Ultimate Powerlift: Legacy Rescues Sinking Porches, Deck

Back in 2012, the Legacy Building Company’s Craig Jansma deadlifted 630 pounds with nothing but a belt for support. In the process, he set a Minnesota Powerlifting Federation record that stands to this day. This year, Craig again demonstrated his competitive grit by lifting a two-story sunroom-porch and  deck. Granted, he had the assistance of six 30,000-pound hydraulic jacks and team members. But considering that several other contractors declined the job because of extreme site conditions, he considers it a Legacy personal best.

Bill, the happy homeowner, agrees, “I had solicited the help of many commercial and residential contractors. They were either prohibitively expensive or intimidated by the difficulty of the job. Craig embraced the challenge and came up with a cost-effective solution,” he said.

Craig cites the Eden Prairie project as example of how The Legacy Building Company is drawn to special construction challenges. “It feels good when a difficult Legacy project goes well after other contractors declined the job,” he admits.

The original addition had failed because footings were set in unstable soil on the edge of a steep ravine. Some areas of the double-decker structure had heaved and sunken as much as four inches. “The footings were literally sliding down the embankment,” Craig recalls.  

Legacy started by having its preferred soil engineer determine how deep they would need to go to reach solid ground. Next they devised a shoring strategy to temporarily support the structure with a pair of giant aluminum I-beams and wood timber cribbing while they installed new piers, posts and beams. Last, they needed a strategy to create reliable footings on the steep slope. They recruited specialists who installed series of 12-in.-dia. helical piers to support the new posts.

tied-back helical pier drawing

A specially equipped stand-behind Bobcat had to screw some of the fluted metal shafts as much as 17-feet into the soil to achieve the required torque (resistance).

Craig said the biggest obstacle was figuring out how to install the new piers without disturbing the originally footings on the 30 degree slope. They solved the problem by repositioning the beams and extending them a bit beyond the sides of the structure.

It could have cost nearly three times as much to demolish the deck and porches and rebuild so we are proud to have been able to save the original structure,” Craig said. Best of all, he didn’t tear a tendon like he did in the 2012 powerlifting competition.

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