Serious damage can occur to the sill plate and rim joist over the years. The problem is quite severe where the contractor never took the time to ensure the home was waterproofed before attaching the deck to the house.
Although new houses may have this problem, most homeowners find the need of replacing rotted sill plate and rim joist after several years. When this time comes, you should not rush in but rather make calculated decisions. This is more so when it comes to lifting the house. If you want to learn how to jack up a house wall, this post is for you.
Step #1: Consult a qualified structural engineer
The first step is obviously to contact a structural engineer. The engineer will assess your house and let you know if jacking up your balloon framed house is a good idea.
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Additionally, if terms like continuous load path, header and point-load are new to you, you should not attempt to replace the rotted bottom plate on your own. You need expert help to do it right else you will cause more problems in the process.
Step #2: Determine how far the house needs to be lifted
To properly calculate the sill plate replacement cost, you need to determine how far you need to lift the house and if you need to lift one side or the entire structure. You can determine how high the house needs to be lifted using a taut string, laser or water level.
Make a straight line from one end of the foundation to the other. It is best to hold the string on the area you want to replace the sill plate or rim joist on.
Step #3: Build a stud wall
Before you start jacking up your house you need to build a stud wall in the basement to support the floor joists in this area. You may have to take down the drywall or drop ceiling to do this.
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You also need to add supporting stud walls around the area with the affected sill plates or rim joists. Ensure the stud wall fits tightly. This means you have to hammer in the top board. The compression will take on the load once you remove the damaged joists. Needless to say, to learn how to replace the sill plate in crawl space, it is expected that you know how to build a stud wall.
Step #4: Get a hydraulic jack
You can either buy or rent a hydraulic jack to lift the house. As the house moves up, add smaller blocks in the space to support the center of your structure at the new elevation.
Remove the hydraulic jack once you attain a height that gives you adequate room to replace the rotten sill plate under your garage.
Step #5: Remove damaged joists
You can remove the rotted wood and cut new sections to replace the old one. The sill plate you use to replace the old plate should be made of pressure-treated wood. Secure the new rim joist with 16p nails. You don’t need to use galvanized nails here.
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These are the steps you need to take if you want to learn how to jack up a house wall. Make sure you inspect for damages that may have been caused by jacking up the house before you call it a day.