How to Replace Rotted Foundation Sills
LESLIE: Now we’ve got Brian on the line joining us from Canada. What can we help you with?
BRIAN: Well, we’re having some problems with my sills in my house.
BRIAN: I’ve got one that’s rotten and I’ve got to replace it.
TOM: So we’re talking about door sills, window sills? What kind of sills?
BRIAN: Foundation sill, like …
TOM: Oh, foundation sills, OK.
TOM: Alright. That’s …
BRIAN: It’s an old farmhouse. It’s sitting on a rock wall, so I guess …
TOM: Mm-hmm. Alright. So you want to know how to replace those rotted sills?
TOM: Alright. So, you have floor joists sitting on top of them, correct?
BRIAN: That’s right.
TOM: Alright. So what you’re going to have to do is you have to build a temporary wall underneath the floor joists. It could be like a small stud wall that essentially has enough pressure on it to hold up the floor joists. And then once that wall is in place, then you can sort of surgically cut out the rotted sills, using a Sawzall or something like that, and slip the new ones in place.
It gets a little tricky on the fastening side because you can’t – it’s not as easy to fasten it down into the foundation. But what you could use is a right-angle drill and Tapco fasteners, which are special screws that go right into concrete. Does that make sense?
BRIAN: Oh, well, there’s no concrete yet because it’s on a – like a said, on a rock wall.
TOM: OK. Well, they would go right into the wall then. You may have to pilot it out but they go right into the wall.
BRIAN: Yeah, OK. So that would – that makes it a little bit easy.
TOM: But you’ve got to – the key here, Brian, is you’ve got to make sure you support the house. Even though they’re rotted and they probably don’t appear to be holding much weight, we don’t want shifting to go on. So you build a temporary wall under them while you cut out the rotted wood and replace it.
BRIAN: Right. Well, that sounds good.
TOM: Alright, Brian. Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.