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unlevel foundation

matthewcyg's picture

i thought my garage foundation was level, until i put up my exterior walls.  were do i start on this mess?

Well, you start by always (post #207169, reply #1 of 12)

Well, you start by always checking the foundation for level (and square) before raising the walls.

(How far off are things?)


Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.  --Herman Melville

You learned a valuable lesson............ (post #207169, reply #2 of 12)

there will be more.

 

Besides the question of how far off and where, how do you know this now?  Did you place some joists on it and use a level?  How long of a level?  If you used a string level, throw it away.

 

How you correct it will be determined by where and how bad.

If you don't have one or know where to borrow one-see about renting a builders level or better yet a laser line level with outdoor sensor.  Set either up so you can swing it around or cast a level line that hits most (or all ) the studs.  With a bldrs level you should have a helper.  One of you look through at a tape hooked to the top plate and pulled down-write on each stud the number you see.  This way you'll find how much and where.

You can pop up the bottom plate and shim below it at each stud location.  Use plywood blocks wherever possible (they don't crush like a cedar shim.  In any event, depending on the load, use as solid a shim as possible (cut them out of framing lumber-treated if possible)

 

 

Here's another more important lesson to teach yourself (besides the obvious-don't trust anything to do with construction by others than yourself.)

Never Back Up.   As you work your way up to the roof, this is an especially important thing to remember!

Never.

Always go forward.

I've seen guys fall of scaffold, roofs, down open stairwells..............because they were never taught that simple thing.

Never back up!

ever.

A Great Place for Information, Comraderie, and a Sucker Punch.

Remodeling Contractor just outside the Glass City.


http://www.quittintime.com/

 


I got a lazer level, set it (post #207169, reply #7 of 12)

I got a lazer level, set it on one corner of the wall.   its about 3/4" off level.  but how do i know what side to start from? 

This is what I would do (post #207169, reply #8 of 12)

Get that laser down to about eye level in a corner (if not a rotating laser)

Get marks that are on it's line at the 3 corners.

Move it to one of those corners, shoot a line to the one corner you don't have a mark and one other that you have marked.

Now you have a reference as to where to put the 4th mark (remember, it will be the difference between your first mark and this new one.

got it?

 

Now you can strike a chalk line around the garage.  Use your tape measure to see where the problems are, which ones can be passed over and how you want to plan what to do.

You need to know where all is wrong b/4 you can figure out what to do.

A Great Place for Information, Comraderie, and a Sucker Punch.

Remodeling Contractor just outside the Glass City.


http://www.quittintime.com/

 


Since you apparently already (post #207169, reply #10 of 12)

Since you apparently already have the walls up, set up your level in the center and mark a level line on the studs about every 5 feet, especially in the corners.  Then measure how far from the level mark to the foundation and write that down on the stud.  The shortest measurement is the high point, the longest is the low point.

Next, assuming you're going to try to level the framing, go around to each marked stud and write down the difference between the measurement there and the shortest measurement -- 3/4", 5/8", 1/4", etc.

Loosen the fasteners holding the bottom plate down and then drive wedges under each marked stud to bring it up the marked amount.  Fill in-between with mortar, tighten your fasteners, and you're done.


Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.  --Herman Melville

Here's another reply, moved from your other thread. (post #207169, reply #3 of 12)

D10 or trackhoe will (post #207170, reply #1 of 1)new

by junkhound in reply to matthewcyg [original] on Sat, 12/08/2012 - 11:09

D10 or trackhoe will work.

Even a small front loader shuld be able to demolish the whle thing, eh?

 

 

 

 

Or, shim the sill plates with PT lumber, fillin under with straight portland cement mortar.

  •  

A Great Place for Information, Comraderie, and a Sucker Punch.

Remodeling Contractor just outside the Glass City.


http://www.quittintime.com/

 


Let's start at the (post #207169, reply #4 of 12)

Let's start at the beginning.

Is it a new foundation?

Is it free standing or attached to your house?

How much out of level is it?

What kind of walls are you planing?

Florida Licensed Building Contractor, 40 years experience in commercial remodeling, new homes, home remodeling and repairs and all types building maintenance.

For minor errors (under a (post #207169, reply #5 of 12)

For minor errors (under a half inch or so in 20 feet) if the walls are already up it's a reasonable option to just leave it the way it is.  "Recalibrate" your level (eg, duct-tape a coin to one end) to be appropriately out of plumb to that you can get everything reasonably square.

Otherwise, even if the walls are already set you can probably release whatever's fastening them down and shim up the plates.  You need to somehow seal under the plates, and possibly shove mortar under to provide a better bearing surface than the shims.

Only if the foundation is out by several inches would it normally be worth considering tearing it out and redoing, vs somehow shimming the plate.


Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.  --Herman Melville

or, if easier............. (post #207169, reply #6 of 12)

go up top, level the joists and rafters.

Add another plate and do your shimming up there, or block under each joist / rafter.

You can pull lines to determine how much to block at each location.

 

But, that line has to be level, everything else will follow.

If you already have concrete in there, get a rolling baker scaffold and pull yourself around the place.

A Great Place for Information, Comraderie, and a Sucker Punch.

Remodeling Contractor just outside the Glass City.


http://www.quittintime.com/

 


And, of course, be sure that (post #207169, reply #9 of 12)

And, of course, be sure that the laser level you are using is giving you accurate readings. They all have a built in error (for example: 1/4" in 50'). Make sure that you take that error into account. If you bought an real inexpensive one then it may not be showing you the truth at all. 

If the structure truly is out of level... pretend its a remodel and live with it. Anything I do on my house is approached with the attitude that the floor and ceiling aren't  level and the walls are out of plumb. Once one accepts that, solutions can be sought and life becomes easier. 

Thank u for your help this (post #207169, reply #11 of 12)

Thank u for your help this worked great. Leason learned , the trusses are up and the roof is sheathed. Thx

Just a question if you would. (post #207169, reply #12 of 12)

How far was it off, where, and how did you fix it?

Without that info, this thread has no lasting help value.

thanks.

A Great Place for Information, Comraderie, and a Sucker Punch.

Remodeling Contractor just outside the Glass City.


http://www.quittintime.com/