The first step in a structural overhaul is to raise the house up above grade. This allows air circulation underneath, which in turn alleviates many moisture-related problems and also makes access to plumbing and other house systems easier. I use three types of jacks: hydraulic bottle jacks, screw jacks, and hypoid gear jacks (see Figure 1).

Figure 1. The author uses three types of jacks (from left in top photo): hydraulic, screw, and hypoid gear. Steel angle slips, predrilled for attaching with duplex nails, spread the load over a larger bearing surface (bottom photo).

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