Questions and answers relating to houses built in the 1800s and before.
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I purchased this house a little over a year ago. It was built in 1880 but has had a considerable amount of work done to it in the past ten years. Problem: I have one sagging exterior wall (please see the pictures). How bad does this look? We live in the Northeast in Western Massachusetts and have just gone through a beast of a winter up here which made this worse than it was last year. The foundation is stone and needs to be repointed. It has settled quite a bit over the years. This wall is on the uphill side of my property on a steep grade. The sill is at grade with two sections of it rotted. The rest of the house is as straight as you can find for an old place in these hills. It has had a concrete pad poured in the basement and several new main support beams along with plenty of steel support posts. Two sides of the foundation have even had new foundation walls poured. One side has been jacked up and had new pressure treated put in under the old sill and someone even started placing support between the new sections of foundation and the floor joists. But...the uphill side is a mess (that's where the exterior wall sags inward in the pictures). No work has been done on that part of the foundation or the sill.Water comes in the basement there too. Is the wall going to cave in on me soon? I have started to repoint that section of foundation. I'm really not interested in straightening the sagging, just making sure it doesn't cave in on us for the time being is my priority. Where do I start from the DIY end on this task? A couple of more details: the sill is cracked right near the bulge, the underside of part of the sill is missing and there is a space between it and the top of the foundation, an interior wall behind the bulge had a lengtwise seem on the drywall open up the full length of it. There is a lot of weight on that side of the house (tile floor and two large appliances). Two sets of stairs are on that side of the house. It looks like somebody cut a small section of original floor joist and support beam out to put the basement stairway where they wanted it.
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