so many years, that it has destroyed a section of foundation.I am going to try to jack it up, replace blocks and floor joists, and sill plates on my own. My question is, should I remove the solid rock siding or cut the floor from the inside and repair it there? I only have 3' crawl space to get under the house.
q foundation sagging, concrete masonry, curb appeal, decks, home maintenance repairs
Front door area. It's not easy to tell from the picture, but the house is sagging about 3-4" right at the front door.
q foundation sagging, concrete masonry, curb appeal, decks, home maintenance repairs
q foundation sagging, concrete masonry, curb appeal, decks, home maintenance repairs
q foundation sagging, concrete masonry, curb appeal, decks, home maintenance repairs
  11 answers
  • Jackie Prim Jackie Prim on Apr 12, 2014
    I ran it past my guy and we both agree take care of it from the inside that's 95%of the problem Then you can assess what you might need to do on the out side. Good luck
  • Cathy W Cathy W on Apr 26, 2014
    I agree with Jackie. I think a support such as a 4x4 would come in handy. By removing broken/cracked pieces from the corner, clearing out a space for the support would be a good start. Then tackle the rest, be it new gravel or whatever to level out the ground. What you use to finish the rest depends on how visible or re-charming the look of the house i.e. concrete or brick. Then do something about that dang gutter!!! :)
  • Cathy W Cathy W on Apr 26, 2014
    And stay out of the crawl space under the house while working on it!!!!! Could be very unstable! And being a DIY victim is not on anybodies Bucket List!
  • Stephanie Volkert Stephanie Volkert on Apr 26, 2014
    Considering that foundation repair is our specialty, we NEVER advise ANYONE to try and jack up their foundation themselves. This is not something you can put a car jack under and do. It WILL NOT FIX IT. I'm sure you're thinking of your budget, but this is something for professionals.
  • I am not convinced that the foundation is at fault here. If you have had a lot of water entry into that area you may just have rotted sills and combined insect damage. You will need to remove the stone, plywood and most likely interior finishes to fix this, as you will never be able to jack it back up successfully. My first suggestion is to have a professional pest control company evaluate for insect damage. This is a major structural issue and is not something a home owner should attempt to fix on their own without knowledge of how to do it safely and properly. I would also check with your insurance company if it does turn out to be foundation, but again I do not think it is, as this may be covered in your policy.
    • Kirt N Kirt N on Apr 27, 2014
      Thanks for the info. No insect damage at all. The wood is so old, and treated with something, it's not bugs. However, the awning has been leaking for several years, and the sill plates are pretty much gone from water damage. Our idea is to use 2-4x4 oak beams, with a steel plate on the ends, and two 80 ton hydraulic jacks to lift and support the house while we replace the jousts, sills, and piers. The application should be fairly simple, new footing in the block Pier areas, 2x12 treated lumber, doubled at each location, and lag bolted to a 6" I beam. What do you think of that idea?
  • Cathy W Cathy W on Apr 27, 2014
    Very good advice! y'all!
  • To lift you can place a 2x10 on the floor along the entire length of the area to be raised. Then either a double 2x6 or we use a 4x4 along the bottom of the joists. We then use one 5 ton bottle jack for each 5 feet of area being lifted. You can get away with the two 80 ton ones but you will need to spend a lot of time and effort building up the support beam so it does not flex. Also the ground point where the jacks would be sitting would need to be fairly large so it does not sink into the ground. Once lifted new double treated sill boards need to be put into place. The tricky part is installing each new floor joist that is rotted away. For each foot of rot, you need to extend back onto the good wood three feet. Much like doing a cantilever from a deck. Ideally the entire length should be done. When we lift for sills and to replace the joists, we nail a strip of 2x on its edge so it does not extend width wise farther then the existing joist were lifting. This allows us to slip in a new joist without it having to come into contact with the support member were lifting with. Its difficult to do in a basement and a bit harder when laying on your back in a tight crawl space. Had this not been a porch, I would have suggested that you remove the outside band joist and push the new floor joists into the crawl space from the outside of the house.
    • See 1 previous
    • @Kirt N If you get into trouble My contact info is on my profile page you can call anytime if you need advice and cannot wait for post response.
  • Kirt N Kirt N on May 14, 2014
  • BDry Waterproofing BDry Waterproofing on May 16, 2014
    I think you should have a professional take a took at it before you do anything. I would be more then happy to send one of our consultants out. If anything we could give you some pointers if you try to do it yourself. Keep in mind this is not a small project and you could do more damage if you don`t know what you are doing.
  • Kirt N Kirt N on May 16, 2014
    Agreed. However, I'm fairly certain I can do this. Can't afford a professional company to do the work. We had one company come out for an estimate, $10000+ to level it and put in anchors. Not replacing the damaged wood. Needless to say, I did not hire them. They were just trying to rip us off. Thanks for the thought, but I have spoken to a few pros that do this sort of thing, and their thoughts were helpful. I can't afford that much $ for a 3 day job.
  • Patti Sodini Wilson Patti Sodini Wilson on Aug 21, 2014
    I am going through the same issue.Lost my home in an electrical fire some time back so I purchased a old house (cheap) so my son and I could have a place to live, well its got issues, but we are alive and well so here we go.Had mold, was removed, floors are up, drywall gone, joist have to be replaced and so on.My son is going to use cinder blocks, and concrete, but he seems stuck...Help
    • L.Briscoe L.Briscoe on Aug 21, 2014
      @Patti Sodini Wilson To get more attention, you might want to post a separate question thread of your own. Sounds like you and your son have come a long way, good luck!
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