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Big remodel in works, but one big SNAG...

Posted by hardin (My Page) on
Sat, Nov 7, 09 at 11:54

I have a remodel/redecorate plan in the works. Right now, we are working on the new laundry room part, which will lead into the living room job.

What I have now, is a long narrow living room which measures 25 1/2 by 14 1/2 feet. At the far end of the LR, is a room that is 8 x 12 feet. Almost a letter 'L'. The smaller room will be the laundry room, walled in with a door. After that is done, we will be working on the living room, where the major problem is located.

Before we can proceed with anything, one major thing must be fixed. The original design of the house was basically divided into 3 main areas. On the west end, were the bedrooms and the bath. In the middle was the dining room, living room and kitchen. On the east, was a covered carport. They enclosed the carport and took out what was the end of the LR, which of course was a main support wall.

Problem: The main beam that runs the entire length of the house, is now trying to come through the ceiling in the LR. My idea is to build back the main wall for support, which isn't a problem, giving me a LR and foyer.

But, before the wall can be built, the main beam has to be lifted up back into place. How can we do that? I am sure we will have to do sheetrock work afterwards, which is fine, as long as the beam gets some support. The tiny attic area is just your typical truss roof, if that helps any. We are planning on doing this on our own. There are some pictures below to help with the visuals.

1st picture is the view from the front door looking to your right. The paneling WILL be disappearing.
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2nd pic is view from front door to your left in what will be the foyer area. Not all of it is in pic, but you get the idea.
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3rd: The view from the future laundry room. It will be closed in with new walls and a door. Just behind the sectional couch is where I want to add the new support wall which will start from between the 2 windows. That spot is wide enough for a wall to start there. I measured. :)
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4th: The future laundry room.
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5th: THE PROBLEM CRACK. It is a 25 1/2 foot crack. It looks better in the pictures than it does in real life. It runs from the 'foyer' area all the way to the wall with all the paneling. :)
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Any and all suggestions or questions very welcome. Thanks.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Big remodel in works, but one big SNAG...

we are in the process with a project similar to this. The previous homeowner moved the supporting wall to re-arrange the floor plan. Yours, however is worse than ours and as a GC, I would advise you to get professional help as there appears to be major structural displacement which can lead to the collapse of your house. This one is bad and it would be money well spent to hire and engineer to spec the repair.

I know you will still try to fix this yourself but be careful.....


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RE: Big remodel in works, but one big SNAG...

Fixing ourselves is the idea. And, I agree, it is bad. I had crawled into the attic to inspect it and tried to take some pictures to show my husband. He is too tall for the attic. I think some bolts broke or came loose, and when the wall support was removed, time took it toll. We had the thought of building a square frame & slowly jack the ceiling where the crack is, and then I'd crawl into the attic to drill & add some huge bolts. I do know that one of the problems with the attic, the pitch is so low, I can't even get anyone in to replace my duct work. It is a tight fit, even for me, and I've been called high & wide challenged. I have certainly had more than one nightmare about falling ceilings.

Half of length of attic:
Half of attic showing truss work

Front piece is how much half has dropped, back looks to be okay. Seems that some of the bolts I'd seen were gone or bent sideways when part of it sagged down.
Amount of drop in main beams

Another picture related to above thoughts:
amount of drop

The crack from attic eye view:
Crack in ceiling sheetrock


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RE: Big remodel in works, but one big SNAG...

"it would be money well spent to hire and engineer to spec the repair".

Good advise from Bellamy. Get a consult from a licensed, reputable structural engineer as your first step.


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RE: Big remodel in works, but one big SNAG...

Thank you, both.


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RE: Big remodel in works, but one big SNAG...

It can be done. The contractor will install a "house jack" and slowly jack up the beam to where it should be, then install a supporting column under it. One or two steel columns willbe enough.

And I'm amazed that the previous owners managed to get a permit for that, and that it passed a pre-purchase inspection.


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RE: Big remodel in works, but one big SNAG...

Well, the previous owner was really good at cutting corners on alot of things. And, naturally, in the past remodel jobs, I have found ALOT of wonderful surprises. This one just happened to POP IN for a visit.

When you talk about the house jack, would they use the jack in the house? The reason I ask that, is everything under the house is in good shape. It is just that one side of the beam that dropped, which I think happened for 2 reasons. The removal of the support wall, and when that was gone, it put too much pressure on the bolts and either sheared them off or bent them. I will be going into the attic to run some electrical wire, and I will have to do some extra inspection. I'm about to get my first lesson in wiring, because the attic is so tiny and I'm the smallest person around. Just my luck. I am rather NERVOUS! :)


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