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Question DetailsAsked on 2/27/2018

Who to hire to repair a Load-Bearing Post in the basement

We purchased an old cottage (1950's) and it looks like there are 2 posts on either side of the original post. We would like to have them removed and replaced with just one post. The floor upstairs is slanted so we know what is currently there does not work.

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1 Answer


Unless the replacement posts are rotting or termite eaten or such, or crushing into the overhead beam, sounds like the secondary posts were just put in to stop further settlement rather than try to relevel the floor above. Or perhaps they do not have proper bearing piers/mats so they are sinking into the ground.

For simple replacement with a single post, perhaps requiring a bearing plate under the beam and proper foundation pad or pier under it embedded in the ground, a Foundation Repair contractor would be the normal Search the List Category to find well-rated and reviewed ones for this type job.

This job will presumably include at least some jacking up of the center of the beam (assuming this is at the center) to remove at least the worst of the sagging floor - though with that old a building most of the sag in the beam is going to be from long-term "creep" of the wood, which cannot be taken out all at once without potentially damaging the house or actually high-centering it on the post. Commonly, though has to be blocked or keyed in to prevent slipping out, assuming this is not a real highly loaded post (which with a buungalow it would not be) the solution is a screw jack post on proper bearing pier or block well buried in the dirt so it cannot tilt or kick out, initially with the screw jack turned to the point the house starts cracking and creaking as it takes the load of the beam - then over time (maybe every 3 months or so - you or a contractor going down there and screwing it a bit further to raise the low spot of the beam a bit more - progressively taking the sag out of the beam and the connecting floor joists. Can take a couple of years to bring a floor back to approximately level this way, especially if the wood is in a low humidity area - quicker in moist environments. Of course, when installed the screw jack post has to be installed so it has more then enough jack thread left available to extend to account for the possibly several inches or more of adjustment needed in the future to bring the floor, potentially, up to about level.

IF these posts are at the end of the main floor carry beam, then generally you cannot jack up very much without starting to crack drywall and jam windows and doors - if that is the case perhaps your entire foundation is settling on the low side.

Cost varies a lot - commonly in the few hundred range just to replace the post, more like $500-1000 to put in a single-point screw jack and start the process to relevel the floor beam.

Answered 2 years ago by LCD

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