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Balloon Framing Foundation Sill Replacement

Please forgive me, I am new on this site.

I currently have a home that was built in 1824 2 story balloon framing style, I think. The house has been changed over the past 191 years and one time exterior walls are now interior walls. I noticed about a month ago some cracks in the corner of doors and base board in two joining rooms. I did a little investigating in the small basement and noticed the rubble stone foundation has never been re-pointed. Since it's winter and warm in the basement, I have started the process of cleaning out the old lime mortar and re-pointing it back. After working in the basement a few nights, I started looking over the sills and noticed an area about 10'- 15' long has rotted away. So my question is, can I replace the deteriorated sill without jacking up the wall or adding support? can I replace the sill in small 6' sections with out supporting the joist or studs? I can't get to the backside of the foundation, very small crawl space with dirt floor. This sill is located in the middle of the house and never gets wet.

Thanks for any suggestions

HoustonRemodeler
Re: Balloon Framing Foundation Sill Replacement

1- No
2- No
3- No

I appreciate your tenacity, but this is time to call in a foundation company experienced in this type of repair. The rest of the house will need to be supported while the sill beam is replaced.

MLB Construction
Re: Balloon Framing Foundation Sill Replacement

Houston is right. you need to support the house to replace a sill no matter how small it is. There's probably about 10 different ways to do it depending on the structure of your house. sill replacement is not an easy task and making things 10 times more difficult is the fact that it's on a, somewhat, crumbling stone foundation. my advice is to have a consultation with an engineer and a contractor that does that kind of work. it would be nice to get them there together for the meeting.

dj1
Re: Balloon Framing Foundation Sill Replacement

It is a monumental job.

Re: Balloon Framing Foundation Sill Replacement

I was afraid you was going to say that! I did get in contact with a contractor that works on older homes and was informed he has replaced several sill, that made me feel better. I will be meeting him tomorrow to look over the situation and start putting the point of attack together. I can't wait to see what this repair is going to cost me! I will keep you posted on the repair process and outcome. Wish me Luck and I appreciate everyone's advice.

dj1
Re: Balloon Framing Foundation Sill Replacement

When you meet this contractor, ask for references - names and phone numbers.

Then call these customers and politely ask them if you could see the job. In my life I've seen too many fake referrals out there.

Re: Balloon Framing Foundation Sill Replacement

Yes, I have been checking on the contractor. He is currently restoring a old mill that also requires sill replacement. I did meet with the contractor and he did put some rest to my mind. After he was able to look at my support beam "sill" problem he informed me he did not think it needed to be replaced. He stated it looks like the beam is slipping off the support foundation. He showed me some Bridge jacks he has with a rating of 80,000 lbs. per jack that he will utilize to lift the beam back in place. Once the beam has been lifted and supported the foundation will require re-working. He also made the comment that the beam has been slipping off the foundation for some time and someone placed wood between the floor joist and sill to help support the joist. His comments was, he did not think he could raise the beam back to it's original location do to causing further damage to the house. He just want's to lift the beam to it's current slipped location, support, re-work the foundation. Does that seam normal to any of you? Remember, my home is 2 story and built in 1824.

P.S. Just in case anyone doesn't know, homeowner's insurance will not cover the sill repairs do to what they say is maintenance. However, they will cover if the house collapses. ***, I sure don't want that to happen.

MLB Construction
Re: Balloon Framing Foundation Sill Replacement

what you say he told you makes plenty of sense to me. sounds like a decent plan.

HoustonRemodeler
Re: Balloon Framing Foundation Sill Replacement

Sounds good to me too.

Re: Balloon Framing Foundation Sill Replacement

I appreciate you thinking this is a logical plan, made me fell better about the contractor. The contractor called me this morning and informed me he will start work tomorrow. He is going to pour several reinforced concrete footer to place his jacks to support the sill beam. Once the sill has been supported the loose and shifting rubble stone foundation will be taken down to solid stone "about one foot"and leveled out with concrete. He is going to dig behind the foundation as far as he can reach "not much access behind foundation" and pour concrete in the void area to help tie the stone together and add support. New brick support wall will be laid on top of the newly placed concrete cap on top of the stone foundation for the sill beam support.

He did inform me once the repairs have been made, I need to finish re-pointing the interior stone wall since this will be the weakest link after repairs. He stated since the biggest majority of the stone is under ground on the backside and doesn't get weather the stone could potentially shift to the interior over time, hardly any chance of it shifting back under ground. The hole problem is through the years previous owners install water lines, heating system, etc. they took sections of the foundation away from the sill and left small pillars of stone in place to support such a vital support sill and the stones shifted resulting in the sill dropping.

I will keep you posted as repairs progress. Can you upload photos on this site? If so I will add some for you to view.

MLB Construction
Re: Balloon Framing Foundation Sill Replacement

i'd love to see some photos of this. you can post pics here but many people, me included, seem to have a problem doing so. most people upload to a photo sharing site then just post the link here.

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