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Author Topic: Need help saving old timberframe  (Read 2239 times)

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Offline Furby

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Need help saving old timberframe
« on: August 07, 2004, 11:04:58 PM »
During the recent removal of the rear additions on my 203 year old house I came across some problems. I'll start a thread on a different board, explaining the whole project, but I need help solving a few problems with the old frame.

This pic is of the back side of the house as it is right now.



If everything goes as planned, a new addition will butt up to this whole wall.
The way this wall is framed, there is a post at each corner and one in the middle next to the door. These post run from the sill to the plate, with a total of four knee braces between the plate and posts.
I have two major problems with this wall.
Problem #1: The plate where it meets the middle post is severely rotted. there isn't much left of the 8x8 plate. This area is no longer rotting, but has been chewed/inhabited by mice and birds. My worry is that the roof load will eventually break or crush the plate at this point, or possibly pull apart. Only a few of the studs are currently running from plate to sill.
The old roofing will be removed in order to tie the new and old roofs together, but I do not have the time or the $$$ to remove the roof structure itself to replace the plate.
My only thought is to remove the sheathing, studs and braces, add a new beam underneath the old one (on each side of the middle post), and support it it with jack studs down to the sill.
Should I do this? Do I need to do this? Could the house shift when I remove the braces? What size beam do I use, I was thinking of the glue lams?  Do I have any other options, like maybe just run new studs from the plate to the sill ???

Problem #2: The sill on this same wall has a lot more rot then I first thought. I have to remove a piece of concrete on Monday to find out how bad it really is.
How could I possibly go about removing the sill and replacing it on a loadbearing wall? I think I only need to support the three posts and possibly a couple of studs as there is nothing else loadbearing on the sill. The floor "should" be able to float from the next joist in, I hope.

Any opinions ??? HELP!
I need to figure this out this week in order to move on with the project.

Offline etat

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Re: Need help saving old timberframe
« Reply #1 on: August 08, 2004, 12:22:00 AM »
Well Furby you know me, I'm gonna have to kick in with an opinion.  Much interested in hearing others.

My first thoughts, and at this point without being there are just that, thoughts, would be to brace and build a temporary false wall on the 'inside' of that wall, fully braced and supported and fully able to accept the full load on that side of the house. From one end, to the other.  I would do this before I attempted to make any major repairs to the wall itself. I wouldn't hope at all, I'd know. Then I would tear out and completely replace the sill plate, for that I personally would use pressure treated to prevent future rot, and then I'd build a stud  wall on top of it, replacing anything that was rotten, or questionable.   I don't think you'd need a heavy beam at the top if you support with enough studs. I'd put a header above any openings such as a door, or windows.  I believe that by building the false wall and braces on the inside you can better brace it off, and it will be easier to work on the real wall, from the outside. For me, this would be the fastest and easiest way to acomplish this.  Because when you get into timber framed, you just got WAY over my head.
Old Age and Treachery will outperform Youth and Inexperence. The thing is, getting older is starting to be painful.

Offline Furby

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Re: Need help saving old timberframe
« Reply #2 on: August 08, 2004, 09:08:28 PM »
Here is a pic of the plate where it meets the middle post.
The plate is hollow for about 18" from the middle of the post.



This is one of the post on the right where it meets the sill, or where the sill was. You can see the post tenon and the other sill tenon. The post is more or less just resting on the other sill tenon.



I have to stabilize this ASAP! They had poured a concrete plate to replace the rot. I didn't know that there was this much of the plate missing. The house has already moved during the demo of the back half and I'm thinking it won't take much to push the post off the what's left of the sill.
I'm thinking I'll place a couple of layers of roofing felt against the wood, and then pour a concrete pier under the post on each corner.

This is really hard to explain, but the second floor is supported by the cross beams that come off these posts. There is no load carried to the out side wall EXCEPT at the three posts. The main floor does carry over to the sill.

The existing basement wall has to come out. There will be a knee wall between the new and old basements to accommodate the 2' difference in the basement floors. The new basement will be the same width as the house, so the new basement walls will stabilize the old, once up.
I'm thinking I'll pour the concrete under the two corner posts now, to stabilize them. I'll build a temporary wall in the basement to support the the floor of the first level. The middle post will be supported by some jacks and cross beams. The current basement wall will be removed, leaving a little at each end to keep it stable and the new knee wall installed. Then I'll remove what I have to of the old sill and build a stud wall in it's place with a jack post under the middle post.

Does this make any sense?

After the basement is done, I'll take care of the plate with a beam or just studs.

Ck, I can't do ANY bracing on the inside of the house as I'm still living in it. Here is a pic of my temporary kitchen.  ::)



The stud wall on the left is now the outside wall you see in other pics. To the right is my diningroom, livingroom, bedroom, and work area.......all the same room!  ;D

Offline etat

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Re: Need help saving old timberframe
« Reply #3 on: August 08, 2004, 09:53:33 PM »
"I see said the blind man" ???  Maybe not if a complete wall some well placed braces squeezed in behind everything. A couple of outside braces couldn't hurt anything either. Then fix the seal and shore up the existing wall?  First order of business, stabilize the movement of the house.  If it gets too far out of shape it'll be really difficult to get back.  Oops, sorry Furby, just speculating out loud. Still sounding like the same thing I already said.  I do know that this is a very serious issue and you are trying to find the best, and most economical solution.  

Obviously you have to go to plan B.  (hopin somebody else will take over at this point)
Old Age and Treachery will outperform Youth and Inexperence. The thing is, getting older is starting to be painful.

Offline Jim_Rogers

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Re: Need help saving old timberframe
« Reply #4 on: August 09, 2004, 05:57:38 PM »
Furby:
I'm sorry I didn't see the other posts, in the other section. Where are they?
As for your current picture, I'd assume your braces are like this:



And the floor joists are running left and right like the double ended arrow, is that right?
If so, you can build the temp wall as Cktate has described and support the first floor. I'd build it as close to the first good joists next to the sill. Then build another wall right over it from the second floor to the second floor ceiling. This will support the house floors and roof while you make repairs.
As mentioned fix the sills first.
Pouring concrete against wood isn't the best solution. Water can wick into wood from concrete for years and that will rot the wood.
A very good water barrier needs to be between the concrete and the wood.
Once the sill is repaired, you can put jack studs up to the plate as long as the plate isn't rotten where the jacks met it. If so you might have to extend the temp wall from the top of the attic joists to the bottom of the rafters to hold them up while you work on the plate.
Hope this helps some.
Jim Rogers
Whatever you do, have fun doing it!
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Offline Furby

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Re: Need help saving old timberframe
« Reply #5 on: August 09, 2004, 08:13:47 PM »
Thanks Guys!
Yeah Jim you have the braces and joists right. The other thread is called "The renovation" in the General board. It's starting to look like this is the better thread for info though.

I called the guy that is going to help me with the basement (my mom's cousin) today and told him what I found. He said he was on a job in town and would be out in an hour. He looked things over and we redid the plan. He basicly has things all set and told me not to worry. I'm guessing I should start to worry now, huh? He does know what he is doing and I think things will be ok.
I will be putting in a temp wall in the basement and several small beam and jacks to hold things while the wall comes out and the footings go in. The second floor will not need anything for now, but after the basement is done I'll work on the plate and then tie in the second floor if needed.

I will not be pouring the concrete to stabilize the post at the corner. He is bringing his equipment up this weekend and we should be on this the first part of next week.
I will have to find a way to support that corner post with a new sill, but will be able to do it better after the basement is in.


Would it be a bad idea to bolt a piece of angle to the plate to keep the plate from pulling apart where it is rotted?

Offline Jim_Rogers

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Re: Need help saving old timberframe
« Reply #6 on: August 10, 2004, 06:03:50 AM »
Furby:
If you're concerned about the plate moving apart then, yes, do whatever you think is right to stop it from happening.
Bolting a piece of anything to hold it together until final repairs can be made isn't a bad thing. As long as the bolts or lags can bite into good wood. don't go wild with a lot of them, and you might stagger them so they're not all in a straight row. Being in a straight row might split a already weak beam.
Good luck with your project.
Jim Rogers
Whatever you do, have fun doing it!
Woodmizer 1994 LT30HDG24 with 6' Bed Extension

Offline Furby

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Re: Need help saving old timberframe
« Reply #7 on: August 10, 2004, 04:10:43 PM »
Thanks Jim, just want to be as careful as I can.
I really wish I could put up all the bracing CK was talking about, I'd feel a lot better, but there really is no way. Been thinking about the external bracing idea though. Might just add a little of that, just to be safe.

Offline hawby

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Re: Need help saving old timberframe
« Reply #8 on: August 10, 2004, 06:02:37 PM »
Furby,

I thought I took on all the really hard projects :D Looks like you have bit into a real challenge. I am a hands on learner, so looking at your pics don't help me a lot... however, if your needing some heavy lumber/beams for holding your house up... I can probably get some Beech and Poplar cut up fairly quick so that at least your supported before the snowload shows up. I could let you have it at near cost to help you contain the expense.

I'm kinda loaded with pre-Winter projects as well, but maybe I can get a chance to come see what yor up against and see if we can get you Winterized. I could zip up 131 after work some night.  Let me know.

hawby
Hawby

Missin' loggin', but luvin' the steady check...

Offline Furby

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Re: Need help saving old timberframe
« Reply #9 on: August 10, 2004, 06:12:25 PM »
Yeah Hawby, you are more then welcome to stop out, I'll send ya an IM.
I want to thank you for the info at the piggy roast too, I've had it in mind.
At this point the only beams I need are some ties for the temp. jacks to sit on as the floor is only 1-1 1/2" thick. I have some laying around and a couple of white oak logs out back that I figured I could make a few out of if needed.
The other beams won't be worked on until the basement is in.
We should have the temp jacks out the same day and some longer term jacks back under the beams. Two days at most. That will give me time to figure out what I'm doing.

Offline jgoodhart

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Re: Need help saving old timberframe
« Reply #10 on: August 11, 2004, 05:11:28 PM »
I got a 2 story cabin that had the same rot problems. I replaced the sill using rail road ties. just had to cut about a 1/2" off the height in the band mill. To jack the cabin up we put 4 6 x 6 about 12' long through a holes cut in the wall and left them extend outside about 4' so we had room to work and nailed a 2 x 8 across the lenth to the ouside of the cabin above the 6 x 6s  and jacked it up using bottle jacks worked pretty good and only caused a few cracks in the inside wall and they were at the corners of the windows. rotten studs were cut off above and rot and replaced with new and a piece sistered on the side for more support. I had to do 2 sides of the building and it was 20' x 20' tool about 2 days and several evenings. Sawsall got a good work out removing the old wood I never seen nails so big.


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