32

Use a 70 foot water level. Here is a diagram of one. Use 1/4 inch tubing or slightly larger. Fill tubing with water before submerging one end. The container of water is required because a huge difference in water level at the stick end, translates to a tiny difference in the water level at the container. That keeps the actual water level almost the same, no ...


16

One way to raise the floor, and possibly the most reasonable cost wise, is to install what I would call sleeper joists sitting the top of the existing subfloor and than add new subfloor covering over those. These "sleeper joists" would be installed as 2xX material on edge. This could be 2x6 planks spaced 16" apart. It may be necessary to rip the 2x6 planks ...


13

This slab is small enough that you should be able to easily lift it out and repair the base soil. Unless the concrete was weak initially or in otherwise poor condition it won't break. From the lawn side, trench along the slab about 6" wide and to the bottom of the concrete. Save the sod by wrapping it in a tarp. Using heavy steel or wood bars and some ...


13

Stakes. Place stakes in the bottom of the trench. Put them up against the edge to leave room next to them for bricks. They will stick up out of the trench. Run a string along the stakes corresponding to the top of your wall. Move the string until it is straight using a level or laser sight. When you are done you will have a string corresponding with the ...


10

A video mentioned in another answer shows three methods: a string line-level, a laser level, and a water level. These will all work, but I think you'll get your best results with a water level. Laser levels are expensive, they're super expensive if you need good accuracy and something that can be used at decent distances outdoors. In my experience they're ...


7

That's actually the way one normally does such things, and has been since before there were lasers, other than one normally uses a rod rather than a tape for more consistent results. You establish a reference plane (Generally not going to any great lengths to try and get it super-close to the surface you are working), measure in a grid, and mark high spots ...


7

A good ol' scrap block of two-by does nicely. Just set your laser 1-1/2" above your slab height and kick the block around as you work. This doesn't work for ceilings, of course, but hopefully you have fewer points to measure in that case. You'd have to use something with a suction cup or magnet otherwise.


7

This Old House has a great video showing you how to set level lines for landscaping projects. I think this is exactly what you're looking for. Video is about six minutes: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YuK5d7zNRZw They show three methods, also described below; but I highly recommend watching the video as their explanations & demonstration on a ...


6

Rather than using "L" brackets why not set the counter top in place and get a few bundles of shims and shim up the difference? The brackets will be difficult to install exactly at the height you need whereas the shims are easy to adjust very small differences. Once everything is level, you can secure the counter top in place. Enjoy it and Good luck.


6

You can rent a power compactor which would do a much better job than a hand operated tamper.


6

Your question about getting a wall exactly level is presumably intended to prevent overtopping at any one location. In fact, overtopping at one location is preferable so that you can respond to the spill. For example, overtopping water is likely to erode the base of the wall, so in having the spill where you want it, you can mitigate the spilling flow ...


5

Your plan for using builder's string is good, but don't set the string tight. That opens you up to cumulative contact error. You'll end up with a soup bowl for a ceiling. Instead, put a spacer of a convenient thickness under the string at the outside. I've often used a scrap of 1x or 2x lumber (3/4" and 1-1/2", respectively). Then you'd measure the ...


4

It turns out there is no additional tile of the same size/style/color available, so this idea has been scrapped. For those who may stumble upon it in the future however, I offer the following... If we had tile to match, I could have gently removed the cut tiles, and replaced them with whole tiles, after filling the under-tile void, continuing the patterns ...


4

Definitely rotortill before you put in the pipes. Otherwise you run the risk of damaging pipes and sprinklers.


4

Disclaimer: Consulting with an engineer is highly advisable. The roof is slowly pushing the wall outwards. If you have not purchased this cottage yet then either walk away or low-ball them. I foresee that subcontracting a proper fix easily reaching $10k. You need to do two things: Straighten the wall out Prevent the wall from bowing out in the future To ...


3

You might want to look around your local area for contractors that offer 'mudjacking'. Essentially they pump a grout-like mixture using a powerful hydraulic pump under the slab and bring it level. I think it generally requires cutting a hole in the slab.


3

I suspect Tyson is right about the old holes being from termite treatment (although they should be 1' apart for that, so it would have been a crappy, ineffective treatment job). If they were from previous jacking and the slabs now need jacking, that would kind of indicate that jacking isn't a good long-term solution (and there are lots of reports that such ...


3

Digging a little deeper and setting the piers on gravel seems to help them heave less, but if you go below the frost line they should be pretty solid. Digging to that depth by hand is slow work, the first foot is cake, the second foot a little slower, the third foot quite slow, the fourth foot is like digging with a table spoon. You could support the five ...


3

I like it and it should get rid of that trip hazard door threshold. I'd stay away from the self-leveling anything and you don't want nor should now have level anyway. As you said, you just want to bring the dips up. Self-leveling concrete/cement would destroy the porch's pitch for water to run away from the house. You just want Flat, which is not the same ...


3

I cringe when I see this type of construction. How good are you at mixing concrete? I'd be digging out that area under the bay window, compacting it, adding a few reinforcing rods into the existing foundation, a little framing and pour a 6" slab/footer. Then use your jacks to slowly raise or even over raise the window, cinderblock and morter it in and cover ...


3

The Code requires the floor joists to support 40 psf Live Load (people, furniture, etc.) plus Dead Load (permanent flooring, insulation, etc.). It appears your joists are about 24” on center (based on the size of the bricks). Therefore, your joists (rough sized) will support about 120 plf at 13’ span depending on the species and grade. If the joists are ...


3

I've seen leveling of floor joists like this done by sistering new members against the side of all the existing joists. They are installed such that the top edge of the new members are offset from the tops of the existing joists to create a new planar surface that is level and even. In such situation the highest point of the existing joints is set even ...


3

When I install a sprinkler system, I Rototill first, then trench and install the piping, etc. then backfill trenches, compact the trenches, then flatten/roll the yard in prep for hydro-seeding or sod. You'll want to be sure to compact the backfill in the trenches or the dirt will settle over time and you'll be able to see/feel the depressions where the ...


3

The first question is why you think "you need to compact the ground first" - even without frost as a consideration (not knowing where you live or if it freezes there) the first step in putting up such a wall is to remove the spongy/squishy topsoil and humus and get down into the mineral subsoil, which (if undisturbed) is normally stable and fairly ...


3

You're assuming that your floor is level; this will lead to issues. What you can do is mark several level spots on the wall which runs parallel with your joists. Since you have a 4' level I recommend putting it on the wall and marking a dot every 2 feet or less so that when you go to mark your next dot you can line up the level on 2 previous dots instead of ...


3

The approach by @isherwood is correct. However, a very simple tool I've used that may make it simpler to fine-tune the plane is an 8 foot aluminum straight edge. They're inexpensive, about $25. The one I use is anodized aluminum (light), is easily broken down into four foot sections and has virtually no flex, especially if used on edge. By sliding it across ...


2

This is less hard than you think. Last one I did was ~10x20, and it took about 4 hours. A laser is extremely helpful for this task, though I suppose you could do it with string and a bubble stick. (It is, however, too early in the morning for me to think my way through all that, so my instructions have frikkin' laser beams.) Cross-strap the ceiling 16" OC ...


2

When faced with a similar problem I opted to cut the blue part about 4 inches away from the garage slab, break and remove the concrete, and put in a pre fabricated French drain. The cutting was done with an old skilsaw and $15 diamond blade, and busting was with hand tools. About a 1 day project.


2

Use a 2x2 of any suitable height. Pre-drill a hole in it (so it doesn't split), then screw in a lag screw about half its thread length. The lag screw goes down, to touch the surface being measured. Then mark a line on the 2x2 at the appropriate height so the laser hits it right on the mark. If you find your mark is not quite in the right place, turn the ...


2

One method to correct this is to jack up the sunken edge to its original height and fill the space between the slab and the ground underneath with polyurethane expanding foam. The details of the process are way beyond an answer here, but in a nutshell: You dig a trench along the sunken edge so you can get jacks under the slab then slowly, carefully jack ...


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