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The present invention relates to a kit for supporting a foundation post on a footing block and more particularly relates to a method of lifting the foundation post relative to the footing block upon which it is supported in a static structure, for example a residential porch or deck.
In the construction of residential porches and decks, as well as many other similar static structures supported spaced above the ground, it is common to support the structure by plural foundation posts spaced along various beams of the structure. A footing block is typically provided on the ground upon which the post rests for supporting the static structure thereabove. Over time as the ground settles or heaves due to climate or other various conditions, it is commonly required to adjust the height of the foundation posts for levelling the structure. Adjusting the height of the posts conventionally involves insertion of shims between the post and structure or between the post and footing block. This is awkward and time consuming as the particular thickness of wedge or shim required for levelling the structure is determined by trial and error requiring the structure to be jacked up with each attempt. Other solutions involve replacing the post entirely with a height adjustable member or a new post cut to a different length.
U.S. Pat. No. 5,561,950 to Collins et al. and U.S. Patent Application Publication 2004/016334 to Carlson disclose examples of conventional height adjustable mechanisms for a foundation post and footing block structure. In each instance a specialized foundation block is required to be purchased for cooperation with the height extension mechanism. Neither is suited for attachment to existing commercially available post and footing block combinations which may already be installed on a particular structure requiring levelling. Accordingly the solutions described by Carlson and Collins, to avoid the problem of height adjustment of a foundation post, require costly and awkward replacement of the entire post and footing block combination.
According to one aspect of the invention there is provided a post support for use with a foundation post resting on a footing block which supports a static structure spaced above the ground thereon, the post support kit comprising:
By positioning a threaded member alongside the post rather than beneath the post, a height adjustable mechanism can be attached to an existing structure in a straight forward manner at minimal cost and effort. Simple rotation of the threaded member or the mechanism which attaches it to the post permits the effective length of the post to be extended thus raising the post relative to the footing block upon which it is supported. Accordingly levelling of a static structure of either new or existing construction can be readily accomplished using the post support according to the present invention.
The threaded member may comprise an elongate threaded rod which is moveable in longitudinal direction relative to the mounting bracket by relative rotation therebetween and which supports nuts threadably thereon which engage the mounting bracket.
Preferably two threaded members are supported on diametrically opposed sides of the post.
There may be provided a base member having a pair of sockets supported on opposing sides of the post between the post and the footing block for rotatably receiving the bottom end of a respective one of the threaded members therein.
The mounting bracket may comprise a mounting flange including fastener apertures therein for attachment to the post and a channel alongside the post for receiving the threaded rod therethrough. When the post comprises a wooden post of square cross section, the respective mounting brackets of the two opposed threaded rods are preferably fastened only to their respective side of the post using suitable wood screws.
Alternatively, the mounting bracket may comprise a clamping mechanism for clamping onto the post and a channel for receiving the threaded rod therethrough alongside the post. More particularly, the mounting bracket may comprise a clamping member including a channel for receiving the threaded rod therethrough alongside the post, the clamping member being shaped for clamping engagement with a clamping member of similar configuration on an opposing side of the post.
Preferably the clamping member is shaped to surround approximately half of periphery of the square post by spanning two adjacent sides of a square post Mounting flanges at opposing ends may couple to the mounting flanges of the opposing clamping member of similar configuration.
According to a further aspect of the present invention there is provided a method of lifting a foundation post of a static structure in relation to a footing block upon which the foundation post rests, the method comprising:
When the threaded member comprises a threaded rod and the bracket includes a nut threadably supported on the rod, the method preferably includes displacing the threaded member relative to the post in the longitudinal direction by rotation of either the threaded member or the nut.
Preferably a threaded member is provided on two opposing sides of the post, in which case the method includes inserting both threaded members in a respective socket in a common base member inserted between the post and the footing block.
Some embodiments of the invention will now be described in conjunction with the accompanying drawings in which:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the post support installed on a foundation post and footing block combination.
FIG. 2 and FIG. 3 are respective front and side elevational views of the post support according to FIG. 1.
FIG. 4 is a top plan view of the post support according to FIG. 1.
FIG. 5 is an exploded perspective view of the components of the post support.
FIG. 6 is a perspective view of a second embodiment of the post support installed on a foundation post and footing block combination.
FIG. 7 is a plan view of the post support according to FIG. 6.
In the drawings like characters of reference indicate corresponding parts in the different figures.
Referring to the accompanying drawings there is illustrated at post support kit generally indicated by reference numeral 10. The kit 10 is particularly suited for adjusting height of a foundation post relative to a footing block 14 of a static structure, for example a residential deck or porch.
Residential decks typically include a frame including a plurality of horizontal beams supported on a plurality of foundation posts 12. These posts are often formed of wood having a square cross section in the order of three and a half inches by three and a half inches. The footing block 14 is typically a concrete cast member having a square socket centered in a top side thereof for receiving the bottom end of the post. A slot 16 is formed in each of the four sides of the square socket which extends laterally through the block to the exterior side thereof such that the opposing pairs of slots 16 form two perpendicular channels for receiving a transverse beam therethrough in some applications.
The kit comprises two elongate treaded rods 18, each having a hexagonal bolt head 20 fixed at a top end thereof. The bolt head is conventional having opposing flat sides for gripping with a wrench or other suitable tool for rotating the rod. The opposing bottom end of each rod 18 includes a flat engaging face 22 which substantially abuts the footing block in use.
Two mounting brackets 24 are provided for mounting the pair of rods 18 respectively on opposing sides of the foundation post 12. Each bracket comprises a plate of sheet metal which is shaped to form an elongate U-shaped channel and two lateral mounting flanges 28 which are flat and coplanar with one another and which extend laterally outwardly an equal distance from opposing sides of the U-shaped channel 26. Each of the mounting flanges includes plural fastener apertures 30 formed therein which are spaced apart in the direction of the longitudinal axis of the channel 26 of the bracket. The apertures are formed in both of the mounting flanges on opposite sides of the channel to ensure adequate securement of the bracket to the post. The bracket is typically secured to the post using conventional wood screws or any other suitable threaded fasteners.
The U-shaped channels 26 includes an internal dimension which is only slightly larger then the outer diameter of the rods 18 for receiving the rods therethrough when the brackets are mounted to the post. The opposing mounting flanges 28 of the bracket are suitably sized so that spacing between the opposing free edges of the bracket is near in width to that of the post. The brackets 24 therefore each mount to only one side of the post without interfering with mounting of the other bracket on the opposing side of the post.
The brackets 24 are mounted on the post so that the longitudinal axes of the channels 26 are parallel to the longitudinal direction of the post. In this manner the rods 18 received through the respective channels of the brackets extend vertically alongside the post with the longitudinal direction of the rods being parallel to the longitudinal direction of the post. The rods when received in the channels of the brackets 24, are spaced laterally beside the post 12 sufficiently to accommodate tool access to the bolt head of each rod.
The brackets 24 each include a pair of threaded nuts 32 for securement about the respective rod 18 at opposing ends of the U-shaped channel 26. Accordingly one of the threaded nuts 32 is secured about each rod 18 both above and below the respective mounting channel 26 in the assembled position of the kit. The nuts 32 engage opposing ends of the channel to effectively clamp the channel of the bracket therebetween. Suitable washers 34 are provided in cooperation with each of the nuts 32 in which both the washers 34 and the nuts 32 have an outer diameter which is greater than the inner diameter of the U-shaped channel 26. By simply abutting the nuts 32 with the channel 26, the nuts are free to rotate relative to the channel so that longitudinal position of the threaded rods relative to the brackets can be adjusted by either rotation of nuts 32 while the rod is fixed or by rotating the rod relative to the nuts which remain fixed.
An elongate base member 36 is provided in the form of a plate having a width and length which is substantially equal to one of the channels formed by opposing slots 16 in the footing blocks. The square edges of the base member 36 fit the square edges of the channel within which it is received in the footing block to resist any relative movement or rotation of the base member relative to the footing block.
A pair of sockets 38 are provided on the plate of the base member 36 at spaced apart positions thereon, greater than the width of the post so that the two sockets 38 are spaced laterally outwardly from opposing sides of the post 12 when the plate of the base member 36 is inserted in one of the channels of the footing between the post 12 and the footing block 14. Due to the minimal thickness of the plate forming the base member, only minimal jacking of the post, in the order of less than an inch, relative to the footing block is required to install the base member between the post and footing block.
The sockets 38 each have an interior diameter which is near to the outer diameter of the threaded rod to receive the flat engaging face of the rods abutted against the plate therein. An annular rim is welded to the base plate to form each of the sockets 38 which effectively restrict lateral movement of the rods relative to the base plate while permitting free rotation therebetween. When the brackets 24 are mounted on opposing sides of the post 12, which correspond to the sides locating the sockets 38 spaced laterally outward therefrom, the threaded rods 18 received through the bracket are aligned with the sockets in the base member 36.
By using the post supporting kit 10 as described herein, a static structure, for example a residential deck, can be levelled by lifting foundation posts of the structure relative to the respective footing blocks. This is accomplished by first selecting which posts of the structure require lifting to level the deck. A base member 36 is then inserted between the selected posts and there respective footing blocks by lifting the selected posts from their footing blocks. Rods 18 are inserted into the channels 26 of a respective pair of brackets 24 for attachment to opposing sides of the selected posts with the rods being aligned with the sockets 38 in the base member. Once the brackets are mounted on the posts, the threaded rods 18 lie parallel and spaced laterally beside the respective posts rather than replacing the posts entirely. Position of the rods relative to the respective brackets and posts upon which they are mounted is accomplished by relative rotation between the threaded rods and the nuts of the brackets 24 until the rod projects beyond the bottom end of the post to a degree which corresponds to a desired height elevation of the post relative to its respective footing block. The two rods 18 of each post are extended beyond the post a similar dimension for purposes of substantially evenly distributing the weight applied by the structure onto the post between the two rods. Each position of the threaded rod relative to the bracket and post corresponds to a different height of the post relative to the footing block when the bottom end of the rods are engaged within the respective sockets of the base member 36.
The two brackets and rods 18 of each kit are identical to one another but are mounted in opposite directions from one another. In its mounted position, the bottom end of each rod extends into a respective socket of a common base member 36 which acts as a stabilizing brace. Two adjustable threaded nuts are provided on each rod on opposing sides of the channel formed in the brackets to ensure the position of the rod relative to the bracket is well secured. Weight is primarily carried by the bracket resting on the lowermost nut on each rod while the uppermost nut primarily acts to ensure a snug engagement between the bracket and the lowermost nut.
As described above, the brackets are designed to allow them to be attached to the existing foundation posts of a deck by the use of threaded fasteners without replacing existing posts or footing blocks. While one particular example of a foundation post and footing block is shown in the accompanying figures, the simplicity of the design of the components of the post support kit permit similar application on much larger dimensions of posts or posts formed of other materials even if the post is merely supported on a flat supporting surface or other form of footing block. The base member 36 acts to distribute the weight applied to the ends of the two threaded rods 18 for evenly supporting the post on a somewhat irregular surfaced footing as well.
In further embodiments, a threaded sleeve may instead be provided as the adjustment member which is displaced relative to the brackets when the brackets include a threaded rod fixed thereon in engagement with the threaded sleeve. Any relative rotation, either by the rod or some form of threaded sleeve which permits longitudinal displacement of one member relative to another mounted on the post would be effective to jack the post relative to a respective footing block for levelling of a deck as described herein.
Turning now to FIGS. 6 and 7, a further embodiment of the post support is illustrated in which a pair of mounting brackets 24 are similarly provided for supporting a foundation post 12 on a footing block 14. Each bracket 24 similarly includes a channel 26 formed integrally therein for receiving the threaded rods 18 respectively. A similar arrangement of threaded nuts permits height of the rods to be adjusted relative to the brackets for adjusting height of the post relative to the footing blocks. The two brackets 24 are configured identical to one another for being coupled to each other on opposing sides of the post in which the rods are vertically oriented alongside the post on opposing sides thereof for engaging the base plate 36 therebelow are described above with regard to the previous embodiment.
In the second illustrated embodiment of FIGS. 6 and 7, the two mounting brackets 24 each comprise a clamping member 50 for clamping the post between the two members. Each clamping member comprises a pair of plates 52 suitably sized for substantially spanning one side of the conventional foundation post 12. The plates 52 are joined perpendicularly to one another with one of the plates integrally forming the channel 26 therein centered along one side of the post. Each clamping member thus extends around approximately half of the outer periphery of the foundation post. The plates 52 are slightly less than the overall width of the post such that when two opposing clamping members 50 are coupled about opposing diagonal corners of the post, a slight gap is formed between the two clamping members at each intermediate corner of the post.
Mounting flanges 54 are coupled to the free edges of each of the plates 52 to span outwardly at an inclination of approximately 135 degrees from the respective plate 52 from which it spans at an outer side thereof. When two clamping members 50 are mounted on opposing diagonal corners of a square foundation post, the mounting flanges 54 of each member lie in a common plane with each other, parallel and adjacent to the mounting flanges of the opposing member so that all of the mounting flanges are substantially coplanar with a central axis of the post when the mounting members are clamped together. The mounting flanges 54 include cooperating apertures 56 formed therein for receiving bolts to clamp the members together. By providing a slight gap between the opposing clamping members 50, a compression force can be applied to the post for frictionally gripping the post as the bolts received through the cooperating apertures 56 are tightened to bring the two clamping members 50 together.
In further embodiments the plates 52 may include an internal gripping surface formed thereon for improving frictional engagement of the clamping members with the post. Perforations may be provided in the plates 52 which form toothed projections projecting inwardly towards the opposing clamping member for being embedded into the post upon assembly.
In yet further embodiments, the base plate 36 may be formed from a single piece of material which has been moulded or machined to result in the desired shape of sockets for receiving the rods to distribute load onto the footing block.
Since various modifications can be made in my invention as herein above described, and many apparently widely different embodiments of same made within the spirit and scope of the claims without department from such spirit and scope, it is intended that all matter contained in the accompanying specification shall be interpreted as illustrative only and not in a limiting sense.