Leveling the Cottage

Hi everyone!

Today we’re going to share one of the major corrections that we knew would need to be made to the cottage when we first purchased the property.

On our first walk through of the house prior to purchasing the property, it was very obvious that the house had some major foundation issues. Not only is the addition on a poured slab while the main house is on pier and beam, there is a 4 to 6 inch height difference between the two parts of the house. As you walk through the main house, you can feel the unevenness of the floor, and even some soft spots in certain places.

Since we knew we were going to have to have the house leveled, we planned to have demo mostly completed prior to having the foundation repair company out so that the shifting caused by leveling wouldn’t disrupt any windows, drywall, doors, or other structural elements of the house.

Initially when the foundation company came out, they thought they were going to need to raise the house significantly, about 18 inches! Jordan and I were worried we were going to wind up with something like a beach house in Galveston, with piers rising over 3 feet off the ground. The company thought this because some excavation had been done around the edges of the house that made it appear that it was sitting completely on the ground, blocking the available crawlspace.

To help solve this problem, we had our contractor rip out parts of the subfloor to give the foundation company access to the area below the main house.

Our contractor only charged about $1000 extra to remove the pieces of subfloor, and fortunately this gave the foundation company enough access to see that the house actually didn’t require raising at all. It did, however, need all of the piers replaced, in addition to 4 full-length beams.

The majority of the original piers were sunken due to ground shifting and rot. All of the wooden piers were rotten, and at some point someone had placed cinderblocks with wood shims to try to reinforce the foundation, but these were shifted and terribly unlevel.

The foundation company replaced the rotten and sunken piers with all concrete piers and steel shims. They also replaced the four full length beams, as two existing beams were incomplete and didn’t extend the length of the house, and two more were rotten.

Repairing the foundation was quite expensive, as we suspected it might be. For all of the work we had done we ended up at a total of about $13,500, but this will guarantee we have a solid structure moving forward.

We’ll be back soon with more updates on the cottage’s progress!

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