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Building an entire frame from the inside out (pics)

polar8's picture

Hi! First post on the forum and I'm looking forward to joining this community. I recently purchase a house in San Jose, CA that included an old dilapidated barn in the backyard. The barn was built in 1919 and an extension was added at some point. When I moved in, the barn was in very poor condition. It would have been much easier to tear it down and start from scratch, but it's a historic structure so that was not an option.

With that in mind I started thinking about how I could save this barn. The structure had no real frame or foundation. Just redwood boards nailed to a sill plate sitting in the dirt. The roof was supported solely by those boards, and nothing else. There was some sort of interior framing, but that was really only there to support the second floor.

The good news is that the roof framing is still in good condition. So, conceptually, my plan is to build a frame under that roof. First I will lay my sill plates so that they are perfectly square. Starting on one side, I will jack up that side of the roof, build the wall one stick at a time, and set the roof back down on that wall. Then, when everything has been built, I will straighten out the frame using comealongs and brace it in place.

I've never done something like this before so I'm really interested to hear anybody's opinion or advice. Thanks!

Here are some pictures to give you an idea.

The barn when I moved in:

Interior was full of junk:

Boards were all patched up and framing was pretty much nonexistant:

Roof before I stripped it:

Ripped up the floorboards which were moslty rotten and badly warped:

Stripped the roof to find a frame in surprisingly good condition

Installed some concrete piers to support the structure while I worked underneath it

Then poured a slab

The slab as it is now

Some pictures of my framing plan

Big question is what are you (post #214708, reply #1 of 1)

Big question is what are you planning to use this structure for? What you'd need to do would be very different if you're planning on making it habitable or just going to use it to store old junk aka...a barn.

I see there's a slab, but is there a footing on the perimeter that can support the structure? I know there wasn't one before, but if you're doing this much work to it you're most likely going to be subject to the building code for the structure.

If/when you jack the roof up, don't try to raise it or really even move it. Just apply enough to release the pressure so you can replace/repair the structure. Moving something this old any more than you absolutely have to is asking for trouble.  

Another consideration is shear. When you see stick framing with a bunch of studs on a plate, that doesn't have any shear strength at all until the OSB or plywood is nailed on. I don't see any lateral bracing in your plan.