Q. I am rehabbing an old two-story balloon-framed house with a crumbling limestone foundation. I need to jack the walls slightly to repair the foundation. The floor joists rest on a 2-by leveling plate, and the 20-foot-tall studs are face-nailed to the sides of the joist ends (see illustration). With platform framing, I would ordinarily run a temporary beam under the joists as close to the foundation wall as possible and place my jacks under the beam. If I do that with this frame, I am concerned that the weight of the walls, which are carrying the second floor and roof, will shear the old face nails. Any suggestions?

A.Master carpenter Mike Shannahan, of La Porte, Texas, responds: Here’s a simple technique that will work if you can get into the wall cavity. Scab on 6-foot lengths of stud material along the bottom of each wall stud (for a single-story house, I might go with every other stud.) Make sure the bottom of the sister member sits squarely on top of the joist, and nail it off with 10 or 12 16-penny nails. (Use duplex nails if you plan to remove the scabs. In my climate, uninsulated wall cavities are common, so I just leave the 6-foot members in place permanently.) Now you can jack in the manner you described.