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Using Wall Jacks

bpontolilo | Posted in General Questions on

Hey all,

I’m wondering if any of you use these, or similar jacks for raising exterior walls: https://www.amazon.com/Qualcraft-2601-Wall-Jack-Red/dp/B0000224MY

Would love to hear your experience, tips, advice on using them safely, how much wall do you lift per jack, etc.

Thank you!

Brian

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Replies

  1. Expert Member
    MALCOLM TAYLOR | | #1

    Brian,

    I typically frame exterior walls in sections about 12 feet long that can be raised by two or three people. I have used jacks similar to the ones you linked to. At one point we used two sets to raise a wall about 40 feet long. It bowed a lot, scared me a bit, but went fine.

    Those type of jacks, that grip the lumber to move up, are inherently more dangerous than the winch-based ones - because as you operate them you can easily end up under the wall as it is raised, and towards the end you have to stand on a ladder.

    Securing the base of the walls, and having braces outside ready to stop them once upright helps alleviating concerns.

    Unless the site was inaccessible or too steep, I'd be inclined to forgo the jacks and hire a telelift for the morning.

    Over the years FHB has published quite a few DIY jack building articles - usually using winches. Might be worth a look back through your archives.

  2. bpontolilo | | #2

    Thanks Malcolm.

    I share your safety concerns, which is mostly why I asked this question. I am thinking of using these jacks on a project this spring and still building the wall in smaller sections because it seems like the risk is expecting to much of the jacks and the 2x4s they ride on.

  3. user-7479264 | | #3

    I've used jacks like this to support my gabled porch roof while replacing the posts

    https://www.amazon.com/BISupply-Adjustable-Temporary-Shoring-Support/dp/B082DMX8KR/

    worked wonderfully.

  4. pnwbuilder | | #4

    Brian,

    I've used this jack to build my house. It works great if you are working alone. I've used it to lift sections 12' to 16' long. Make sure to pick a nice 2x4 for the jack to ride on. Also make sure to secure the base of the 2x4 so it can't slide on the floor when the wall gets closer to vertical position. I've used pieces of rope tied to the top plate to prevent wall from tipping over once it is raised.

  5. andy_ | | #5

    I've built an entire house solo using them. Even lifted a 300lb beam 15' up in place with them (but I don't think Qualcraft would approve that use).
    You just have to take some precautions as mentioned like securing the base, using knot free 2x4s, etc.
    One thing I did was secure nylon webbing from the top plate to some point on the floor or other wall to prevent the walls from going too far and falling over. The banding that the lumber comes in can be repurposed to hold the bottom plate in place while lifting.
    Also, keep an eye out on Craigslist and Offerup for them. A lot of DIYers buy them, use them, and then sell them when the project is done. If you're going to do this a lot, and not just once, then the winch ones might be a better choice.

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