Napa Valley Earthquake Structural Restoration

George Yonnone Restorations is available to those  in Napa and the Bay Area who have historic structures who have suffered damage during the recent earthquake. George has provided professional historic building restoration services to 17th, 18th, 19th and 20th century structures and clients since 1970.

George Yonnone Restorations services have rescued Homes, Barns and log cabins. Services are offered nationally to clients that want to have professional repairs preformed to structures that have been damaged by Neglect, Hurricanes, Tornado’s, Tree damage and Earthquakes.

Structural repairs have been preformed in all of the New England states as well as Southern Georgia, Tennessee, New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Road Island and North Carolina.

George Yonnone Restorations  has saved hundreds of buildings from demolition companies that were unable to recognize that the buildings could be repaired and restored.  In all cases they have been able to save buildings that other contractors walked away from stating that it was too dangerous to work on.

Having repaired some of the most difficult projects on the East Cost has given the company a reputation of satisfactorily completing the project to original condition.

Consulting services are also provided Nationally to help home owners to save their buildings and insurance companies to reduce losses. We work closely with all parties to provide solicitations.

Please contact Info@gyrestorations See contact information below.

How to Jack and Repair Antique Structures

How to Jack and Repair Antique Structures

No.1 The process to lift and repair this building is explained in this short pictorial primer. The damaged arias are located and exposed and the size and extent of damage is determined. If you are not sure, take a hammer and pound on the sill. It you get a high pitch dead blow sound the sill is solid. If the tone is low with a bass sound you most likely have a sill to replace.

No.2 Measurements are taken off the building and a field drawing is made. The drawing allows the measurements to be transferred to the horizontal lifting plates. All lag holes are then laid out, checked for accuracy and drilled in preparation to install the plates to the second story spanners and first floor wall studs.

No.3 The jacking plates are lifted by two men carring them up a ladder and setting them in place temporarely. They are lifted to the final location and timber locked to the wall.

No.4 when the plates have been alighaned properly the final 1/4inch pilot holes are drilled and the plates are lagged to the wall.

No.5 At this point the ground pads are located and the angles set. The angle of the pads is crital and may have to be set a few times until they are stable. The blocks and jacks are installed next and the post are measured and measured for length and cut. The posts are installed and light pressure is taken up in them.

No.6 Oak 4x4s are installed under the floor parallel to the foundation.Posts and jacks are installed vertically to support the floor are its proper height and to allow the house to be used with out interruption.

No.7 With the jacks in place and under load the weight can be taken off the foundation in order to remove the damaged sills. The floor frame work is measured for length and depth and all detentions are recorded on a field drawing. From there the measurements are transferred to the new sill timber and laid out accurately. The mortise and tenons are cut as well as joist housings as necessary in the sills.  This work is preformed with skill saws and, Fostner bits and old fashioned chiseling.  This phase of the project takes time.

No.8 The sill is moved into position to the inside of the jacking posts and set on to blocking at the same height as the foundation. The first fit is made to see if all the dimensions match each other. It is inevitable given the condition of multiple variables that all inside and outside dimensions will be perfect.  The sill usually has to be backed out onto the blocking and turned up if necessary and have the adjustments made. Once the adjustment has been made the sill is turned and reset on the foundation. This is typical in every insulation

No.9 There are reoccurring situations that require removing a piece of the leading edge of a joist housing to stop it from binding on the joist or girder end. The condition is more prevalent on the beginning joist than at the end because the angle is less as the sill goes into place. Occasionally, a housing will be too shallow or a tenon too long by a bit. This is field work and there are a lot of adjustments to be made to get old buildings to accept new sills. Kind of like new shoes.  It’s good to check and check again. These buildings were made by hand. Every piece of wood was hand shaped and custom fit. We have to do the same process only in reverse.

No.10 When the work is completed the sill should be properly sealed with a good oil bias product, lagged together and all post, wall studs, girders and floor joist should be a good fit and soundly connectee to the building. Remember that you only get one chance to do it right in 200 years.

George Yonnone

Training Sessions- How to Lift & Repair Antique Buildings

My name is George Yonnone, I have been repairing and replacing structural components to antique buildings since 1970.  I love what I do and I love traveling, so it works out well.  I am asking if you would be kind enough refer my company to clients … [Continue reading]

Causes of Sill Damage – Concrete

Sill damage can occur for many reasons that I will explain in future posts. This building is a church in Eastern NY. Sometime in the past the stone foundation was exposed to add a layer of cement to the exterior. The cement was placed on top of … [Continue reading]

Lay out templates to drill roof plates

When drilling a sill plate with a diagonal  scarf joint it is necessary to be accurate with the layout to insure that when the hole is drilled through the  sill plate ,  the hole is dead center of the half lap. The 3/4 " steel rod has to be inserted … [Continue reading]

Drainage and the Older Building

The most persistent problem and threat facing antique buildings and properties these days is improper water management. The grade around the building may have been altered over time, downspout leaders might have been lost, foundation plantings may be … [Continue reading]

Landscaping around older buildings – The trouble with trees

Wow! This is definitely a homeowner's nightmare! Over the years I have seen a lot of things related to old buildings. There is some good repair work out there and a lot of disasters. Some of the disasters are just waiting to happen. I have learned … [Continue reading]

Documenting Historic Restorations

The word Restoration is painted with a wide brush and like the strands of that brush it represents many different crafts and skills.  Some people train for years in college, some apprentice with tradesman or artist and others realize a natural gift … [Continue reading]


By George Yonnone  On  October/21/2002 I received a call from Jim Rayner of Lowell MA. He had been directed to me by Preservation Consultant John Leeke of Portland ME.  Jim asked if I would come and look at a column restoration project in Lowell … [Continue reading]