Retrofitting a First Floor--Demolition and Shoring

A Victorian-era house's shallow spreadfooting foundation had settled over the years, causing the wood floors of the four-square home to sag, buckle, and splinter.

The author began by removing the original flooring.

The exposed foundation and floor framing. Ductwork, wiring, bathroom fixtures, and plumbing also had to be pulled.

The exterior walls were balloon-framed, with the joists notched into the original sill; here it would be easy to pull the joists without disturbing the walls.

At the center girder, however, the crew had to provide shoring with short blocks set on plates so that the first-story bearing wall would be supported as the joists were cut away.

A view of cutaway joists

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