My house was built in 65 and we bought it a few years ago. I've been slowly fixing things as I can, like the giant rats nest of electrical wiring strewn about the attic :). Now I want to get to these problems my inspector showed me under the house. My uncle was giving me advice on how to fix it before he passed last year so I'm trying to figure out what to do on my own. I have reasonable woodworking, repair and tool skills but I have not done any frame level repairs before.
First up I have this center beam that looks like three pieces of wood stuck together and run along the length of the house. In two sections one of the three beams have broken. My idea was to get some long 1/4" stainless steel bolts, drill pilot holes through the beam every 18" along the broken sections and then screw them together. I'm not sure of the right type of bolts to buy though.
My second problem is a broken floor joist. I guess I could knock this out and try to replace it? Or maybe just sister another piece of wood to it? I remember my uncle mentioning using a floor jack to raise it back into place and then doing something.
Finally, the beam rests on these old masonry shims. The advice I got was to replace them with metal shims. I can measure the spacing with calipers and find the right size metal plates to go in here. But then I'm not sure how to replace the old ones. Do I raise up the beam a little with a jack and slip them in? Or do I try to hammer the new ones through the old ones? Or do I stop thinking about this part of the repair and just call someone :)
Thanks for any advice!
-----Edit: adding text from the inspection report
The lower support frame consists of 2x10" floor joists and 6x10” main support beams supported by a series of concrete block piers on independent footings, which is good, solid and more than adequate construction for a 1 level structure.
Deflection of the joists in the center main beam was noted at the center left and center right main beams, with splits at the center joist of the 3-joist beam that caused the deflection (spread between the joists due to dry wood, loose nails and load stress). The deflection is approximately 3/8 ”. This can cause deviations in the upper frame and cracks in walls, floor and door frames and cause doors to stick or not latch. It is recommended to install 1⁄4” through bolts with washers and lock nuts staggered every 18” along the beam to prevent further movement and stabilize the beam. There is also a split floor joist at the front left crawlspace floor frame, which need to be reinforced. A qualified frame contractor should be consulted on these matters for further evaluation and an estimate of repairs.
The main beams are improperly shimmed at the piers using masonry shims that only partially support the beams on the surface of the piers; this can cause movement and deflection and subsequent upper frame movement (see interior notes). A qualified frame contractor should be called to install full sized masonry or metal shims to support the beam across the full surface of the piers to prevent further gradual deflection and movement.
There were no other structurally significant findings observed at the lower support frame.