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Question DetailsAsked on 7/30/2013

How to straighten leaning garage

Garage is leaning so that garage doors cannot close. Structure seems sound, but one "strut" if that is what it is called, has cracked. I don't know if this is the cause. A friend tried pulling one corner in line, and reinforcing with additional nails in studs, but that did not solve the problem for the other corner.

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1 Answer


I assume you mean free-standing garage - if not,then you have house problems also, in all likelihood.

One possibility is the beam over the garage door is too small or improperly installed.

More likely, sounds like it was built without any cross bracing, also called fire bracing. This is needed when there is no solid wood sheathing in the wall (plywood, T-111, or particle board). I presume you have shingle or plank siding. The proper fix will to remove either siding or inside drywall and install sway bracing. If your garage has unfinished studs this wll be very easy to do, otherwise will involve quite a bit of removal of materials.

You need an architect, structural engineer, or contractor to look at it and come up with a couple of solutions. An architect or engineer can provide you with an independent evaluation and fix design with no interest in running up the bill, but does increase the overall cost a bit. There are a number of "quick-and-dirty" things that could be done like diagonal cabling or firebracing on the inside without removing the drywall (if there is any), but any surface-mounted solution other than putting on solid sheathing siding would most likely be contrary to code.

Probably the simplest solution, depending on whether this is out of line in one or two directions, will be replacing the front and back drywall (if any), placing plywood stiffening panels, then replacing the drywall. Because you already have a problem, it will probably involve temporary diagonal cable to straighten the wall up, then 3/4 plywood with structural rather than ordinary siding nails and nail pattern - larger nails, and closer spacing.

A more involved solution, which would involve drilling holes through the studs and running diagonal cables in the wall, would mean patching rather than replacing drywall, but is more complex as it means stringing cables from opposite corners of the wall (or section, besides garage door).

An architect or structural engineer could work out the design and provide plans for a contractor to follow. You would want the engineer to inspect the straightening work prior to placing the plywood and drywall.

Not knowing exact construction, materials, or dimensions, an estimate would not be accurate, but if studs are bare on the inside ballpark estimate could run $1000-3000 range, if have to remove and replace drywall to get at the issue and fix it, then more like $4-5000.

A quick and dirty fix, which might seriously affect resale value, might run $1000-2500.

Regardless of which way you go, roof should be insepcted for problem areas after the work is done, and any damaged shingles repaired. Serious damage is unlikely, but you may have a bit of buckling of shingles, which could lead to leaks if not fixed.

Answered 7 years ago by LCD

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