I live in upstate New York, just outside of Ithaca. My wife and I have recently purchased a home at a steal because of an existing relationship with the previous owner. So the fact that I have to put a decent amount of work into the house is no surprise. Now I'm going to have professional assistance and input on the situation, I would just like to get a wide array of input on the situation.


Pardon any gaps in terminology. The house was built roughly 50 years ago. It is a pier/beam foundation with cement footers going down past frost line at roughly ~6-7ft apart (I failed to measure this). On the footers rests 6x6 treated upright piers. These piers are notched for the floor assembly to be attached. The back exterior wall spans roughly 30ft.


There was a porch (poorly) built and attached to the house. From what I can tell the porch seemed to funnel water in one spot back to the house (Palm to forehead). The only reason I noticed was because I found a sag in the floor. So I ripped the porch down so I could take a closer look and it seems that the pier that is closes to that "water" zone was damaged beyond repair, and thus took with it a portion of the floor structure.

Proposed Solution:

I'd like to once by one replace the 6x6 piers with CMU block piers, reinforced with rebar, and filled with concrete. Hopefully elminating any future water damage (there is the possibility of slight flooding in the area). I've also got to replace at least part of the sill beam structure do to water damage. I plan to laminate (3)2x10 together to form a good a solid sill beam. I'm then going to probably sister the few floor joists that got damaged. The damage goes probably 1-2ft up the joist, so play on sistering to at least 8ft to ensure stability.


  • Do you see any issues with using the CMU block method I propose for the piers?
  • Do I necessary need treated lumber for the sill? It will be sitting on the cement piers which I know would require it to treated, but it will have a termite shield, and probably a piece of either steel or plywood before the beam. I ask because I keep reading that treated lumber tends to twist & crack over time, and I really would like to avoid the loss of structural integrity if I can.
  • I assume from all the codes I've been reading that the floor joists don't need to be treated as they're definitely more than 18" off the ground.
  • 1
    In several states I have built the sill was required to be pressure treated and have a sill plate vapor barrier. a roll only cost a few bucks and it will make the wood last longer. The floor joists don't need to be pressure treated. For the pier blocks I would just replace them with Pressure treated and or soak the end on the cement in a copper sulfate treatment this will hold up well to occasionally getting wet for many years and be cheaper + easier to install. – Ed Beal Sep 22 '16 at 18:58
  • Thanks for the input! The issue I have with using a lumber support post (other than the existing problem reoccurring) is that there's no anchor to the cement footer and I'd like to avoid having to drill into it and add one. I figured using blocks & cement they would affix to the existing footing much better, and provide enough weight to avoid any (most) lateral movement. – While-E Sep 22 '16 at 20:15
  • I guess the real question is, are their any reasons NOT to use blocks & cement over lumber? Other than time and money obviously. – While-E Sep 22 '16 at 20:15
  • You will need a barrier from the cement to the wood and will probably some shims but it could be done. – Ed Beal Sep 22 '16 at 21:42
  • Yeah that was the plan, termite and moisture barrier, shim then beam – While-E Sep 22 '16 at 23:14

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