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Old 02-11-2010, 11:15 PM   #1
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Leveling kitchen floor


Hi all, Ive been reading these forums for a while now and wanted to say thanks for all the great help! I do have a problem I cant quite figure out and would like some help

We're getting ready to redo our 30yr old kitchen: New cabinets, Floor, Drywall etc.. While weve gotten everything out I would also like to level the floor. We have a 1 story 1940's house with a full unfinished basement.

Our kitchen sits in the corner of our house, the part Im tryin to level is on the interior wall. It is not a load bearing wall. There is an old chimney that is also being removed because it is no longer needed and in dire need of repair or being torn down. When they added the chimney they cut through a floor joist and just braced it off on each end to the other joists like a big box around it. On one side of the chimney is our Water heater and the other is Hvac that runs up into the wall. The floor has a horrible slope in it now, starting at the 2nd joist away from the chimney joist and slopes 1" total over the next to joists (the cut joist is 1" lower than the rest of the kitchen).

I would love to be able to sister another new joist up to the cut one and brace it up but am not able to with the Hvac in the way. Im really not able to move the Hvac. What is the best way of bracing this back up? Can I run a 4x4 post across the 3 drooping joists and raise back in place and put a support under? Would this be ok? Do I need to sister new joists up to the 2 other joists and add new stronger cross ties with hanger straps?

There will only be our fridge and one cabinet on this wall but its been messing with our fridge recently and would like to get it fixed while i have the chance. Im attaching a drawing (digital camera messed up) that should help clarify. Thanks again for your time and all the help so far!

http://i170.photobucket.com/albums/u...g?t=1265946511

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Old 02-12-2010, 06:19 AM   #2
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Leveling kitchen floor


Bear with me, it is late at night here and I might be mistaken in my understanding your problem.

I've uploaded a new version of your Image with some new colours for some joisting which might take a few sentences to explain.

After the chimney is removed, block up the joists to an acceptable 'level'.
Once that is done, sister the outer long joists. (green joists)
Add a doubled 'header' joist at the chimney opening using joist hangers. (red joists)
Add another short joist between the 'doubled header' added above. (blue joists)

This assumes that the chimney removal will allow for enough room to access the floor to do the work, and that there is enough room to install a temporary shoring system to jack the floor. If there is enough room to actually jack an extra long joist on each side of the chimney opening would be better since then you could 'tweak' the floor level easier.

At least this is the way I would approach the problem, given the information at hand, as I understand it.
Let us know if you have any more questions.

By the way, it is interesting that the joist which is cut and sinking is not a load bearing wall... it has an interior wall right on top of it... just saying...
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Leveling kitchen floor-basementstructualproblem-1.jpg  

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Old 02-12-2010, 10:12 AM   #3
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Thanks jlhaslip that helps alot. Sounds like I can manage that.

So just a couple questions. Step 1 "Block up the joists" your meaning just jack them up to where I want them right?

Are you saying "jack an extra long joist on each side of the chimney" to add another joist in there to the opening? Or a longer joist instead of the short (blue) Once I sister the 2 beams (green) it will about be to the edge of the chimney now. I should have plenty of room to work, plumbing and electrical runs below the joists but should be managable.

The only load it is bearing is the interrior wall in the kitchen which I guess can be more load than I was thinking. There is no support connected to it in the attic. All the supports run to the outer edge or the center vertical (thick black lines) in the drawing. There is a doorway in the angled wall over the joists as well.
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Old 02-12-2010, 10:25 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Cmudr1 View Post
Thanks jlhaslip that helps alot. Sounds like I can manage that. welcome

So just a couple questions. Step 1 "Block up the joists" your meaning just jack them up to where I want them right? yes

Are you saying "jack an extra long joist on each side of the chimney" use a beam long enough to jack 5 or 6 joists. one on either side of the two long doubles

The only load it is bearing is the interrior wall in the kitchen which I guess can be more load than I was thinking. Similar bearing points on the main floor? ie: a centre bearing wall?
see the blue comments

*edit*

notice where the angled load bearing wall intersects with the other straight load bearing wall?
right at the sunken spot and right at the poorly supported short joist which is the weak point in the floor system
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Old 02-12-2010, 11:05 AM   #5
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Leveling kitchen floor


Thanks again jlhaslip Im starting to understand it

I got ya about the load bearing now. Didn't think of that corner before.

I should have plenty of room to add the extra short beam. You were meaning parallel to the center beam right? If I add the beam like this is Sistering the other joists still neccessary? If I dont have to maneuver those 14' I dont want to hehe

What if I added a longer sister to the cut one and extended it to the other side of the chimney with a double header and a beam supporting 6 joists. Would that carry the load ok or will it not be strong enough. I can then use the raised platform for the chimney in this case for the beam then and not worry about cracking the floor.

I hate to be doin this on a budget but dont have much choice. I have a couple extra 12' joists that I would like to use if all possible.

*edit
What should I use for the extra 6 joist beam then? It will extend right into our walkway and would like to maximize headroom best as possible.

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Old 02-12-2010, 12:26 PM   #6
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The outer 2 long joists need to be doubled in order to carry the load of the shorter doubles which also carry the load from the cut joist.
It is a typical layout for, example, a stair well opening.

And use suitable joist hangers at all of the ends of the joists which butt into other joists.

I expect that this will be the way to go since I imagine there is not enough room to maneuver a new long joist into position above the water heater and hvac. Probably lots of pipes and wires getting in the way.

Doing it this way *should* allow you to remove the jacking beam and its support posts and claim the area back for its regular use.
Of course, if you were able to get a second opinion from your local building inspector, or a qualified carpenter familiar with framing, or a structural engineer would be a good thing. The engineer will cost money.

It would not be good to have a sister joist shorter than the original, especially since you are adding the weight from more floor load than they should be carrying. They need to bear on the sill and beam. At least ideally they should be full length and not spliced. A new pair of full length joists isn't really a lot of dollars against the safety and value of the building.

You could use those 12 footers as the temporary jacking beam. Are they the same depth as the existing floor joists? ie: 2 x 8's or 2 x 10's and then once the system is buttoned up, remove the jacking posts and beam.

Even if you could get a post under the ends of the cut joist, the two long ones won't spring back into a flat shape.

I strongly suggest that if you are having difficulties understanding what you are doing, and 'why' the method needs to be done this way, hire a local carpenter to at least inspect the job and explain it in person, even if you must pay for their time.

Hope this helps.
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Old 02-12-2010, 01:35 PM   #7
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Alright man, sounds like I got a plan. Thanks for answerin my questions. Structual is about the only thing I havent had any experience with so thanks for answering all my odd questions :P

The other joists are the same size, theyre all 2x8 just a couple feet shorter than the span. I expect that could be why we have them.

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