With the middle beam level and the support wall built I moved on to the front. The good news is that this beam was already level, but there was a rotted column and some of the old wall studs to be removed. This required some shell game action. First I lowered the hydraulic jack from its position in the middle beam, enjoying the awesome sounds of the temporary wall taking on the load. Then I moved it to the front of the back beam and took the load off the jack post there. Next I moved the jack post to the front beam next to the column. Confused?

Second column removed

Basically I use the hydraulic jacks to level things and the jack posts to hold them there, but I needed the column from the front in order to use my second hydraulic jack. In order to take out the column I needed to get the load off of it by putting in a jack post, and in order to move the jack post I needed to take the load off of it by moving the other hydraulic jack. I don’t know if that makes more sense or not. Regardless, after rearranging things I pried the other rotted column out and cut it down just like I had with the first one. Then I got out the second hydraulic jack, four more steel plates, and I put it in position at the back of the back beam.

Back beam

Once the two hydraulic jacks had taken the load off the remaining studs, I started removing them. There’s now only one other section of studs left in the wall and one 4×4 post that was pretending it could support the house. The back beam needs to rise between a quarter and a half inch at either end, and as before I’m going slowly rather than doing it all at once.

Support wall with cross bracing

In the mean time I added the cross bracing and put up the temporary wall for the front beam. I put the wall on the far side of the beam because I’ll probably be bringing in the new steel beams through the front basement window. Otherwise I’d have to bring them all the way from the alley which is quite a bit further. Depending on how many studs we have left I may put in additional support sections to either side as I need them. I want to make sure that the house is properly supported so that it doesn’t undo all my leveling when we swap beams.

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