Sunday, February 24, 2013

Snap, crackle, POP

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Now that the first level floor had some support from underneath and was leveled out as much as possible on the right side of the room, the plan for the day was to begin sistering the floor joists on the second floor, or the ceiling of the first floor.

Recall one of the firsts posts, where we discovered why the ceiling had been sagging for years. In the late '80s, when Ghon's father bought the house, he did his own renovation work. One item was to remove the stairwell in the living room that went up to the second floor. After removing the stairs, you are left with a massive living room. Cool, right?

Fast forward twenty years. the drywall ceiling is sagging. Blame it on the use of nails as opposed to screws to secure the drywall.

Fast forward to the day we ripped out the drywall. Nails were the least of our problems. Over the last 25+ years, the ceiling has slowly sagged and broke several floor joists.

Front and center, a broken joist. Just one of three that were broken.

We sort of knew in the beginning that the living room would take the most time, blood, sweat and let's face it, cash. This discovery is what has really taken us so long to get renovating, basically trying to figure out the best way to do so.  We had a few different suggestions and took the best pieces of all the ideas and are rolling with it.

Fortunately I was able to find a sitter for the kids today so I could help out at the house. Ghon ran out to our new favorite home improvement store, :Lowes (go Jimmie Johnson!) and then headed to the house. After getting the sitter set up, off I went. My official duty was trash removal. Although we have a dumpster, whatever we can burn, we are burning to save space and weight. I hauled multiple loads out to the fire ring to burn next weekend.  After the lumber and plywood, I moved on to hauling (and I mean walking loads, one by one) out to the far corner of the dumpster.

Thankfully, we had additional help today. Steve stopped by to offer some additional advice and guidance and brought Kevin with him. Special thanks to Jill for sharing her hubby with us all weekend! Our long time family friend Tim also came by to help. Since Ghon's original idea was for him and I to do all this sistering work, I can't tell you just how happy I was to have Kevin and Tim there today.

The guys used 12 ton bottle jacks on two of the broken joists to pretty much raise the roof! They needed to jack the floor up by three inches! Between raising the ceiling back to it's proper location and pulling all the wood off the floor, we've now gained about 7 inches of height in the room.

Support beams inserted.

Raising it up. Support the beam and crank it up SLOW.
With each crank of the jack, you could hear the house creak. Needless to say, I was more than nervous as the men jacked the ceiling up - but loved how normal and level the room was looking!

I ordered some lunch for all of us from the only place in town that will deliver where our house is.  While we took a short break and let the living room "breathe" we hear a horrible crashing sound and some bangs. Thankfully we were all in the kitchen as when someone, I think Kevin, was finally brave enough to look into the living room, we found that a support beam had popped out of place and the jack shot nearly 8ft across the room. As a result, one of the support beams cracked.

That there is a crack!

The beam after reinserting the support beam.

The force and torque created also split some of the wood flooring on the 2nd floor!

A grand meeting of the male minds was held and theories circulated as to the cause. Finally, and agreeable consensus was reached and a plan to move forward was identified. It was time to sister the joists.

The new joists will be bolted to the existing beams. Additional joists/beams will be added in between the existing beams to relieve pressure and add additional support across the floor.

Ghon banging the beam into place. The 2x8 beams are a hair over 19ft long once trimmed. They are securing in by some good old fashioned banging into place then bolting in place.
The new joist in place against the original log cabin.

 Not long after this joist was secured, the kid's sitter was turning into a pumpkin, so I headed home. The guys were able to stabilize one additional joist before calling it a night.

It was a physically and mentally exhausting day. I just thank God we had friends to help us today and that none of us were in that room with the jack gave way.

Ghon, Tim and I are going back at it on Friday. We have a short to medium list of things we'd like to get done before the official demo/construction day on Saturday. More to come!

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