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A Handyman Helping Hand

old foundation sinking

Posted By: Brad Gerner
Monday, 12 April 1999, at 1:31 p.m.

I have an old house that I bought last year. The house was built in the late 1920's and the detached garage has some problems. Originally it was used as temporary shelter when the house was being built, so there wasn't too much care taken when the foundation was constructed. The foundation does not go past the frost line, so over the course of the last 70 years, it cracked into a dozen pieces. The outer pieces of the foundation are starting to sink into the ground because of a lack of gutters for many years. Most of the construction is fine. It even has a nice chimney for a coal stove. The bottom of the garage is now sitting on the ground and is starting to rot due to moisture. Is there a way that I can jack up the garage (one side at a time) and build a new foundation? Or is there a way that I could slip some bricks and shims to level it out? I realize that I will probably have to replace some of the lower portions of the studs and the sill.

I would think that if I was to place some bricks underneath to save the building, they would go on top of the old foundation. The foundation should be settled by now (70 years).

What kind of jack can I use and what kind of bricks? Should I pour the foundation? Should I tear it down and start over? I hope that I don't have to start over, I just put a new roof on it and painted it last year. I also evicted all kinds of natures creatures including a mean racoon and some tree rats (squirrels)

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