Three-Story Porch Recovery
Sitting atop a high bluff in a beautiful Birmingham, Alabama neighborhood,
stands a picturesque property. The newly built, multi-level home looks
flawless on the surface and has an enviable view, but beneath the charming
exterior laid an unseen foundation problem. The owner of the home called
Alabama Ram Jack to evaluate the situation.
Situation: The home was built on imported soil and rested on drilled, concrete piers
as structural support for its bearing foundation. While the home itself
remained on solid ground, the three-story rear porch was beginning to
settle and separate from the main dwelling. Over time, cracks formed in
the exterior bricks, and the floor of the upper two stories grew uneven.
Engineers and inspectors assumed that the rear porch was built on standard,
near-surface footings rather than drilled concrete pilings as with the
rest of the home. This less strong and less stable solution quickly settled,
causing visible damage to the rear exterior porch.
Proposed Solution: The original contractor proposed the installation of three brick support
columns, each underpinned with a helical pile. However, after initial
excavation of the area, it was found that drilled concrete pilings had
already been installed, making the original proposed solution obsolete.
Outcome: The professionals at Alabama Ram Jack designed a new solution while not
incurring a substantial increase in cost. Ram Jack engineers designed
a steel frame to fit around each of the drilled concrete piers. The three
steel frames would be supported by two helical piles each, providing the
three-story porch with the structural stability it needs to remain stable
and safe while preventing further damage.
After the successful installation of the steel frames and helical piles,
the drilled concrete piers were cut so the structure would be entirely
supported by the new steel frames and piles. The structure was lifted
1 in. to achieve maximum practical recovery.
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