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RE: House Leveling

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I actually raised a building up in the air with a similar method, cribbed it and then built a new CMU and concrete ground floor underneath it to house an H-2 occupancy.  The day they raised the building up was fun to watch.  It was all done pneumatically with a system similar to what Gerald describes, except the existing building was a slab on grade so the company cut off the anchor bolts and raised it using the what amounted to 4x clamps bolted together on either side of the bearing walls supported with the WFs that blew through the walls under the clamps and spanned the width of the building various intervals .  The jacks were all interconnected and keep the thing level as it went.  Up….up….up the dang thing went, with guys adding cribbing as it went.    Took about 3 or 4 hours.  This was no average GC company we had doing it, though.  They were building movers.




From: Gerard Madden, SE [mailto:gmse4603(--nospam--at)]
Sent: Tuesday, April 01, 2008 12:08 PM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)
Subject: Re: House Leveling


The way I've seen it done is for a contractor to slip wide flange beams to the underside of the lower floor framing inserted from each end at some regular spacing along the longitudinal side of the house (WF span the short direction of the house). Then they either provide interior supports for jacks (if they can get in there) or create a moment splice in the beams they insert from either end and jack only from outside the building. These are for houses with crawlspaces or basements.

Then when they have it up high enough, they place more temporary supports inside using cribbing and allow work to take place. Usually this is done when someone is adding a full basement, but maybe not if it's just a leveling job.

Sometimes, they will also create a rail system, where they lift the house then slide the house off it's footprint to allow work to begin or to move the house elsewhere.


On Tue, Apr 1, 2008 at 11:23 AM, Gaines, David <David.Gaines(--nospam--at)> wrote:



As a highly qualified, well educated professional engineer you probably should not recommend means and methods of construction. I know a contractor or two who may be qualified to do the job, but I wouldn't stick my neck out to tell them how it's done.


If you do find out how this is done and what to recommend, I'd be interested in hearing it. I need to level the floors in my old Craftsman home too.



Dave Gaines


Dave Gaines, P.E.

Structural Project Engineer
HDR ONE COMPANY | Many Solutions
251 S. Lake Ave, Suite 1000
Pasadena, CA 91101
T: 626.584.4960
F: 626.584.1750
email: david.gaines(--nospam--at)



From: Bill Polhemus [mailto:bill(--nospam--at)]
Sent: Tuesday, April 01, 2008 4:39 AM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)
Subject: Re: House Leveling

Jerry Coombs wrote:

Yes.  A lot a variables.  What sort of piers in what type of soil.  In stable circumstances it can be as simple as shims, but some types of houses need more "gentle" treatment.  One needs to know exacty *why* it's unlevel first. 

I'm specifically interested in the "means and methods" typically used in the "jacking" process, rather than the finished product.

For instance, how do they set up to make sure you're not shifting the load onto the floor or some other part of the structure unduly? I've seen a very messy example of this and need to figure out what SHOULD have been done in that particular case.
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