How To Jack Up a Shed : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

I have a 10 x 12 floored shed in the middle of my garden. Over the years it has sunk. The addition of organic matter has raised the level of the ground around it. Rain and snow melt pool around and under it, and seep into it. It needs to be jacked up and some sort of foundation put under it, but how? Once up, the drainage needs to be addressed, but that is another problem. Right now, it just needs to be raised up. Help! RM in IL

-- Roma Milner (, March 17, 2002


I have a shed similar to yours. We jack it up every 8 -10 years. We reposition and/or add more cinder blocks or rocks beneath the corners as well as the center. Hope this helps!

-- Katie S. (, March 17, 2002.

What kind of primeter base do you have? If it is wood, just dig out under it, insert bottle hydraulic jack and lift it until well above the groung level, reshore and do the othersides to make it level. If it is just a thin metal primeter, dig out the area, get four stout neighbor men to stand inside and lift at the edges-after removing the floor, reshore and attach to the shoring, replace the floor.

-- mitch hearn (, March 17, 2002.

Use a floor jack,like you use for a car. 1 1/2 to 3 ton. Find the center of the shed on the short side. Dig a spot out to put the floor jack under. Put down a wide piece of wood on the ground under the edge where you dug out. Place the jack on top of the wood and use a piece of 2x4 or 4x4 to cross over two or three floor joists underneath. Jack the building up until it's high enough to put a wide stepping stone and blocks on top of that. The stepping stone should be the biggest you can find as you will be using this as a footer for the blocks. Just do this to each side and each end and corners until it is stable and level. You should end up with about 6 posts underneath.

-- Morris Webb (, March 17, 2002.

I had to jack up my house a few years back to replace the foundation. Bottle jacks do a good job, I used a couple of 3 ton to do mine. One thing nobody mentioned is to take your time and raise the building in small increments. Take up one side about an inch or so, block it well and then raise the other side. Just go back and forth till you get where you want to be. If you get to crazy jacking up on an end you got a good chance of doing some real damage so take it easy. Otherwise it's a pretty simple job.

-- JJ Grandits (, March 18, 2002.

Seems like a small job on a 10x12 shed? My aunt had a whole one moved, concrete floor & all, with a forklift. I'd think you could just lift it with a couple of people, or lever it up with a 2x4 under the bottom. Pack in some new fill under the rim, do the same with the other side, and all done. My brother in law lifted up a 12x20 2-story with one bottle jack & some concrete blocks to load it on a trailer (3 feet high), but that's another story.


-- paul (, March 18, 2002.

If your building is frame and has sat low for a long time, parts of it may be rotten and will not stand jacking.

Look it over first. If it is all sound and strong, any of the methods mentioned will work.

If the floor and parts of the bottome are rotten, you will have another problem. If it is a board and batten building you will have to nail a new bottom frame above the rot all around the building. Then nail a 2 x 6 or 2 x 8 stringer thru the walls to this bottom frame on the two short sides. Put jacks on two corners, raise a bit, block those corners. Jack the other side, block. Now cut the building free from the rotted portions on all sides.

Once cut free, raise the building on alternate sides little by little until you have room to remove all the rotted portions, including the floor if need be. fill in the low ground and tamp it solid.

At this point you can put any kind of new floor in that you want and lower the building back on it. If your building was low, don't forget to plan for the risers or stem wall needed to get it back to a comfortable height.

If the building is conventional stud and frame, look to see if the plates are sound. If they are, you can use a sawzall to cut the nails loose from the floor, or use a wrecking bar and pull the nails. Once the plate is free you can jack up the building just as you would the board and batten structure.

If you do have to cut the building loose from its base, remember that it will be free to flex. You will have to spike some X braces somewhere inside to keep it square while you work. This will make it a lot easier to put back on the new base. Mac

-- Jimmy S (, March 18, 2002.

J J Gandits is right. Use jacks and do it only by bits at a time. Have patience. My father raised up our cabin to replace the concrete foundation with a raised foundation because of water problems and by doing it bit by bit each day there wasn't any cracks or damage to the cabin at all. Good luck.

-- cindy palmer (, March 18, 2002.

Thanks everyone. You've given me some great ideas. The project doesn't sound so scary now. Am planning a shed raising party this summer and put your ideas to work.

-- Roma Milner (, March 19, 2002.

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