Sill repair

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Sill repair

Postby jharkin » Mon Sep 14, 2009 9:06 pm

So my week off is here and we got started on the sill repair today. I was tipped off to the damage by some rot I could see where a previous renovator had sloppily tacked up some 2x4 cleats to reinforce the inside of the sill.

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So we put lally columns under the joists in the basement and opened up the wall for a look.

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Turns out the sill was rotten from what looks like old powder post beetle damage. As we cut it out it just disintegrated into red dust.

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Last edited by jharkin on Fri Jul 13, 2012 8:22 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Sill repair

Postby jharkin » Mon Sep 14, 2009 9:11 pm

Thankfully the damage was not too extensive. What looked like 2 feet of damage from inside the basement turned into 7 feet of rot. But after that we got to good solid and luckily the corner post was undamaged.

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A pile of pieces like this is all that was solid from 7 ft of 6x7 sill beam.

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This area of the house it a pain because we are right under the bathroom and drain pipes and there is a lot of plumbing to work around. So taking an idea from the renovating old houses book we are going to build up a new sill from stacked 2x6 PT lumber. We dry fit the sill plate and then called it a day.

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Thats it for now. Tomorrow we are going to set the sill plate in mortar, build up 4 more layers each bolted down, and then we have to bolt in the knee brace and make up hangars to reattach the joists and wall studs.
Last edited by jharkin on Fri Jul 13, 2012 8:23 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Sill repair

Postby lavender_bush » Mon Sep 14, 2009 11:55 pm

That is looking good but then again I love demolition, give me a sawsall anytime :lol: and the weather was so beautiful today, perfect for that kind of work, although it does look although we'll be getting showers on Wednesday.

DH is also off work this week so we are spending a couple of days painting the Purple House - camping there with no real facilities but having lots of fun and getting through the long list of jobs we want to achieve before Winter pops along and we have to winterize her.

Seven foot isn't too.... bad, although probably more than you would have liked but and at least the corner post is still structural 8)

The way I figure it is that owning an old house keeps your brain working because there is generally another challenge to face and you probably won't get the answer in any of the big box stores, you have to come up with your own solutions. How many times has a solution come to you in the middle of the night?
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Re: Sill repair

Postby mgb1234 » Tue Sep 15, 2009 1:21 am

Looks like our termite eaten sills.

I am kinda wondering about about the stacking of the 2x6s method it sounds like you are going to lay them on top of each other?

Will they be able to carry the load evenly across the surface, even over the foundation seam where it has already settled? or cracked because of the sill damage and the weight being transferred unevenly?even stacked boards will bow unless they are placed on their side which is the strength side,like floor joists etc.

I like to use the simpsom straps that HD and others sell for reattaching the studs to the sills,they are required here for hurricane strength ,they also make a specific stud plate that cups the stud then has a flat surface for nailing to the sill ,unfortunately they are designed for 1 3/4 studs verses the full 2" lumber of the past.
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Re: Sill repair

Postby jharkin » Tue Sep 15, 2009 6:38 am

The first piece is going to be layed and anchored onto a bed of mortar on the foundation, so that should spread the load evenly on the foundation. The foundation itself is mortared fieldstone up to grade topped with 6ft sections of granite slab. There are no cracks - what yo see in the photo is the joint between two slabs of stone. We checked it and the granite slabs are still nearly perfectly level. We don't see much signs of settling.

The stacking method we found in the George Nash book. They were using it on a much larger house. We were going to have a new length of 6x7 made up at the lumber yard, but we would have to cut it into pieces to work around the plumbing penetrations. We cant do a vertical layup either for the same reason. The stack method allows us to work around them. We are using 4 layers of 2x6. The first is anchored in mortar, and then each layer over that gets bolted to the one below with countersunk lag screws. Then the whole operation is bolted to the existing beams and studs.

This is only a story and a half cape, and since its post and beam most of the load of the second floor will be on that corner post. This sill should only be carrying the weight of the first floor joists, and is completely supported on its length by the foundation. So even though its not nearly as strong as a vertical piece it will be ok.
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Re: Sill repair

Postby khwils » Tue Sep 15, 2009 11:36 am

j,

I did the same thing last fall to the corner of a "porch" bathroom in a 1880 house. Only I replaced a 7 foot section and a 14 foot section. I was replacing it over a concrete block foundation though, not a solid rock foundation. I too stacked the lumber vertically, I tried to nail them all together first but I couldn't squeeze it into the slot! So I removed one of the pieces and slipped it in seperately. Were you able to lift the wall at all? I couldn't get mine to budge so I have to hammer the last piece into place. The inside of my "bathroom" was completely gutted to the studs and the floor completely removed so I had plenty of room to work. After I put the lumber in place I drilled 1/2" holes through the new sill and put in anchor bolts which I then cemented into the blocks. That really made a nice firm anchor of the will plate. I then anchored the wall studs to the new sill, it came out really nice and sturdy.

MGB, The lumber is just as strong vertically or horizontally when you aren't spanning anything. There isn't anywhere for the boards to "bow"?? It is really a compression fit, if the subsurface is uneven the board will crush into it I would think?? Given enough weight of course. I also had problems with the strap ties being designed for 1 3/4" lumber and not the true 2" dimensional lumber. I made it work!!

Kurt
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Re: Sill repair

Postby Don M » Tue Sep 15, 2009 12:46 pm

Our barn had about 2/3s of a 50' sill replaced on the bank side. Lots of fun but what an improvement! I did similar work on my workshop sill. It's a 12'x36' building so was fairly easy to work on. Your sill work looks good. Don
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Re: Sill repair

Postby jharkin » Tue Sep 15, 2009 8:37 pm

khwils wrote:j,
Were you able to lift the wall at all? I couldn't get mine to budge so I have to hammer the last piece into place. The inside of my "bathroom" was completely gutted to the studs and the floor completely removed so I had plenty of room to work. After I put the lumber in place I drilled 1/2" holes through the new sill and put in anchor bolts which I then cemented into the blocks. That really made a nice firm anchor of the will plate. I then anchored the wall studs to the new sill, it came out really nice and sturdy.

Kurt


We didnt need to lift the wall. When we cut off the studs and knee brace mortar the wall just hung there. The only thing that needed supporting was the floor. We ended up having to plane the ifnal piece and hammer it in with a mallet. nice tight fit.
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Re: Sill repair

Postby jharkin » Tue Sep 15, 2009 8:42 pm

On to day 2...

First off we treated the exposed wood with consolidant.

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Then we set the first 2 pieces in and anchored them in mortar to level. We used some quick set to lock it in then I will back fill it later with lime mortar to even it out ( I have to tuckpoint the basement anyway...)

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A couple of the plates we had to notch out for plumbing, and then the final one we had to plane down to fit. We also cut a slight relief on the inner edge to get it to slip under the sub floor easier. Took some encouragement with a small sledge to get in place, but it worked.

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Last edited by jharkin on Fri Jul 13, 2012 8:25 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Sill repair

Postby jharkin » Tue Sep 15, 2009 8:51 pm

As we added each layer we tacked them together with screws, then once the entire 4 layers were in we tied it all together with 6 and 8 inch ledger-lok's. Also used these to reattach the knee brace and tie into the existing beams.

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We then filled out the beam to level with some scrap ply and cut new sheathing board from ply to prepare for the siding. Probably not necessary but my dad even cut a bevel on the ply to fit up under the overhang of the original sheathing boards.

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Here you can see an important detail. The foundation stone in this area juts out from under the clapboards and there was a lip which would channel water in under the siding. This is probably started the rot and attracted bugs in the first place. So we used a diamond wheel on the grinder to bevel the edge properly to keep runoff away from the wall.

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We put on some new flashing and closed up the wall...

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Last edited by jharkin on Fri Jul 13, 2012 8:26 am, edited 2 times in total.
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