old gm building
Bartleby the Scrivener vegan27
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my crawlspace
This Live Journal post is intended to show Scott my crawlspace.

At the front of the house, the floor is supported by 2x7 joists spaced 19" o.c. Contrary to what I thought before, *all* the exterior walls are supported by 8x6 or 8x8 beams, although the beams themselves are not always supported properly.

The joists are 13 feet long and they are notched to fit into the main beams. In between the main beams is a slightly narrower beam that runs underneath and perpendicular to the joists.

Here is a map of where each photo was taken and the direction the camera was facing. Click the map and any of the photos for a larger version.


The grey lines are the smaller beams that run underneath the joists. The solid black lines are the 8x8's.

# 1


The very front, northeast corner of the house. There are some pillars that the beams rest on, but no moisture barrier between them.

# 2


Under the facade of the house.

# 3


Under the north (side) wall of the house.

# 4


The house is leaning back so far that apparently the joists holding up my living room floor are just about to slip off the front beam.

# 5


The front, southeast corner of the house.

# 6


This is one of the beams that runs underneath the joists.

# 7


I intended to show the floor bowing down toward the outside of the house, but it didn't come across in the photo.

# 8


The old cedar stumps were just left in place right next to their concrete replacements. Note the Romex cable just lying on the ground. Please don't show these photos to the electrical inspector.

# 9


The meeting of two beams. I don't know why the concrete support isn't beneath the union.

# 10


The flashlight is shining on a deteriorated patch on the beam. It's not actually glowing orange in real life.

# 11


This is intended to show the way the joists are notched to meet the beam. This beam is in the center of the original 1864 portion of the house.

# 12


This is along an outside wall where the floor is dipping very severely (probably 3-4" within 2-3 feet). Obviously the beam running along the outside wall is not properly supported.

# 13


I don't even know...

# 14


This is under the badly-rotted porch. Not only is it made with tongue and groove pine, but it's actually sloping *toward* the house.

# 15


Another shot under the porch.

# 16


This cedar stump was obviously never replaced. This is where the 1864 house meets the 1897 addition. This is by the font porch, which probably explains the apparent water staining.

# 17


The house gets worse the farther back you go. This is the back beam of the 1864 house. WHY the joists are trimmed like that I have no idea.

# 18


Can you believe I owe $69,000 on my mortgage?

# 19


This is the beam on the other side of photo # 17, on the 1897 side of the connection between the house and addition. The concrete supports, which were at least apparently plumb and mortared in place, are no more. Now there are random stacks of cinder blocks and other random materials.

# 20


This is one of those "every other" beams that runs *beneath* the joists. This one goes through the middle of my kitchen.

# 21


Now I know why there is a bulge in my kitchen floor here. What, your house isn't supported by jacks still in place?

# 22


This is the underside of the termite-damaged beam that was sistered at the rear of the 1897 addition, where it meets the 1910 shabby addition.

# 23


Another view of the sistered, damaged beam. I paid $75,000 for this house!

# 24


We are now beneath the collapsing 1910 addition. Those 2x7's are long gone--the floor appears to be supported by 2x4's now.

# 25


Maybe if I send this photo to Mike Holmes, he'll come to restructure the house out of pity.

# 26


I tried to show the way the 1910 addition slopes badly backward, but without a level reference, the photo doesn't convey the effect at all. But trust me, it's bad.

# 27


The rear wall of the house, which is the most severely sloped floor in the house. If nothing else, this ... "beam" (??) needs to be replaced or re-supported.

I'm not an expert, but I will pass this on to a few of my friends who are experts(or at least knowledgeable). In my opinion, we'd have to put in new supports all along your house, fortify the ones that are there, and add extra to where they are needed. It may seem like an overwhelming prospect, but with enough help, I think it could be done.

I'd be more than willing to help with anything you do around either of your houses, you know. All ya have to do is ask!

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