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Saving an addition

House jacking, foundation demo and replacement and a little igenuity saved this twenty-five year old addition from collapsing.

We started the task of saving an addition from foundation decay. It wasn't that the concrete had failed, it was that some one thought it was alright to put footings in about 10' below the surface.  In New England that doesn't work too well due to the frost going below the surface as much as 4 feet at times. lifting the building then dropping it when it defrosts every time the temperature goes up and down.

It is always a disappointment to discover that some builders will do this kind of stuff and some how face themselves the next day and worse that an inspector lets things like this occur.

Saving a room addition from foundation decay isn't as bad as it sounds or looks but takes some planning and coordination of workers. I had heard another contractor had recommended tearing it down and rebuilding completely for three times as as much money as I had envisioned for the customer. To me this was a situation where house jacking and foundation demo were the only choice. I used Jack Stilkey and Son for the house jacking, and Hawk Brook Construction of Methuen to expertly demo the old concrete haul it away and dig out for the new foundation walls and footings.

Our objective here is to salvage a decent room addition with a minimal of cost. Although still costly, we are able to save the entire addition, replace the foundation and just do repairs to drywall, roof and siding rather than demolition and rebuild. This is a good way to save money and restore a building back to its former intention.  

I'm happy to say that jacking this house up with Jack Stilkey of Epping NH turned out to be a breeze. Jack and his son stacked their cribbing and placed the beam in such a way that we could excavate for the new foundation with relative ease. Hawkbrook Construction of Methuen did and excellent job removing the old foundation and grading the land around the trenches that were made deeper and wider to accommodate the extra wide footings we installed.

I needed to have some 3/8 x 3 x 36" steel straps made to bolt to the sills and ridge on the house to addition joints so as to walk the sections back together and with the Stilkey's expertise in jacking, my home made turnbuckle using threaded rod and steal brackets we had made just for this application, things went smoothly.

After all the jacking was completed and the foundation in, we spent about a week pulling the building together its final inches. Most of the inner seams along the flooring, ceilings and rafters came together with 1/2 lags and mated up well. I think the Farmers are very happy that I came along and recommended a simple affective way to save a sad situation.

My thanks go out to Jack Stilkey and Son house jacking and moving for their dependability on jacking and foundation work and to Hawkbrook Construction, Bruce Hoehn and Johnny Saab for their efficient demolition of the foundation and the great landscaping that improved the area surrounding the work too.


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