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Re-piering 1870's Miners Cottage!???HELP!!!

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  1. #1
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    Default Re-piering 1870's Miners Cottage!???HELP!!!

    Hi All,
    I have an old 1870's shack which im trying to restore.
    The house has been buckled and twisted off its piers in most places by a 100yo figtree in our front yard.
    There is virually no clearance under the house(maybe 100mm).
    With a limited budget, im thinking of pulling up the floor(which will have to be done anyway) to get access to the piers.
    The house is approx 60sqm and is an 'L' shape.
    Should I do this...should I jack up....should I see a doctor???

    HELLLLPPP!!!

  2. #2
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    Dig new holes add stumps of decent size/height and move the house onto the new foundations

  3. #3
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    And I suspect the tree has to go, much as I love trees. And the problem that will create is, as the stump and roots rot, you will get subsidence. Tricky ....

  4. #4
    Old Chippy - 4K Club Member
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    Doubt you will be allowed to remove a 100 yr old tree in any case it probably is OK - it won't be growing very much form now on! You need to get access to see what's what so floors will have to come up. Jacking causes all sorts of other issues (power, plumbing and so on) so best bet will be putting in new stumps - deeper and better (as Moondog says) and that will need to be done at the perimeter too, but keeping the height about the same. You could excavate a little (or a lot, bit power & plumbing are still an issue then. Main thing is to get level & stable base and then get airflow into it once that subfloor is solid and level you can start doing other stuff. The fig should be able to stay! This is a non-trivial job though - but a DIY if you are careful, patient and take your time (and get good advice!).
    Advice from me on this forum is general and for guidance based on information given by the member posing the question. Not to be used in place of professional advice from people appropriately qualified in the relevant field. All structural work must be approved and constructed to the BCA or other relevant standards by suitably licensed persons. The person doing the work and reading my advice accepts responsibility for ensuring the work done accords with the applicable law.

  5. #5
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    Default Almost Game Time!!

    Hello All,
    Thanks for the replies, and yes im still here!
    These are some photo's of the opposition..lol..and the figtree was planted for the original owners(Cedar cutters) first born son, and is definately staying.
    My main concern is breaking the bearers/joists as I jack up.
    I have a good pile of recycled hardwood bearers/joists to help strengthen things up as I go.
    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
    Baz
    dscn2192.jpgdscn1366.jpgdscn2190.jpgdscn2191.jpg
    dscn1368.jpg

  6. #6
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    Any chance of laying your hands on some lengths of rail track? It would be really useful if you could slide something along those lines under the house from one side to the other ... (love your work, BTW - I like peope who save places like this ...)

  7. #7
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    That is a good idea, i will start to search for some lengths.

    It is a very old house and the timber will be dry and brittle, i have to be very careful here and this is definately a good/affordable option to help me jack it up together...thanks!!

  8. #8
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    I-beam would work just as well I imagine, but probably not so cheaply available.

  9. #9
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    Perhaps these could be "Borrowed" or hired for the duration of the lift??
    Are you going to replace( reinforce ) the original bearers at the same time as LVL would then perhaps be a cheaper option and just leave them in place
    Would you try and lift the whole house in one piece??

  10. #10
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    Im not exactly sure about the best way to jack up, whole house slowly together or one section at a time. The house is an "L-Shape" with 2 main sections with the front section(bottom of the 'L') being 7m wide x 3m deep, and the rear section being 6m wide x 7m deep.

    The rear half of the house has sunken lower than the front, so I was thinking of raising the back to the same level as the front first??

    I do have second hand hardwood bearers to replace and/or strengthen the existing ones as I go.

  11. #11
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    The house was probably built in two phases, with the rear section coming last. So I would jack the front up to where you want it, and let the rear section catch up. It may result in the need to loosen a few weatherboards if they go over the join between the two sections (so they don't crack and also inhibit your activities), but I think if you look inside the wall, you will find a natural separation exists already that will only require a little sensitive assistance from you. Then once it is back up where you want it, you can graft the two bits back together again.

  12. #12
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    BC what you say makes perfect sense; but i had never thought of t like that, would that explain the houses that have "M" shaped roofs?? like 2 houses joined together??

  13. #13
    1K Club Member Pulse's Avatar
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    looks like fun there Baz, I'd decide what you are planing on keeping and then demolish, strip the rest, this will give you access to inspect for termites and damp. The whole house needs to be lifted at least 450mm above the ground to allow for access. I would then slide RSJs (borrowed) under the house and jack alternate sides of the house and then support on sties. Then crawl under and restump the place. You may seriously be best with pros, RSJs, jacks etc can be expensive and digging stumps one by one is hard work. The pros will dig them all and get a concrete pump and do the whole job in a few days.

    Cheers
    Pulse

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