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Thread: Looking for help!

  1. #1

    Looking for help!

    Hi, my name is Jay and I am seeking some answers on a problem my daughter has encountered on a log home she purchased. The home has some rather severe foundation issues that need to be addressed. Another problem that was brought to her attention was that her logs were assembled with a system that employed some sort of springs that aligned the logs vertically and also kept tension on them from sill to top plate. She was warned that removing the sill without securing the " springs " could result in destabilizing the logs above. I am a builder that has no experience with log homes ( I assume this is some sort of a kit ) so I am trying to find any validity to this claim so that I can advise her how to proceed and be able to help her when I visit her in a few months. Any information will be more than I have now and deeply appreciated.

  2. #2
    LHBA Member
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    I know I can't be of any help, but I think pictures would help others to comment.

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    Where is it located? Sounds like a can of worms. Sell it while the market is still good.

  4. #4
    LHBA Member rreidnauer's Avatar
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    Temporary bracing of the wall logs could be done with vertical wales inside and out. I'm assuming that it is a chinkless coped design, so to tie inner and outer wales together without introducing holes in the logs, you'd have to take advantage of window openings, then to tie tops together going over top of top course, under the bottom course. 4x4s or 2x6s would probably be sufficient to maintain stability of the wall logs.
    Not sure what you intend from here. You planning on jacking up the structure to perform foundation repairs?

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  5. #5
    LHBA Member rocklock's Avatar
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    Some how this should be quoted as what not to do...

    I am really sorry about your daughters problems and I have no advice other than insuring overhangs and drainage get water away from the house.

    But I built and stacked my own log home. I know how incredibly heavy logs are, and why anyone would have springs as a securing devise is beyond my comprehension.

    best of luck
    Dave
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    LHBA Member loghousenut's Avatar
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    First question is how long has she had the house?

    Yeah, whatever is going on with those springs is something to figure out. This ain't the way it's done here in LHBAland.

    What are the foundation issues. Can it be hydrojacked or is it falling apart?

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  7. #7
    She bought the house last fall and it has been a nightmare for her. The cellar walls started crumbling over the winter. The house itself so far seems to be stable. The foundation is not. The idea of the "springs " are what is puzzling. I can't seem to understand the concept, because they would have to be fairly heavy to be effective. The person who made the comment didn't know who the manufacture was. Has anybody else heard of a system like this? We would just like to do some research before attempting repairs. The foundation work will have the to be quite extensive. It seems as if the bottom log would have to be anchored to the foundation with some sort of mechanical fastener ie: anchor bolt. So where does the spring anchor? Some sort of washer type device but then how do you thread a spring of any type through the remaining logs. She doesn't have any building knowledge herself and the home inspector apparently looked the other way on quite a few issues. The house can be lifted because the slab is in good shape she says, but I would still like to have some insight before I demo anything.

  8. #8
    A few questions I didn't answer - the house is in Anchorage, not sure if I can do the repairs without a great expense in tools or time to get mine there. It is a chinkless coped design. It can be hydrojacked but if I am not doing it, I want the builder to have as much information as possible so as not to compound her problems.

  9. #9
    LHBA Member loghousenut's Avatar
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    What has her lawyer suggested?

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  10. #10
    LHBA Member rreidnauer's Avatar
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    The springs make sense for a cope kit home. There are full length vertical tie rods within the walls. The springs are there to take up for inevitable log shrinkage, and keep the joints all tightly fitted together as the structure settles during that shrinking.
    It will be challenging to raise the structure. You didn't mention dimensions, but I'm assuming it is not over 40 feet in either dimension. To avoid wale supports, you could, one at a time, slack off a nut on the spring loaded vertical tie rods, break out some of the foundation at the tie rod, then weld a stop to the tie rod at the underside of the bottom log. You could either cut the tie rod from the foundation, or break out more of the foundation to expose it. Then tighten the nut again and repeat.
    You probably want to do this with lifting cribbing in place, as I don't know how many tie rods there are, and how much of the foundation will have to be compromised to get to them.
    The cribbing would be four cross layered boxes of 6x6 or railroad ties arranged in the basement, where then two holes are made in the foundation to install two I-beams that will run the length of the basement and rest on the cribbing. Several perpendicular I-beams would be installed across the top of the two previously inserted ones. At the walls, a piece of heavy angle would need to be fitted under the bottom logs to provide support, and it would rest on the I-beams. The two initially installed I-beams on the cribbing would then be jacked up to transfer the weight of the structure from the foundation to the cribbing. The foundation could then be repaired or replaced. The new foundation would have window openings where the long I-beams are, to allow the extraction of them after the foundation is restored.
    If the structure is only single story and you don't require to actually raise the structure any, you might be able to reduce the intensity of all this by supporting from the first floor instead, if it's well tied to the walls. You'd stud out some temporary walls in the basement, installing diagonal braces both to support in and out, but also crossing the face of the wall to prevent studs bowing or racking. This method typically involves a handful of jacks to push up a little on the floor, while the temporary wall is built, so when the jacks are removed, the temporary wall will be actually carrying weight of the structure. These temporary walls would be built as close to the foundation wall without being in the way of reconstructing the foundation.

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    Last edited by rreidnauer; 07-05-2021 at 10:28 AM.
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