Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Replacing rotted rim joist/sill plate in farmhouse

When I started to frame the fireplace opening in the floor I found some fairly significant rot.

I built a series of temporary walls inside the house to support the weight that would normally rest on the sill and today started demolition. I’ll pour a concrete cap on the old foundation and put new floor joists on top of that cap. Then take out the temporary walls.

(Click on any picture to make it bigger.)

I did the west wall, roughly 30 ft long, today. Tomorrow I'll start on the north and south walls, at 20 ft each. A total of 70 ft.

I've worked on a number of old houses and never seen the masonry piled up in between the joists like it is here. That accounts for part of the rot; all that masonry wicking moisture right next to wood.  On the other hand the building has lasted for 100 years. 


  1. You got that right Art!

    Not only that, but with overnight temps in the upper 40's, the house gets a little chilly with all those open holes in the walls.