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Old 12-22-2013, 02:31 PM   #1
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bouncy squeaky floor, but wait there's more, free floating sills


Hi from Augusta GA,
My condo has a bouncy floor which I've lived with for 10 years. I was recently laid off so I have some time and need another focus other than my job search. After a little Google searching, I decided blocking between the floor joists would stiffen the joists as a whole.

I live in a 3 story condo which faces the Savannah River. The architecture is a little weird as the condo is designed to provide good views. The ground floor is a patio, storage closet, entry way stair well, and garage. I live in an interior unit with neighbors on both sides.

The living room with bouncy floor is cantilevered over the patio so that it provides cover for the patio. The living room is supported by three columns with a big open beam and then normal support by exterior and inner walls of the closet. Facts for later: the exterior walls, corners, and windows are plumb all the way to the roof per a visual inspection with plumb bob; the interior walls do not have any cracks, the casement windows and doors open and close without issues; the living room floor kind of leans towards the front wall; the living room floor is bounciest in the center at the space above the closet, I can feel my 12 lb. cat leap onto couch.

I opened up access to the 2x10 joists. Joist-1 is 8 ft long and runs 3 ft cantilevered for support at the beam then spans 4 ft to closet exterior wall. Joist-2 must be pretty long as it spans from closet exterior wall for 4 ft to inner wall then spans 6 ft to inner garage wall and into garage where next cross member support is 10 ft away. The sills over the exterior and inner closet walls are unattached floating about 1 in above the walls. I can see concrete nails pointing down thru the sills but they ain't doing anything. (I use term Joist-1 in singular form but there are 11 joists.)
C---X----E joist-1 (8 ft long)
E----I-----G---... joist-2 (way long)


My contractor guy who has served me well over the years is convinced the sills are unattached because of settling. But the concrete slab floor is fine. At this point I'm hoping these block walls were built 1 in short. My fear is that joist-1 is a teeter-totter such that the floating end at the closet is the light side and wants to go up. How could I determine if joist-1 is a teeter-totter?

I welcome your thoughts at how I proceed. Do I : finish the joist blocking as planned, and/or add a lower sill under the existing floating sill and secure some how, and/or somehow strap joist-1 to the wall so that it can neither raise nor fall, and/or ...

Thanks in advance,
Phil
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bouncy squeaky floor, but wait there's more, free floating sills-floor-plan.jpg  

Last edited by notso99; 12-26-2013 at 11:48 AM.
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Old 12-22-2013, 02:45 PM   #2
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bouncy squeaky floor, but wait there's more, free floating sills


That sill plate hovering above the support wall is a wild thing----for the moment ,wedge that thing solid and see what affect it has----if that substantially fixes the bounce,then come back ---someone will tell you the best method to permanently fix the issue.

a sketch of the floor joists and the various supports will be helpful--and spans.
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Old 12-22-2013, 07:20 PM   #3
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bouncy squeaky floor, but wait there's more, free floating sills


i agree. that sill is crazy and probably your problem. i would bet even just 1 wedge would somewhat fix your problem.
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Old 12-22-2013, 11:17 PM   #4
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bouncy squeaky floor, but wait there's more, free floating sills


I doubt the outer support has frost heaved per location. Fasten/pull a taut string line from one end to the other, an inch or so above both ends to check the middle. For a permanent fix; add some concrete grout mix under the sill plate after taking up the slack- with a bar for leverage. I'm surprised the sill is moving up with the joists from the toe-nails; means there are no anchor bolts in the sill plate...your required bearing wall joist blocking is missing; http://publicecodes.cyberregs.com/ic...002_par025.htm

Gary
PS. the dirty fiberglass is from air movement- when reinstalling soffit material; caulk the blocking and the soffit plywood.
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Last edited by Gary in WA; 12-22-2013 at 11:20 PM. Reason: sp
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Old 12-22-2013, 11:50 PM   #5
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bouncy squeaky floor, but wait there's more, free floating sills


I thought exterior repairs and defective construction issues would be the responsibility of the condo board. I would find my own structural engineer to come out and evaluate the situation and design a remedy. Then try to get the condo board to pay. Other units probably have the same flaws. I hired an engineer about 8 years ago to evaluate a coastal house and I received a report with his stamp for about $650.
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Old 12-23-2013, 10:13 AM   #6
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bouncy squeaky floor, but wait there's more, free floating sills


Quote:
Originally Posted by Arlo View Post
I thought exterior repairs and defective construction issues would be the responsibility of the condo board. I would find my own structural engineer to come out and evaluate the situation and design a remedy. Then try to get the condo board to pay. Other units probably have the same flaws. I hired an engineer about 8 years ago to evaluate a coastal house and I received a report with his stamp for about $650.
What he said.

Immediately stop work and read the by-laws. The structural shell and building mechanicals are almost certainly the property of the whole. Not only are you working on something you don not fully own, you may end up assuming liability to much more than the portion you are working on. Furthermore, you are now open to legal action by other condo members. It would be the same as if I went to my neighbors house and started painting it.

I would take this to the board and demand an engineers study and subsequent repair. If this fails, I would pay for a engineers report myself, and sure the board for payment.

You need in this order:
1) Lawyer
2) Engineer
3) Lawyer
4) Contractor
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Old 12-23-2013, 10:20 AM   #7
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bouncy squeaky floor, but wait there's more, free floating sills


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Originally Posted by Fix'n it View Post
i agree. that sill is crazy and probably your problem
No. The structure is not the OP's problem, but convincing the board is his problem.

My late father said the most difficult difficult business situation he dealt with was being an owner in a small condo. Everyone was a board member, and the dumbest individuals always had an outsized mouth and need to be in charge. And his experiences included being on the National Arbitration Board, arguing with the Boilermakers National Board and dealing with an irate King County Executive when they shut out the pipe fitters and plumbers from the Kingdome.
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Old 12-23-2013, 08:52 PM   #8
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bouncy squeaky floor, but wait there's more, free floating sills


i used to be the vice-pres on a condo board. so i am not speaking blindly.

every condo ass. has its own rules. so he will have to find out his. but what it come down to = he doesn't walk on the condo board. and a few properly placed boards is not going to cause any problems. ymmv
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Old 12-23-2013, 11:36 PM   #9
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bouncy squeaky floor, but wait there's more, free floating sills


Its not properly fixed and your supporting walls is also not in a bad conditions even its not properly fixed , you just hire a good roofing constructor for inner walls which should be looking in worst mode . so its better you can use the condo boards .
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Old 12-23-2013, 11:43 PM   #10
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bouncy squeaky floor, but wait there's more, free floating sills


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Its not properly fixed and your supporting walls is also not in a bad conditions even its not properly fixed , you just hire a good roofing constructor for inner walls which should be looking in worst mode . so its better you can use the condo boards .
Damn straight
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Old 12-24-2013, 09:54 AM   #11
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bouncy squeaky floor, but wait there's more, free floating sills


Notso99 here, the sharer of this problem. Thanks for the comments to date. Great expertise provided. Maybe not intended but I enjoyed hidden puns: [oh-mike] used 'moment' where I'm worried I have a moment of inertia problem teeter-totter with joist-1 rocking on beam; [fixn it] used abbrev 'condo ass.' which I read wrong on first pass since I have some odd neighbors, including me.

As to homeowner's association board and our bylaws, we have a good board and I have served on but not currently. My interpretation of bylaws comes out that owner (me) is responsible for everything inside the skin of the exterior paint and I'll study foundation rules (but my slab is good). I will notify my board and lurk at holiday parties for free lawyer and engineer advice. I'll probably pay for structural/construction engineer report but hope this chatroom continues to offer up expertise since even paid professionals are human.

I've stopped work on my initial joist blocking project. Before halt, I had bolted and glued two pairs of joist-1/joist-2 above the closet exterior wall, but it difficult to measure if tying these joists improved anything. (I'd really appreciate advice on how to measure bounce and movement). I'm going to attach plumb lines to each joist-1's and joist-2's with wall paper so as to record any up down movement of joists. I am also going to add temp support columns on the free end of cantilever (below exterior face of living room). When plumb line 'recorder' and temp columns are done then I'll add cribbing under the floating joists.

I am about done with sketch and dimensions of structures I mention and will post to this thread. (Can I edit/add sketch jpg to original posting or does sketch get attached to reply?)

[Gary in Wa], wow you are observant. The dirty fiberglass will be another post, if I get 'round to-it. Could you tell me more about 'taut string line' and also 'required bearing wall' since I don't follow? I will read the link you provided about bearing walls.


-Phil
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Old 12-24-2013, 07:11 PM   #12
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bouncy squeaky floor, but wait there's more, free floating sills


Sure, I usually need to reword my conversations with my wife, and hers to me, don't get old; "Growing old is mandatory, growing up- isn't....".

The house exterior wall is probably settling as the cantilevered beam is not frost heaving- one or the other has moved since install to cause a gap that big. At each end of the floor system, in one open all the way- bay cavity, attach a nail/screw about 1' up or so to fasten a string line- masons line (nylon)-. With one end attached, and on ladder at other end, wrap the end of string around your hand- just once to make a big loop- holding both strings in other hand. Twist the hand with the loop to give line 3-4 twists, hook that twisted loop over the end of the nail- with one hand, grab the (long sting end) single string and pull it toward the nail end while pulling the slack made with other hand on end past the twisted portion. The loop will take up the slack in the line while pulling to secure the tautness because of friction from the twisting slip-knot keep it all taut. Reach back toward the long end an arms length a few times (while taking the slack with other hand simultaneously). An old carpenters trick when lining a wall freshly built/stood/nailed down and after plumbing the corners/ends. It may sag about 1/4" over 50' (adjust per building length with nail heights).

The joist ends are showing lapped over the bearing wall and as such require solid blocking per minimum code to prevent over-turning. I'd put them duo=purpose 2. act as your air barrier there from outside temps. Go one step better, add rigid foam board to the soffit after done fixing- to uncouple the joists/floor above from the cold exterior concrete slab, cover with plywood/caulk, Fig.7; http://www.buildingscience.com/docum...n-crawlspaces/

Hold the insulation down- no spring wires as now) for a warmer floor; http://www.buildingscience.com/docum...al-performance

Gary
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Old 12-24-2013, 07:24 PM   #13
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bouncy squeaky floor, but wait there's more, free floating sills


Sure looks like a serious issue to me.
Cement nails were supposed to hold the sill plate down which held the floor joists that hold up the cantilevered wall and weight of the roof?
Now the sill plate needs bolting down to do the job it's intended to.

Or am I missing something here?
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Old 12-24-2013, 08:42 PM   #14
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bouncy squeaky floor, but wait there's more, free floating sills


Foundation plates are never just nail in place.
There bolted or strapped.
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Old 12-24-2013, 08:56 PM   #15
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+1

Time to call an engineer and engage your HOA board now.

That looks like an under engineered design to me.
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