I’ve been moving right along with my bulging garage wall repair. In my previous post on the topic, I explained my dilemma. Due to my persistence though, I seemed to have figured something out to help the situation. What I came up with is a fairly good solution, if I don’t say so myself. Before I get to that though, let me tell you that I’ve finally finished collecting our firewood for next winter. It took a few weeks with a lot of cutting and hauling, but it’s done. For now. Well, I thought it was finished until Laura and I went for a morning stroll a few days ago. While she was listening to and searching for birds, I was hunting for more half dead trees to take down. It’s amusing how we focus on completely separate things when we’re together. As we walked, I came to the conclusion that it really is a never ending project and that I should simply let it go for this season. I’ll admit that it’s a difficult thing to do, especially for someone like me who’s obsessed with being prepared. How much firewood is enough? The answer to that question is probably: there’s never enough.
Here are a few photos. I know you can’t really tell the difference between these and any of the others I’ve posted, but trust me that this is more that what I’ve previously shown. I’ve got three solidly completed 24 foot rows and then two more partial rows in front of them. I honestly think that I’ll somehow find myself back in the woods again with chainsaw in hand, but I’m not planning that as of this moment.
I would estimate to have about four cord of wood in the garage. I’m being conservative here on purpose because I don’t want to succumb to hyperbole as so many others have through the years. And believe me, when it comes to firewood, there’s a lot of hyperbole. I’m not sure why. I suppose it goes hand in hand with whose truck is more powerful, whose bulldozer can climb that hill faster, and who burns more wood per year. “How many cord do you burn per year, Johnny?” “At least 20. And that’s when the temps don’t go below 60 degrees!” One would think that one would be slightly ashamed or embarrassed that he or she needs to create that much heat to keep warm, but I digress. The I burn this much firewood thing is rampant in the firewood world. Ask me how I know this and I’ll tell you that I have no idea. I just know it.
Okay, onto the topic at hand; the garage.
I’ve concluded that the weight of the snow that sits on the roof of the garage is being directed to the walls of said garage, when it shouldn’t be (entirely). In my opinion, a proper weight distribution would include the reduction of weight from the walls with a redistribution of that weight to three posts that travel from the peak of the roof, or the roof ridge, down to the concrete pad on the ground. If this is done, then the walls won’t be so heavy and won’t have the tendency to bulge outward and possibly collapse. So this project that I’ve found myself in the middle of is actually three-fold. First, I need to pull the bulging wall back into position. Second, I need to shore up the rest of the structure, or create supports so the weight is redirected, as I’ve just mentioned. And third, I need to secure the top plate of the walls to the beams that travel across the ceiling of the garage downstairs, so the walls can’t bulge out again.
With this in mind, I began working in the lower portion of the garage. The very first task I completed was to secure two 2x4s each to the existing support posts that led from the floor to the downstairs ceiling. Take a look.
The existing posts were 4x4s and I pretty much doubled them up. I do have a cement filled lally column available if need be, but I’m holding onto that for emergency. We’ll see if a need for it arises in the future.
During my previous effort, I think the reason I failed was because I attempted to only pull the wall back into place without jacking up the roof ridge at the same time. Because I didn’t reduce the load on the wall, the thing didn’t budge. This time, I set up a jack system to lift the center of the ridge while using my trusted winch to pull the wall in. That was the ticket because after a few repetitions of running upstairs to pump my car jack and running downstairs to crank the winch, I began to hear the wood of the roof and the walls creak and groan. Mind you, these noises weren’t any less disconcerting simply because I had added one more area of support. They were just as terrifying and I thought the entire garage was going to collapse upon me at any moment. As I cranked that winch though, I forced myself to remember my middle name. It goes something like this: Jay “you ain’t never gonna get nothin’ done if you run away from a creak and a groan” Gaulard. At least, that’s what my mother wanted to name me.
Simply put, here’s what I did: I jacked up the center of the roof and installed a post, winched the bulging wall back into place, and then bolted the roof rafters to the cross beams. I decided to bolt all six roof rafters, on both sides of the roof, that touched the three support beams because that’s a more thorough job. The previous owners of our house left a bunch of foot long lag bolts behind. I decided to put some of them to good use. Here’s a photo of one of them. I drilled right through the rafter and the beam and then tightened the nuts up like crazy. I’d say things are pretty secure.
Here’s a photo of the upstairs. As I said, I’ve only installed one support post so far. I’ll need to go out to purchase some more wood to make two more. At least I now know how to best jack the roof up for an installation like this.
I used two hardware plates to affix the top of the post to the ridge beam and I simply screwed the bottom of the post to the floor. I didn’t want either of these areas moving during a wind storm. Now, all I need to do is get some more lumber, jack a few things up and we’re good to go. Next up, I need to repair some garage roof shingles that flew off this past winter. This seems to be a yearly project. At least I’ve got my big ladder now. That helps a lot.
Until next time!
Now that I’ve got a ton of reclaimed lumber to use for projects like this, I went out yesterday and this afternoon to add the final two support posts to the attic of the garage. I have to say, I’m loving the fact that I’ve got all this wood lying around. These posts alone would have cost around $60 at the lumberyard. How much did I pay? Nothing. I simply love that.
I just went out to snap a few photos of the finished product for you. This first one is of the three posts now in place.
This next one is of the upper part of the posts. I raised the camera up above those horizontal support beams so you could get a better look.
And these next two are of the first and second posts where they connect to the ridge beam.
I am feeling much better about the garage now. These posts, along with the other enhancements I applied should help tremendously with the weight of the snow. I don’t have to concern myself with the garage falling under it anymore.
Also, I wanted to mention how much easier it was to install these two posts. While the first one called for a car jack to lift the center of the sagging roof, these didn’t require that at all. What I did was measure the necessary length of the beams and then add a half inch to each. After that, I set the beams in place and then whacked the bottoms into position with a sledgehammer. Things came out perfectly.