Sill Plate and Chimney Removal, Or: “How To Eat A Elephant But Not A House”

They say if you want to eat an elephant you do it one bite at a time. Unfortunately no has said what strategy is best if you want to eat a house, not that you’d want to eat a house, and if you did, you’d definately not want to eat this one. #oneoflifesunasweredquestions.

So with the neglect revealed, it seemed like the most logical place to start was with replacing the sill plate, and get the house on  some solid lumber.

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I played around with a couple ideas for a jig which would lay against the wall with a jack under each leg and lift the wall, and replace the sill plate in sections.

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I picked up some 2x6s and tacked togeather the jig. At which point this masterful plan fell to pieces.  The jig ended up being to flimsy and unweldly to move into place. So that was fun.

But after acouple of different ideas, I finally worked out a system of 2 – 2x6s that ran along the top of the wall, lifted but 2 post on bottle jacks.

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This removed the weight off the sill plate and allowed me to cut out the old material and slip in the new lumber.

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After this i took down the whole system, moved over 10ft, and repeated the entire process. 10ft at a time i work around the perimeter of the building.

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In the end i think it turned out pretty good.

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After i get my rough plumbing in, and crawl space sorted, my floor joist should connect to this rim joist and form the basis of the floor.

While working on the rim joist, i also started takeing down the chimney.

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I was still on the indesisive about takeing down the chimney, but i was pretty confident I needed to take it down. I only it was a pretty easy task, only requireing a mason chisel and heavy hammer,  i took my time to clean the mortar off the brick as i went. The mortar was in pretty good shape until i got a foot bellow the roof line at which point it had deteriorated to the point of sand mixture supporting the bricks.

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So i ended up feeling pretty validated in desision to take down the chimney.

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With the sill plate relace i removed the rest of the floor, to give me access to the crawl space.

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That all for today folks. Thanks for reading.

Next up: installing footing drains, bring in my water line and sewer drain, and install a crawl space vapor barrier.

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