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  #1  
Old 10/14/09, 05:44 PM
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straightening old shed

Need some experienced builder to guide me through the straightening of my shed. I have been working so much this summer that i didn't notice that the building had started shifting again...

Facts about shed:
old square nail structure in total 24'l(12 plus 12 addon) by 11'w with peeked roof.
8x8 beam base 11'wx12'l, the rest is 11'wx12'l add on but beams have rotted away.

the building has sunk over the years about a foot and in the process of jacking it up it is now tilting about 7 inches north east... and thats the corner i am jacking(was)

So following this howto http://www.hammerzone.com/archives/f...ge1/winch.htm?

I bought 2 cable winches but now i am thinking that rather than winching each side as in the howto, I am wondering if i would be better off winching from bottom left(south-west) to top right(north-east).

Hope this makes sense but ask away if i'm missing info which i am sure i am because i am tired and hungry! LOL

EDIT: i should have mentioned that the south wall has only been pulled north not north-east like the north wall

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Last edited by primal1; 10/14/09 at 05:57 PM.
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  #2  
Old 10/14/09, 07:01 PM
 
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That's from the web page. The shed has been knocked to the left. You'd winch it from the top left to the bottom right to pull it back straight.

In fancier longer words, as the building collapses, the diagonal towards the side it is falling grows longer. You want to reverse that lengthening and pull it back shorter until it equals the cross diagonal.
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  #3  
Old 10/14/09, 07:46 PM
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Thats what i was thinking, what threw me i think was why he didn't do that in his article. The only differences between our situations is that my building leans more than his.. oh and mine has sunk a foot at one end. haha.

Thanks!

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  #4  
Old 10/14/09, 08:02 PM
 
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Thank you for nenewing and enhancing one of my obsesssions!



I have fought this 140 year old leaner for 5 years. I think the main part was leaning even before the lean-to part was added. Tried to winch the whole thing towards two sturdy trees with minimal success.

The web site you listed showed reinforcing the corners, before winching, which is a great idea.

leveling the building with a jack was a good start for you, as that sinking probably helped cause the leaning in the first place.

I don't fully understand your north/east references, etc. You basically have to measure and visualize what direction the building needs to bend.

You may have to improvise, as needed. Sometimes when pulling, the weakest end of the cable, may not be the end you want to move. Addition temporary internal bracing may be needed. Maybe other areas of the building may need jacked up higher than normal to force the building in a certain direction.

It's a awful lot of experimentation, all buildings are different. Yoy will amaze yourself with yor creativity, by the time you are done.


Man, am I stoked!

Good luck.

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  #5  
Old 10/14/09, 08:14 PM
 
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just remember it took years for the lean to occur,,,if you force it too quickly,,,,you will break and pull apart joints....take you're time apply constant force over time.

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  #6  
Old 10/14/09, 08:19 PM
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Mine is the same type of construction plowjockey! I decided to remove half the roof of the lean-to and disconnect the 2 buildings as i thought it was the lean-to that was causing the problem.

I wish i got my building leveled, as it is i was only able to jack 2" until I noticed it was leaning further to the side being jacked. Now i will be content if i can square with the floor them maybe i can continue jacking.

sorry, the width of my building is eat-west, the length north-south... she's diving north-east.

Excellent work on your beautiful barn! I am surprised you resisted all your neighborly advice, if like the advice i got ,it was always tear it down lol.
I'm in awe!

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  #7  
Old 10/14/09, 08:20 PM
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Excellent reminder ace admirer! thanks

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  #8  
Old 10/15/09, 11:38 AM
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
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My house was racked and bowed when i got it. I put it on a perfectly level foundation FIRST.
The floor was still a bit ---pyjawed, so i put nails in the floor along the walls and tied strings to stretch across the floor.
Strings Go Straight.
Then i could see where I had to shim up between the foundation and the beams to get the floor leveled.
After the building was on a level foundation and the floor was straightened out, i could more easily see what needed to be done with the rest of it and i knew the floor would stay put while i pulled the rest back into line.

I nailed 2x8's to the places on the walls that had to be pulled and i attached several comealongs (and ratchet straps) to those boards, so the pull was spread evenly across the wall.
I would apply tension to the cables and straps until i heard...um...kind of creaking and popping...until i felt my life was one step below being in danger. Then I'd leave it for a few weeks. The tension would be gone and I'd add more tension.

I used taught strings and left makeshift plumb bobs in strategic places so I knew when i had moved things enough to have them plumb and level.

In my case, it was a whole house with a warped roof and walls and i did it during the dry summer and it took me 6 months to complete the process.
You could probably do it in significantly less time because it's getting wetter for winter and because the building is smaller.

You may not need to do the following, but i'll 'splain it anyway, in case it helps...
I had to raise the roof, too, so i set up bottle jacks atop cribbing layed lincoln log style on the attic floor and pushed up on a wide board nailed to the rafters and the ridge beam...again, to spread the load. I raised it slowly and pulled in on the walls at the same time.

Please be careful/deliberate/thoughtful and slow. The forces generated in a building being racked can shatter a 2x4 and i hear it sounds like a .3006 when it explodes. So, like don't tell your Mom what you're up to.

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  #9  
Old 10/15/09, 12:37 PM
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raymilosh, glad mine isn't as big a job!! LOL
I'm in the process of reinforcing corners now.. last night a friend came over with a buddy of theirs who raises/straightens barns for a living.. they couldn't stay long but he's coming back tonight to take a better look.

Because only half the shed has a foundation the best i can do at this point is to brace it. once jacked i can then lengthen the wall posts that have rotted(now sitting on blocks) and then i can put a new foundation.

I'm only rushing to get the winch in place, winching i plan to take very slow. I have no desire to hear what a snapping 2x4 sounds like haha. Will post an update later tonight

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  #10  
Old 10/15/09, 06:27 PM
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YAY! winch is on and when cranked it quickly pulled a 1/2" in all the right directions.
On the advice of the experienced barn guy i am to try jacking at the corner being pulled in, if this goes well after an inch or two i am to continue slowly jackin the other corner at the same end and then to the middle and so on... to dark to do any jacking tonight but i sure feel a hell of a lot better now.

Like you guys here he said it's really hard to tell exactly what will happy so the key is just to go slow and pay attention to everything.
Thanks for all the help and advice! i'll post an update soon. Oh just a note that i forgot about, i guess the reason the shed is so slow to come down is because it has 2 layers of inch thick barn board on the outside and covering that is 1/2" of plywood, this must be giving it a huge amount of support.

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  #11  
Old 10/15/09, 06:30 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by primal1 View Post
Mine is the same type of construction plowjockey! I decided to remove half the roof of the lean-to and disconnect the 2 buildings as i thought it was the lean-to that was causing the problem.

I wish i got my building leveled, as it is i was only able to jack 2" until I noticed it was leaning further to the side being jacked. Now i will be content if i can square with the floor them maybe i can continue jacking.

sorry, the width of my building is eat-west, the length north-south... she's diving north-east.

Excellent work on your beautiful barn! I am surprised you resisted all your neighborly advice, if like the advice i got ,it was always tear it down lol.
I'm in awe!
Were you lucky enough to actually have cross bracing? I did not have one cross-bracing board, in the entire barn. If you do, temporarily removing them, may make straigtening easier.

BTW, the images is from about 3 years ago. I have done a lot of work straightening, including paint and roof recoating, but I do have a grand(ious) plan, which includes lots of 4x4', hyradulic jacks and cable come-alongs.

Keep hacking away at your shed. You will at least get it better, than it was.

You can buy a whole lot of wood screws, sackrete and 2x4's, for the price of a new barn.
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  #12  
Old 10/16/09, 07:03 PM
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Pictures of progress if you have them would be awesome if not this is still a very helpful thread on the subject.

Ive built log houses where i had to pull in part of a wall to get the log over window openings to come in about 5 inches a time or two, and if you think a barn is hard to move, whole walls 3-4 feet high make for a joyous time under a deadline...... no I dont have pictures of that handy, I aint built anything decent since i went digital, and in the move a few years ago my pictures got packed and never have been brought out....

William
Idaho

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  #13  
Old 10/16/09, 07:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by plowjockey View Post
Were you lucky enough to actually have cross bracing? I did not have one cross-bracing board, in the entire barn. If you do, temporarily removing them, may make straigtening easier.

BTW, the images is from about 3 years ago. I have done a lot of work straightening, including paint and roof recoating, but I do have a grand(ious) plan, which includes lots of 4x4', hyradulic jacks and cable come-alongs.

Keep hacking away at your shed. You will at least get it better, than it was.

You can buy a whole lot of wood screws, sackrete and 2x4's, for the price of a new barn.
No cross bracing at all, but there will be once i get finished lol.

I ended up spending half the day just removing an old outhouse extension that was at the end of the shed. I really didn't want to but reinforcing it along with the rest would have taken way more time than i have.
Managed to jack another 2 whole inches and gave the winch another 2 tugs... so far the sill hasn't budged while the top of the shed is still coming in slowly... nerve racking as all hell though!

I'll try to get hold of a camera tomorrow, i was offered one a few days ago but i was feeling to discouraged to document this potential disaster... i'm over that now... i think... maybe..... i need a coffee!

plowjockey, i can't imagine working on a barn the size of yours, i'm not crazy about heights to begin with so a barn with minimal bracing... just can't imagine!

Blu3duk, it seems restoration is a dying art. People would rather tear down and rebuild than spend the time... if you are good at it yes you really should document your progress.. check out this guy... http://www.americanprofile.com/article/1395.html
"In 1999, Chamberlain resurrected Virgil Strenge’s tornado-ravaged barn near Brookings, S.D. It had one end blown out, was nudged from its foundation, and had a pronounced lean to the east. It presented Chamberlain, the “tinkerer,” with a little more figuring than he was accustomed to. The barn’s loft was nearly filled with more than 40 tons of hay bales.

The barn had sentimental value for owner Strenge, 69. “My granddad built it in 1919. I played in it as a boy and worked in it as a man. One of my boys and I planned to fix it up someday for old-time’s sake,” Strenge says.

“But after that tornado, I figured I’d have to tear it down before it fell down. Then I heard about Chamberlain and gave him a call.”

Chamberlain, working alone, attached cables in just the right places, used railroad ties and jacks to hold everything in place, and levered the sagging Strenge barn, hay bales and all, back into plumb. He pulled it back onto its foundation, nailed support timbers across the wall studs, and patched the blown-out siding. “It’s amazing how he bought it back,” Strenge says."
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  #14  
Old 10/17/09, 12:21 PM
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some pictures... http://s166.photobucket.com/albums/u...l_photos/shed/

I am now debating whether or not to change the location of the winch. The shed is not leaning as bad as before but still need to be pulled on both sides towards the house.
I'm thinking of cross bracing the walls, side to side and end to end.. moving and adding a winch.. any suggestions welcome haha

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  #15  
Old 10/17/09, 12:44 PM
 
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primal1
I have some experience on a 1891 house with a similar problem. You may not like my suggestion but here goes. Dismantle the entire structure that you are trying to salvage. Correct the soil problem and install a proper foundation. Then reconstruct the structure reusing the salvaged materials. You are wasting your time attempting to do what you are doing. Even if you are successful with the hoists you will be displeased with the results.

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  #16  
Old 10/17/09, 02:10 PM
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Originally Posted by agmantoo View Post
primal1
I have some experience on a 1891 house with a similar problem. You may not like my suggestion but here goes. Dismantle the entire structure that you are trying to salvage. Correct the soil problem and install a proper foundation. Then reconstruct the structure reusing the salvaged materials. You are wasting your time attempting to do what you are doing. Even if you are successful with the hoists you will be displeased with the results.
Thanks agmantoo, I would totally agree with you if this were the house I planned to stay in for years to come. With a little luck this place will be sold within a couple of years... not to say i'm doing a hack job or anything but I really need this shed to work in and store tools which now line the walls of my living space HAHA.

I did think about cutting off the rotted sunken section, but even the guy who saw the shed said not to.. . i'm not trying to make it perfect or anything so i am resigned to liking however it's going to end up.

At this point i may even be happy with 6 more inchs and then lay a floor where there isn't one perhaps a step lower than the existing floor so i won't even notice the missing headroom haha.
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  #17  
Old 10/17/09, 02:28 PM
 
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Originally Posted by primal1 View Post
some pictures... http://s166.photobucket.com/albums/u...l_photos/shed/

I am now debating whether or not to change the location of the winch. The shed is not leaning as bad as before but still need to be pulled on both sides towards the house.
I'm thinking of cross bracing the walls, side to side and end to end.. moving and adding a winch.. any suggestions welcome haha
Take it a little further then you need it, then crossbrace.
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  #18  
Old 10/17/09, 05:37 PM
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Take it a little further then you need it, then crossbrace.
I wouldn't have thought of that!

I'm at the point now where every time i jack the far end, the winch slackens... JOY!!
I'm also coming close to the point where I can install a sill... and of course not thinking of it sooner i'll have to wait till monday to get more wood from the mill!! DOH!!
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  #19  
Old 10/17/09, 08:12 PM
 
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The reason to take it a little further is because you're going to have tension pulling it back into the flopped position. You'll have to be the judge of how far past you need to go. The idea is so that when everything slacks and settles when you release the winches, it'll be standing up straight.

I'm glad it's going well for you. I wrung my hands the first time I ever did a job like that. Was astonished at how well it went. The hand wringing was much worse than the actual job.

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Old 10/17/09, 08:37 PM
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The reason to take it a little further is because you're going to have tension pulling it back into the flopped position. You'll have to be the judge of how far past you need to go. The idea is so that when everything slacks and settles when you release the winches, it'll be standing up straight.

I'm glad it's going well for you. I wrung my hands the first time I ever did a job like that. Was astonished at how well it went. The hand wringing was much worse than the actual job.
actually i'm anxious to see how the concrete blocks settle, but i'll put more once the sillis in.
haha, before i bought the 2 winches i tried to figure out how i could use a 30'+ of 2" rope i have... so glad i didn't go there!
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  #21  
Old 10/18/09, 07:57 PM
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another 3-4 inches done today with any major drama haha... but at one point i noticed the side that meets the house is now leaning to far left.. i quickly put on the second winch so it now crosses the first winch.

Turns out that i need to start jacking the left middle now as i was only doing the right middle and the ends as they were much lower... so i guess i am half way there!.... more to come tomorrow!

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  #22  
Old 10/21/09, 06:08 PM
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I think i will leave well enough alone
here are some after shots http://s166.photobucket.com/albums/u...l_photos/shed/

There was so much patch work done to this shed, i would literally have to take it apart to get it any straighter, i'm quite happy with the results of the leveling and straightening... I will be starting to put in the sill and floor soon... i can see the light finally

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  #23  
Old 11/07/09, 06:43 AM
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I've been plodding away at it since i posted this thread(lots more pics to)... what a vacation from work LOL. New tin is going on now so once it dries up a bit inside i'll be able to start insulating. What a learning experience!!
I am seriously thinking about poring concrete next year as really it will be the only way to really make this a solid problem free structure again. Slab or walls, glad i have all winter to think about it.

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