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Old 05-04-2012, 10:21 AM   #1
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2nd story in home is no longer level


Good Morning I am new to this forum and need some help please. My Master bedroom 2nd floor has a fireplace ( added weight in that area it is just over the patio) and due to the POOR design of my home that area is no longer lever. What is supporting that area are a couple of wood beams that are part of a very small patio. One of the beams has shifted (its not loose) but it is now slanted and the upstairs bedroom floor is no longer level. I was doing some research and looks like I should get hydraulic jack..lift area slow..1/8 of inch per day then get a telepost and rebuild or replace the beam with something much sturdier and more secure. Is this correct information? Not sure how it happened ..perhaps a tree that fell a few years ago knocked somthing out of place.. Any info or suggestions would be greatly appreciated!!!

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Old 05-04-2012, 10:34 AM   #2
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2nd story in home is no longer level


With no pictures it's anyones guess.
Even then it's not a great DIY job. Someone that knows what there doing really needs to look this over. For every action there's an oppisite and equal reaction.

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Old 05-04-2012, 10:58 AM   #3
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2nd story in home is no longer level


I will add a photo of the patio, showing the slanted beam. There is no photo that will show the upstairs floor is not level you can just notice when you walk on it that it slopes a bit...
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Old 05-04-2012, 11:53 AM   #4
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2nd story in home is no longer level


Quote:
Originally Posted by nancyp
Good Morning I am new to this forum and need some help please. My Master bedroom 2nd floor has a fireplace ( added weight in that area it is just over the patio) and due to the POOR design of my home that area is no longer lever. What is supporting that area are a couple of wood beams that are part of a very small patio. One of the beams has shifted (its not loose) but it is now slanted and the upstairs bedroom floor is no longer level. I was doing some research and looks like I should get hydraulic jack..lift area slow..1/8 of inch per day then get a telepost and rebuild or replace the beam with something much sturdier and more secure. Is this correct information? Not sure how it happened ..perhaps a tree that fell a few years ago knocked somthing out of place.. Any info or suggestions would be greatly appreciated!!!
No one here can possibly help you with this without seeing it in person. Jacking it up isn't going to do anything unless you fix the footing holding up the post and beam. This is not a DIY'er job.
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Old 05-04-2012, 01:51 PM   #5
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2nd story in home is no longer level


It seems some people have forgotten that this is a DIY forum, not a site to ask contractors. All I see recently are these replies: "It is not a DIY job" "Hire a contractor" "You can't do this yourself"

What is with everybody being so negative lately? There also seems to be a lack of new posters, these replies all seem to be coming from a small group. I thought this place had over 100,000 members? It seems like only 50 or so do the majority of the posting.
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Old 05-04-2012, 02:30 PM   #6
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2nd story in home is no longer level


Quote:
Originally Posted by vln
It seems some people have forgotten that this is a DIY forum, not a site to ask contractors. All I see recently are these replies: "It is not a DIY job" "Hire a contractor" "You can't do this yourself"

What is with everybody being so negative lately? There also seems to be a lack of new posters, these replies all seem to be coming from a small group. I thought this place had over 100,000 members? It seems like only 50 or so do the majority of the posting.
Thete are certain jobs that are not for DIY'ers. It's that simple. The obvious problem with this site is that many people think that any job is for a DIY'er just because its a DIY'er site. That's very dsngrrous!
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Old 05-04-2012, 02:35 PM   #7
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2nd story in home is no longer level


Quote:
Originally Posted by vln View Post
It seems some people have forgotten that this is a DIY forum, not a site to ask contractors. All I see recently are these replies: "It is not a DIY job" "Hire a contractor" "You can't do this yourself"

What is with everybody being so negative lately? There also seems to be a lack of new posters, these replies all seem to be coming from a small group. I thought this place had over 100,000 members? It seems like only 50 or so do the majority of the posting.
It seems HIGHLY dangerous to just start messing around with jacking up a HOUSE and try to support it. Contractors call in structural engineers for this stuff but you recommend Joe Homeowner gives it a whirl?
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Old 05-04-2012, 02:53 PM   #8
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2nd story in home is no longer level


Quote:
Originally Posted by vln View Post
It seems some people have forgotten that this is a DIY forum, not a site to ask contractors. All I see recently are these replies: "It is not a DIY job" "Hire a contractor" "You can't do this yourself"

What is with everybody being so negative lately? There also seems to be a lack of new posters, these replies all seem to be coming from a small group. I thought this place had over 100,000 members? It seems like only 50 or so do the majority of the posting.
vln,

my reasons for posting replies is to ensure the following:

1. safety of those DIY'ers and their property

2. ensuring they have code compliant construction by checking with the local building official and getting permits if they are required. what happens when you do the work without a permit and then the building inspector discovers it? he can require you to tear out the work if it is not compliant, or require you to bring it into compliance. how much extra money will that cost? what if you don't have the money to do this?

3. let them know when I do not think the proposed work is within the scope of the knowledge and experience of a DIY'er and should be handled by a professional.

if you think we are wrong in our concerns then why didn't you explain to her what she needs to do?

just saying ...
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Old 05-04-2012, 03:27 PM   #9
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2nd story in home is no longer level


Yeah, you are all quick to reply that is is not feasible, why not hold your horses and wait until somebody who does know about floor leveling and structural integrity tell the OP what they can do themselves? I'm sure there is SOMETHING a homeowner can do to save time/money instead of paying a contractor hundreds or thousands.
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Old 05-04-2012, 04:25 PM   #10
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2nd story in home is no longer level


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Yeah, you are all quick to reply that is is not feasible, why not hold your horses and wait until somebody who does know about floor leveling and structural integrity
Another one who has no idea what they are talking about. It's not just about leveling the floor. Why is the floor not level? That is the MAIN question and thing that has to be addressed first. The foundation/piers or whatever he has that is supporting the second HAS to be fixed first .

The OP obviously doesn't realize this. He just wants to jack the house up and fix the beam. That's dangerous thinking and a professional should look at this. This OBVIOUSLY isn't a DIY'er job and is very dangerous with an inexperienced person doing this no matter what information someone gives him over the internet. It's all about safety which you obviously don't think matters. In your mind DIY'ers can do any job on their homes no matter how dangerous the job entails.

Anyone with common sense would know this is a dangerous job for an inexperienced person.

I've been doing this almost 30 years and have done many jobs like he's describing. Took me years to learn how to fix dangerous things like this. A guy like him can't just learn this over night and ask people on the internet how to fix a second floor that is sinking.
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Old 05-04-2012, 04:29 PM   #11
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2nd story in home is no longer level


I'll bet a dollar that when Daniel Holzman (engineer) shows up on this thread he will agree that this is not a DIY job. MAJOR structural repairs to a home, like jacking up a floor of a two-story house to try and level it, do not lend themselves to a half-baked homeowner fix.

If the original poster was Mike Holmes, with many years of construction experience, then maybe he could assess WHY the floor is sinking, figure out the point loads from the top floor to the basement, determine how to raise the floor without breaking it, and properly support the floor once it is raised. But even he would advocate using a structural engineer for the design! And he would not be coming here for help.

So to try and help out an inexperienced homeowner resolve a complex problem like this, without so much as a photo or diagram of the problem, is absurd. The BEST advice for this problem is to contact a structural engineer or some other qualified professional and go from there.

[edit] I was about to say Joe Carola should know something about this, and as it turns out, he was typing it at the same time. And well said Joe. [/edit]

Last edited by M3 Pete; 05-04-2012 at 04:36 PM.
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Old 05-04-2012, 05:06 PM   #12
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2nd story in home is no longer level


I am attaching a photo of the area. The middle post is slanted and that is what is primarily supporting the fireplace upstairs which is the part that extends out. I do not have a basement and it has nothing to do with the foundation. I am looking at getting 2 hydraulic jacks, adding a telepost, correcting and adding more support which will hopefully correct the problem. I am not taking anything apart. If that doesn't work I will then call a professional it will be no worse than it is now. I know I can call a professional but I wanted to exhaust my other options first. Its not exactly brain surgery..

Thanks for your time.

Nancy 2nd story in home is no longer level-20120504_163344.jpg
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Old 05-04-2012, 05:24 PM   #13
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2nd story in home is no longer level


Quote:
Originally Posted by nancyp
I am attaching a photo of the area. The middle post is slanted and that is what is primarily supporting the fireplace upstairs which is the part that extends out. I do not have a basement and it has nothing to do with the foundation. I am looking at getting 2 hydraulic jacks, adding a telepost, correcting and adding more support which will hopefully correct the problem. I am not taking anything apart. If that doesn't work I will then call a professional it will be no worse than it is now. I know I can call a professional but I wanted to exhaust my other options first. Its not exactly brain surgery..

Thanks for your time.
Nancy
Sounds like you think you have all the answers and its not brain surgery. Why are you asking here then....just.do the job and get it.over with since you have it all figured out.
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Old 05-04-2012, 05:43 PM   #14
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2nd story in home is no longer level


To long a span for the joist holding up that much weight and a cantilivered fireplace, no wonder it's saging.
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Old 05-04-2012, 06:27 PM   #15
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2nd story in home is no longer level


It looks from the photo like the two posts are sitting directly on the slab, there may not be a footing underneath them. That should be corrected. The posts need to be properly attached both at the top and bottom, that means use of the correct bracket. Improper attachment detail can lead to sudden, catastrophic failure in the event of impact (vehicle hits post or house), high wind, earthquake.

The framing should be looked at closely, obviously impossible to tell how large and what type of beam is holding up the fireplace, it may be undersized. There are standard ways to frame a bay window, you may want to adopt a similar method for the overhanging fireplace.

This job may be suitable for a skilled DIY'er, but it is certainly an advanced project due to the need for temporary bracing, probable installation of new footings, and probable need for framing modifications to the overhang. You could certainly hire an engineer, but it is probably not necessary, a skilled framer with deep code knowledge and practical experience can likely take care of fixing the problems.

If you decide to fix this yourself, a couple words of caution. You are almost certainly going to need to remove one or both posts, so you are going to need temporary support. People can and do get killed and injured due to inadequate support, so make absolutely sure you totally understand how to support this safely before you start. Halfway into the project is a very bad time to start wondering if the supports are going to hold. Be careful out there.

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