How To Jack Up A House To Replace Rim Joist? – A Step By Step Guide

As the years roll by, the elements begin to test the structural integrity of your house and can cause serious damage to the sill plate and rim joist of the house.

Most of the new houses may not experience this problem, but homeowners often start to ask how to jack up a house to replace rim joist and rush into these projects and in the process, make mistakes.

In this step-by-step guide, we will show you how best to make calculated decisions on a rim replace project as well as how to go about it yourself.

Steps To Jack Up House To Replace Rim Joists

how to jack up a house to replace rim joist

Follow the steps carefully and see for yourself how easy it is to do it yourself!

  1. Find The Rim Joist

Not everyone knows what a rim joist is talk-more of determining if they actually need that change.

Replacing rotted sill plates and rim joist is a challenging endeavor hence it requires some level of expertise or some form of basic knowledge at least.

So, what is a rim joist?

A rim joist is responsible for the support of the floors. When you walk on the floor of your house, you feel the firmness and stability? That`s the job of the joist.

The joist creates a solid network for support for a robust foundation. It also requires support on the outer walls. This is why you will find wood pieces running perpendicular to the floor and capping the horizontal joists – this is the rim joist.

With time, these rim joists start to rot and such damage to the foundation of the house can spell doom if not check on time.

  1. Consult Experts

Next step to replace the rim joist is to seek expert opinion. We recommend you take heed to this stage except if you have some knowledge in structural engineering.

Getting an engineer to ascertain the conditions of the rim joist will save you time. The engineer will access the structural integrity of the house and let you know if jacking the house is a good idea or not.

Additionally, you might want to keep away from jacking the house yourself otherwise you risk making things worse.

We understand that talking money (or spending it) can be a tricky subject, especially if you are confident in your DIY abilities. Nonetheless, you should keep in mind that it is your house at stake.

  1. Determine How Far You Will Need To Lift The House

The next stage of replacing the rim joist is to get a clear picture of how far you will need to lift the house.

You need to know if you will lift a portion of the house or the whole house.

What jack will be fit for the job?

This goes without saying; you need to factor in the type of jack that will be suitable for the job.

Replacing rotted sill plates and rim joists is not an easy feat and you need to get the right tools for the best results.

Typically, you will need to get hydraulic jacks (about 20 ton) will do the job. A 20-ton hydraulic jack could be a lot of work and cost time, so if you can lay your hands on a 40-ton jack, go for it.

You can also use tools like water level, taut strings, or laser to determine how far you will lift the house.

  1. Set The Studs

Before you start replacing the joists, you will need support for the house – you need a stud wall.

The stud wall can be built in the basement of your house and will serve as the only support for the house when you start lifting.

You might want to take down the drop ceiling or drywall when you do this. Make sure you consider and analyze the foundation of the house thoroughly to prevent any mishap.

Make sure the stud walls fit properly; you may need a hammer to top-board to achieve the desired result.

  1. Remove Dead Parts And Other Debris

Now, you can take out the dead parts and cut new ones to replace them. Go for healthy wood or pressure-treated wood for durability.

Remember to reinforce the wood with 16p nails and if the sills have issues, replace them. After you have successfully replaced the rim joists and the integrity of the building is secure, start lowering the house.

Cost Of Jacking Your House

replacing rim joist

Another question that often comes with such rotted sill plate and rim joist replacement is money – how much does it cost to jack your house.

Jacking your house is dependent on certain factors like the rents, costs of materials, engineering services, and a whole lot more.

If you were to rent a jack, for instance, you will be looking at anywhere from $2000-$5000 in estimates.

You might want to do your due diligence by researching the types of tools you will get and make a comparison. Now, watch this video to recap all the steps.

Getting An Expert

If you are not so confident in your skills or would rather have the pros do the job, then consider getting professionals for your project.

Arguably, prices in professional services may differ, but do not settle for less either. Oftentimes, the cheaper price may appear appealing and could be of less quality too. Put this in mind before you swipe your credit card.

If you were to do the jacking yourself, you probably need a budget range of $1000-$4000, but if you want the services of a professional, your budget may fall within the $5000-$100000 mark.

In your budgeting, consider the legal factors like, getting the necessary permits and licensing before you start. This will prevent any halt in your project or any other unforeseen hindrance.

Wrapping Up

Still wondering how to jack up a house to replace rim joist? Well, you got all of your solutions! However, we cannot stress this enough: get experts for your projects.

Hiring an expert will save you a considerable amount of dollars if you aren’t too great with DIYs.

Taking into consideration the fact that things are always on the rise will prevent any unforeseen costs.

Although you cannot always plan for everything, budgeting gives you an idea of what should come out of your purse for the project.

Do your homework on materials, consultations as well as tools before you go for them.

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