Please help with my improperly installed lally colums!

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Topic by timbrennan01824 posted 01-12-2012 04:51 PM 13432 views 0 times favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View timbrennan01824's profile


2 posts in 2627 days

01-12-2012 04:51 PM

Topic tags/keywords: floor lally column footers kitchen basement

Let me start by saying I am a woodworker (jumped here from lumberjocks) and am starting to plan out my kitchen remodel. I am in a 4-square colonial built in 1928 with floors (and ceiling) that drop close to 5” over the ~20 ft from the outside wall to the middle of the house. I need to get this close to level or my cabinetry will be a mess. I will have a hard enough time making square boxes let alone oblong ones!

I have been in the house 5 yrs and long before we arrived, 2 lally columns were placed in the basement. They were installed without footers are are now pushing the basement floor down, too. So… my question is: 1. How best to properly foot these columns?
2. They are supporting the main 12” x 12” beam across the house directly. Should there be some supporting steel or something between the column and the wood?
3. We will be replacing all the plaster on the first floor at remodel time.. sometime in October. How often should I turn the screws to limit the damage to the 2nd floor. (i know it will eventually be a mess, though)


View UltimateCarvercom's profile


5 posts in 2587 days

02-24-2012 03:35 PM

I do have some questions before I try to explain how to repair this. Can you describe the amount of sag in the 12×12 beam. If the structural of the beam is good we just need to install supports. You will need to size the beam to the proper number of supports. If you only have 2 you might need 3 and so on.

1) Build stud walls on each side of the beam back 24” be sure to have a stud under every floor joice and both sides. Be sure to use a to both top plate and bottom plate and cut every stud to exact length. Once both walls are installed you can remove the columns.
2) Cut out the concrete floor and dig out the dirt to install proper sized footings. Install new concrete footers and floor in one pour.
3) After curing of the concrete install the lally columns and begin the process of moving the house back up. Since you are replacing the first floor you do not want to move too fast for the second floor. I would move about 1/4” a day. If you are 5 inches it will almost take a 20-25 days to move it. Caution is best to keep the damage to a minimum on the second floor. One thing I learned working on old homes often the second floor bearing points are not on proper supports and fall on sub-flooring between supports. Good idea to fix all of these issues before you re-drywall the first floor.
4) Once the columns are supporting the beam you can take the temporary stud walls out.

Hope this helps you out.

-- Steve Groeneweg, www.UltimateCarver.com

View Grandpa's profile


139 posts in 2856 days

02-24-2012 04:06 PM

I fully agree with Carver in his assessment. build temporary walls to support the house and get busy with a saw dig to solid soil below and pour a good strong mix. Let this places cure well before installing the columns. After that part I am out. I have never lifted a house 5 inches back into place. I have built temp walls though. I guess I did lift a house once. I went to look at a house for some people. Someone had taken a load bearing wall out of the center of the house. When you walked in you could see the sag. I couldn’t see it on the ridge of the roof though. I got a post and a jack and lifted the plate and installed studs. It had sagged so badly that I had to jack it up for each stud. It had sagged about 3 inches I suppose. Made me nervous to just look at it but it had been like that for 20+ years. Good luck. I think you have been well instructed by Carver.

View timbrennan01824's profile


2 posts in 2627 days

02-24-2012 06:29 PM

Thanks guys. Carver- the sag in the beam is a bit odd. The two columns are about 6 or so feet apart. The beam is visibly compressed where the columns are and also sags between them. This is due to the brick hearth that was brilliantly installed in the dead center of the house ~20 yrs ago. That is being removed in the next weekend or two, so I hope that removes a few hundred lbs.

This compression of the beam lead me to wonder if there should be a steel plate between the column and the beam to spread this out. Is this an unusual thing to do?

Also, how deep should a typical footer be? I’ve heard 3’x3’x3’ is a good guess, but nothing more.

Thanks again for the advice, guys. Like many, we’ve dropped to one salary and there simply isn’t $$ to pay those who know more and are better at it! I just hope after all this I can still afford the lumber for the kitchen! The drawers might end up on wooden runners. : )

View Grandpa's profile


139 posts in 2856 days

02-24-2012 06:49 PM

Unless the home is resting on top of a water spring I think 3×3x3 would be adequate. It would in most locations in SW Oklahoma where I live….but then again we don’t have basements here either. I have a friend that did a remodel in a 2 story home. He did something similar to support the house above when he removed the load bearing wall. I will try to contact him.

View SteveVo's profile


5 posts in 2558 days

04-20-2012 08:12 AM

I think you need to start with a strong foundation before you employ any support columns or any attempt to stop the sagging from getting worst. Hopefully you are able to get the help you need in fixing this problem, because it would be quite a tragedy if the supports crumbles because of the weight.

-- Steve | http://www.radiatorshowroom.co.uk

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