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Country Discussion Topics
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Old Barn Foundation
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Ken    Posted 04-17-2003 at 17:26:47       [Reply]  [Send Email]
I need some advice on replacing a damaged foundation timber(sill) on my old barn. These timbers are setting on a concrete foundation. Thanks......

Mike D.    Posted 04-19-2003 at 06:03:12       [Reply]  [No Email]
If you are handy you can repair the barn yourself. In our area sills commonly last many decades. They are usually White Oak. Direct contact with concrete will rot nearly any kind of wood. A local mill may be able to custom cut your new sill. I use a Granberg Mini-mill with a large chainsaw and cut all my own. You will want several large bottle jacks, and you will want to shore up and area that you are repairing.If you can measure and cut well you should have no trouble.
Let me know how it goes.
Regards- Mike D.

Ken    Posted 04-19-2003 at 10:02:53       [Reply]  [Send Email]
I've jacked up floors before and one porch but not sure about best method for support of the rafters on that side of the barn while I replace the sill? I do appreciate the help. Ken

Tom A    Posted 04-18-2003 at 05:17:16       [Reply]  [Send Email]
We have a guy in our area who does nothing but repair and rebuild on old barns. He's the only one in a couple of counties and doesn't advertise, but he stays very busy despite telling some folks the only way to fix their barn is with a box of matches. All his business is done by word of mouth.

Point is, try to find the guy in your area who does the same. Ask friends, old local hardware and lumber stores, folks with other barns that have had work done on them, the local Ruritan club....somebody knows who "your" guy is.

I'm having mine done this summer. My 100+ year old bank barn is about 56'x35'. He's going to jack it up, remove a couple of stone piers that hold up one side (not very well), pour a footer and replace the piers, then replace the lower timbers across two sides. He did a much much larger barn down the road from me and it looks like new, good for another 100 years.

good luck,

geo in MI    Posted 04-17-2003 at 19:53:01       [Reply]  [No Email]

Check the site "Barn Again" or do some Google searching for 'timber framing" to get some good and expert advice. I think it would take plenty of jacks to lift it a wall or section at a time and replace each sill underneath. You could measure and make pictures or drawings on how to cut the mortices and tenons. Sawzall would probably do it. For small barns and buildings, I've seen it done on "This Old House" with come-along posts that stand upright and rachet up a wall--might be able to rent something like that.

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