house jacking

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Posted by: from Toronto
4/7/2011 at 4:53:21 PM

I am looking at a house that is sinking towards the middle. It looks like the supporting beam in the basement needs to be lifted a couple of inches. What companies do this kind of thing, what is the professional name for this procedure and how much does something like that cost? Thanks.

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Date/Time4/9/2011 at 10:37:53 AM

Hi Yarek

There are many companies in Toronto that can undertake this kind of work. However, the specific solution to the problem depends upon what is actually causing it. For example, if the existing support beam is simply too small, then it can either be removed or laminated to increase it structural strength while at the same levelling the floors. However, if the footing supporting the posts holding the existing beam are failing, then the posts have to be restructured. Also, if the sagging is occurring near a set of stairs, then their structure may be contributing to the problem.

A site visit is the best way to begin to assess the issue and determine what other investigative needs are required or a solution may be apparent. In all cases, a structural engineer and permits would have to be involved. Also, please note that any jacking of a floor could have implications on the floor material above and on the walls/flooring of subsequent floors.


Kingsway Construction Inc.

Glenn Rosborough

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Yarek in Toronto
Date/Time4/9/2011 at 8:15:40 PM

Thanks Glenn. The house is located in Hamilton do you know if they have similar requirements for permits and structural engineers as Toronto?

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Date/Time4/10/2011 at 6:59:25 PM

Hi Yarek

When it comes to structural work, the permit application drawings must be prepared by a structural engineer and there is no doubt local firms (engineers and contractors) that can assist you. In selecting a contractor, it is important to ensure they have both the knowledge and experience in undertaking this work, in particular temporary shoring which is extremely important. In fact if you wish we can assist you in this regard.


Kingsway Construction Inc

Glenn Rosborough

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Dave in Oshawa
Date/Time5/10/2011 at 1:27:24 PM

Hello Yarek,

I realize I'm coming in late to this discussion, but I would recommend you have a serious look at the house in general. Not from the standpoint of buying or selling, but how old is it and how long has it had this sag? Many older farm and Victorian homes were built by a 'rule of thumb' which may or may not have been adequate at the time. Jacking up a house is totally possible and a house moving company. However, if the house has been sitting for 100 years with a sag in the middle, when you jack it up you will be disturbing 100 years worth of paint and finishings that have been made to "fit" around the sag. The most important thing is to stabilize the structure and a structural engineer can help with that. But if you have no intention of doing renovations throughout the home to repair cracked and separated trim, mouldings, doors that have been cut to accomodate the sag (not to mention tons of plaster and paint) might want to think twice about trying to make everything perfectly level. Just my 2 cents...

Good luck with it! ~ Dave

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Yarek in Toronto
Date/Time9/8/2011 at 8:27:36 PM

Thank you all for responding. I decided against the purchase of this particular property.

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