Lifting the Foundation at Nancy's Smaller Home
My carpenter and I went to start our latest project - a small, $1500 library built-in project using used bookshelves and pre-owned office storage cabinets.
When he lifted up the floor register grill, however, my carpenter said, "oh-oh!" Our living room floor is not sitting on the slab, but was on top of a badly-built false floor. Jim saw trouble with that.
When he pulled up the carpet and took off a sheet of plywood, he found that the concrete slab floor underneath the false floor had not only cracked, but had broken in two and had sunk at least 6 inches in the middle. When he hit it with a hammer, it sounded hollow. Next day, Jim brought in his concrete guy and they broke through the slab and learned that the earth under at least part of the slab had disappeared.
We knew that the house had a foundation problem when we bought it. The owner showed us the Ram Jack certificate and how the warranty carried through to us, too. He said the problem had been fixed. The house was $30,000 less than similar houses we had seen, and our home inspector did not see anything to worry about. The back yard was perfect for dogs - they had the extra room of a corner lot, but could not get to the sidewalk to bother passers-by because a hedge was between their yard and the sidewalk, with fencing on both sides, making a green barrier between them and the kids who might tease them, dogs that might incite them, and anyone who wanted to test our liability insurance by reaching over the fence to them. The side of the backyard fence that was beside the house and overlooked the front yard was completely blocked by columnar evergreens. We had privacy and the dogs had no access to trouble. So even if we have these problems now, it still seems that it was an okay decision to buy this house.
After a couple of engineers gave advice and the Ram Jack salesman was out to make a proposal, we ended up needing 6 more jacks. The original 6 that the previous owner put in were fine. He just did not get enough of them. One of the workmen here yesterday remembers the guy. He would call the company that put in the jacks and complain about more cracks in the drywall or about settling, and would not listen to the company that he needed more jacks. That company went out of business. He now works for the company doing our job, the only Ram Jack franchise in the state.
So, yesterday they arrived and started digging in our garage.
We get to spent the Fourth of July weekend with the six holes in our garage and living room. The city can't send out their inspectors today.
For lots more pictures, see my link below.
Here is a link that might be useful: Link to more photos of jacking.