Ithaca House: Raising Walls

Wall Jacks & Tweakers!



We spent last week building and raising all the walls of our house. Friends with a wall jack offered to help us raise them if we built them as large units and we agreed. We have built walls as full lengths a few times, but have never used a wall jack before. To say we were amazed and delighted with the technology would be an understatement. Occasionally in building or doing any sort of work, you encounter tools that impress you with their simplicity and their tailor made value - a tool expressly built to accomplish something and absolutely able to do it with a minimum of effort. Prior winners of the Amazing Tools award include clamps of all sizes and a clever little tool called, cunningly, The Tweaker (it’s great for twisting studs into place for nailing).

The wall jack achieves this lofty status as well because a thirty foot segment of wall can basically be raised by one person. Pictures follow, but you basically nail the cleated foot of the jack into the ground, right the mast like part of the jack with the metal cable tied into a window (or if you have no window, you can drill a small hole in the plywood and tie it that way). Then you use your arm to pump the handle and raise the wall into place. It helps to have another person or two around to help level/plumb the wall and nail in the bracing, but really, this is such a great way to raise a wall especially without a ton of people or if you have an exceedingly heavy wall to lift. We have four walls standing now, and have built the interior load bearing wall as well.

This week we are on to raising the rafters. Hard to believe and a source of sheer delight!