Dodgy Building Repairs

What do you do with a 70-80 year old house with bearers that are exhibiting rotten ends? Well given the age of teh house, the location blah blah blah, its not surprising its got some rotten members. In this particular case it has resulted from the cover board being removed years ago and never being replaced, this coupled with the guttering which poured water over the edge and the exposed end of the bearer, nonetheless it was really only damaged about 6-8inches along the end.

The repair?

Well it was either replace the whole bearer, holy crap! no thanks, however in hindsight it may have not been too bad..or just splice in a new section for the damaged part. I opted for the splice 🙂

To make things worse the end of the bearer had partially collapsed letting the verhadah post above and the roof sink down, so first of all it was a matter of jacking up the corner using a temperary member on a good part of the bearer at 90 degrees. Up she went a good 3 or inches, creaking and groaning…

Did you know its actually pretty hard to saw a bit of wood (hardwood at that) upside down!? Anyway after selecting the desired aplice point it was a matter of getting a nice neat cut, I had doubts about teh timber since the outer face of the 75mmX100mm bearer looked pretty ordinary. However after about 30seconds of cutting I realised why they use hardwood for this stuff 🙂 The condition of the timber at the splice was all good.

on a side note, ever tried getting nails (2-3″ long) out of hardwood? next to bloody impossible.

After making the splice cut it was no real surprise that the end section basically fell out! The joists are not in the best condition here either! However the splice section will give them more bearing area, plus I ain’t replacing them…

After sizing up the filler and the splice piece from rough sawn hardwood – which probably came from the local state forest! it was a matter of getting the pieces temperarily fitted in place and clamping them up. This then permitted the drilling of the bolt holes – note 2x75mm is longer than a standard drill bit, hence this needed to be done in two steps.

Unclamp the assembly, removed from the house and the filler and slice bolted together and torqued, this assembly was then re-installed to the house and the bolted to the good part of the existing bearer, the splice went all the way to the next pier, mainly to give the joist more bearing area.

A new cover panel, some cursing and a lick of paint and well, its got to be better than what it was before right?