Endsleigh specialise in Home Contents Insurance for people in the UK

Levelling the road ahead


We’ve grown so used to our house’s slopes and valleys that we hardly notice them. But when they go away, it’s hard to miss!

Teague and his father, Don, spent last Saturday crawling around in the basement jacking the back side of the house. This is the hardest part to reach because it’s partially blocked by an unused cistern and filled with gas and water lines. That didn’t slow them down though. Here’s Don, covered in cobwebs and dirt:

By the end of the day, they had jacked one of the ledgers up about an inch, making a VERY noticeable difference in the kitchen and bathroom floors. They also repaired many of the joists and added support to some that had been cut. (Pictures to follow when I get my camera working again!) Because the kitchen floor is newly tiled, we worried about cracking it and ended up cutting a few of the grout lines with a circular saw so that the floor had some wiggle room. I’m happy to report that no tiles were broken despite the significant shift, and we will regrout that small strip when we’re done jacking.

The only other negative outcome of the jacking was a few small hairline cracks in the dining room’s plaster walls – mostly around the doorways. They will be easy to repair, also. The tradeoff – a few small fixes for a stable foundation – are well worthwhile!

Teague and Don also poured new cement footings and will be putting up new posts – possibly this weekend – to replace the hydraulic jacks that are holdling things up right now. Then they’ll move to the next problem area. Teague estimates that the job is about 1/4 of the way done, and what’s ahead is easier work. All good!

On Sunday, Teague and I worked on parging one of the more crumbly outer foundation walls. We mixed up some mortar in a wheelbarrow and filled in all the cracks and gaps, essentially making it a smooth and solid wall again. This is a cheap and easy fix, and an important one since we’re shifting much of the house’s weight back onto the foundation walls.

Here’s what the basement looked like on Saturday:

Notice the wall in the very back. That’s the one we parged on Sunday. It’s looking MUCH better now. More foundation work is scheduled for this weekend, so stay tuned.

Comments, Thoughts, and Feedback

Derek had this to say on 03.01.06:

I hope you put some cribbing under as well as the jacks, they’ll sag slowly over time, depending on the jack. That’s been my experience anyways.

mindy had this to say on 03.02.06:

Derek – thanks for the tip. We did not use cribbing, but we will keep this advice in mind as we tackle the rest of the house!

From what I’ve read, cribbing is definitely necessary if you’re raising the entire house, but we’re lifting mostly toward the center (not near the walls) where old posts are badly rusted. The ends of the posts are amazing, you can actually see where the metal has compressed itself down over the decades.

We’re adding additional supports as well, to spread the weight out more.


archery badminton baseball basketball had this to say on 03.25.06:



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