Who to call for a rotten sill?

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Joined: Wed Sep 25, 2019 11:13 am

Who to call for a rotten sill?

Post by brico »

I recently bought a very old (1850s-60s?) attached-one-side brick row house in Jersey City, NJ. It has a newer but also very old (certainly 19th century by the construction details) 15’x15’ frame addition in the back. On three sides, the floor of this portion is supported by a cripple wall with a 3”x8” sill at grade level on a brick foundation.

Here’s the problem: on all three sides, the sill of the addition is severely deteriorated. On the more protected, attached side, the sill appears to be rotting from below and has lost 1” to 1.5” of its thickness. On the two other sides, which have been more exposed to the weather over time, the sill has decomposed to mulch, so the house has lost 3” in height (obvious inside as a slope in the floor where the addition attaches to the main brick portion of the house) and the cripple wall studs are bearing directly on the brick foundation.

I'm extremely peeved at the home inspector I hired, who missed this severe defect in structure that is easily accessible, but that's another story. Also mad at myself for missing it; the sloped floor should have set off my own alarm bells. Probably would still have bought the house, but would have used this in negotiation.

Anyhow, I suppose the work will involve jacking up the building to original height, replacing the sill, and replacing any cripple wall studs that are deteriorated. My question is: what's the right kind of contractor to be calling about this. House movers? Foundation guys? General contractors? Historic specialists?

Suggestions for specific contractors serving northern NJ also welcome, if that's allowed on this message board.

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