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Question DetailsAsked on 4/16/2014

What type of provider should I call to replace a 1st floor corner house beam destroyed by termites?

I own a wood structure home built in approx 1924. When I removed the interior lathe board I discovered the corner beam, which is actually 3 2x4's, were destroyed by termites. I need to replace these boards to support the corner of the house. What type of person/company does this type of repair?

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Hopefully you have had a termite inspection and control measures taken. Have some contact-killing insect killer or even better instant freeze can (non-poisonous, but don't hit anyone with it) handy when they are removing the old cornerpost, in case any live ones are found - you don't want them moving to set up a new home on you. Instant Freeze and similar product names is made for testing electronics for cracked connections - cools to -60 instantly, almost like liquid nitrogen.

You said 3 2x4's as the corner beam - I presume you mean post (vertical) but makes a difference only in difficulty of doing - beams are tougher, and with 2x4's I am pretty sure you mean the corner post.

Since you are going to be tearing out the corner support for the house, this is going to mean tearing into the interior wall at least, and possibly siding - so a General Contractor specializing in remodels is what I would recommend as he can coordinate carpenter as well as repairs of siding, drywall, painting, etc. If you intend to do all those yourself, then a GC can still do it, or a good framing carpenter would also work.

Before hiring be sure to discuss what they intend to do to support the corner before removing the damaged wood - if he does not propose temporary supports close by on both sides, he is not your man - just too risky to try to take this out and count on the rim joists holding that load up while it is replaced.

Do not be surprised to find a lot more damage then you think is there - there have been cases, including one noted in a response here last month or so, where a single tunnel lead to a entire building perforated by insects.

Be sure to check your insurance policy before starting - generally, insect damage is not covered, but if your is one of the few that does cover it, get them involved first before you start destroying evidence of the damage. If not covered, do NOT contact them about it - some companies have a nasty way of cancelling policies on older homes if they find out about any sort of significant problems with the house.

Answered 5 years ago by LCD

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