How To Replace a House Foundation Sill Plate

Foundation sill plates do not get damaged that easily. But if you are living in a rather old house, or if the current sill plate is made of substandard material, then it is possible that it can get rotten.

Do you need to replace your house foundation sill plate? Simply read and follow the instructions below to know how you can replace the foundation sill plate yourself.

  • Materials that you will need:
    • Measuring tape
    • 4x4 inch lumber
    • 200 feet hard wood lumber
    • 20 concrete blocks
    • House jacks
    • 20 pieces of 24 inch square laminated lumber
    • Saw
    • Shovel
  • Collect your tools. Collect all of the materials you need for this project and set up a work area where you can place everything there. It will be easier for you to locate them when you need to use them later. This will also help you in identifying if there are other things you need to purchase any of the missing materials.
  • Excavate. Dig the soil in close proximity to the foundation of your house. Dig 16 holes. This should be sufficient for the 4 jacks that you will be placing later on. Place the jacks at least 20 to 30 inches back from the sill. The purpose of this is to have a proper foundation when you have to lift the wall.
  • Prepare the wall before lifting. Create a base by laying a square laminated lumber on the earth. Top this base with a block and then the jack. Insert the 4x4 lumber and add the steel plate last. Repeat this step for each jack of all 4 walls.
  • Assemble the new sill plate. As the walls of your house may be long, a single lumber will not be able to cover the entire length. In this situation, consider connecting small pieces together. Use the lag screws to connect them together. If you can find a long square lumber to cover the wall length, then these are ideal.
  • Start lifting the house. As soon as all the jacks are in place, slowly start lifting the house. Make sure that all four walls are rising on the same time and level. Do not rush this step. If not done properly, this can cause cracks on your wall. Stop when you reach about 10 inches of space between the foundation wall and your house.
  • Take out the old sill plate. You now have enough access to remove the old sill plate. Swap the sill plates with the one you have assembled.
  • Lower the house back. This step is just as critical as lifting it. You need to be very patient and careful when lowering the house back once you have successfully replaced the sill plate. If this is done properly, and you use quality materials, your new foundation sill plate will be able to serve its purpose for years.

You can save money by doing the foundation sill plate replacement yourself. However, this is a big project to take on by yourself especially if you do not have any previous experience. Consider hiring a professional contractor if you have the budget anyway. This way, you will be surer that the entire process is done properly.


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