I have a home in upstate New York built around 1880. The main living area is about 30' x 30' square, with a full basement. The house has a 'main beam' running the length of the main living area, and supported by one post into the basement's floor. But this post has settled (I am supposing) and the beam is sagging. This has opened up gaps between the beam and the floor joists. I know I'll have to jack up the beam and use temporary concrete footings underneath the jack stands. My question is how heavy is the load on the beam? Will one 10 ton jack be enough? Will I have to put a steel I-beam up against the main beam, and then jack the steel beam up against it?
Thanks in advance for your ideas ... I've got another post coming: turns out they also used mortise/tenon joints to hold the ceiling joists and rafters onto the wall-top beam. As far as I can tell, the exterior wall studs are not load bearing!!!
Picures of the house at http://picasaweb.google.com/WJHalverson