Thanks Greg and JD for your input! I am going to go with the 3 2x6 plated together - we have plenty of those already. Did you know we are almost neighbors? We live just outside of Ithaca, very close to 34 which runs up to Weedsport!
While reading your reply, JD, I got an idea
- why don't we use a large enough steel plate, about 1/4" thick or more, directly under the cut out area. The jacks placed on both sides of the cut out would then raise everything up evenly and since the cut out area is supported by the steel plate it won't break - what do you think? Now where to find a steel plate like that is another story!
Btw, we finished the DR ceiling - what a difference, it looks so good after the wavy crap that was there! We will have breakfast in our DR today!
I will post pics after we wallpaper and paint. There is also a floor to ceiling cabinet I am going to build to house my large supply of herbs and other kitchen stuff that still needs a home. But first we are going to tackle the sagging floors (next week) and then we'll line the skirt with the styrofoam insulation we bought recently - hopefully it will reduce this years heating bill!