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Mel N 09-25-2009 11:11 AM

Contractor drilled into sistered joists
A contractor drilled a heavy bolt dead center between 2 sistered joists that support the staircase above. The bolt was placed there to secure the newel post above the floor. My concern is that he halved our joist and that the staircase above is no longer adequately supported. We've recently been hearing a lot of new creaks along the staircase and at the top of the staircase. Will sistering another joist to the outside of the 2 halved joists work in this case? Or should we place a support beam midway in the joist span? Thanks.

12penny 09-25-2009 11:31 AM

Mel... how big a bolt did he drill? Diameter that is.

Willie T 09-25-2009 11:40 AM

I must be slipping. I couldn't follow that at all. :huh:

Mel N 09-25-2009 12:00 PM

I'm not sure how to attach a photo which would explain better. Each joist is 1.5" wide and sits directly beheath the staircase. The hole drilled to set the newel post is 1.5" wide in circumference and went in between the sistered joists effectively halving them. Thanks.

Thurman 09-25-2009 12:02 PM

Maybe "Wille T" is my age, or we're both slipping. Mel N, with all due respect, could you post a picture or maybe a better description. And as "12penny" asked, what size (diameter) bolt? Thanks , David

12penny 09-25-2009 12:12 PM

Mel.... wouldnt hurt to throw another joist in there. If you cant get in a full length one, go as far as you can and use something like ledger locks or carriage bolts to secure it.

Mel N 09-25-2009 12:37 PM

photo attached
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Attachment 13705
Maybe this will help. Thanks again.

Gary in WA 09-25-2009 12:38 PM

Holes bored in rafters or ceiling joists shall not be within 2 inches (51 mm) of the top and bottom and their diameter shall not exceed one third the depth og the member., this doesn't pertain. I would put a post or wall under it, on treated mudsill.
Be safe, Gary

Mel N 09-25-2009 12:44 PM

Yes, he bored through the entire length of the joist. If I had known what he was doing, I would have stopped him. I'm not in the business but even I know that isn't the way to do it. The question is how do I fix it now? With the wires and plumming, it's more of a project than I feel comfortable with. That's why I was thinking about placing a pressure treated 4 x 4 as a post to give it some support midspan. But is that just a bad idea?

ARI001 09-25-2009 12:57 PM

You need to have it evaluated by a structural engineer. There is no need for you to attempt any repair on this. If you hired a legitimate contractor and a repair or alteration is deemed necessary by a structural engineer this should be covered under the contractors GL insurance. If you did not hire a legitimate contractor but rather someone on the side then I wish you the best of luck.

Mel N 09-25-2009 01:14 PM

Yes, we did hire a legitimate contractor. But as everyone knows, even the good contractors send out the newbie (or subcontractor) who screws up the job. The work was done several years ago and the company has since gone out of business. I am assuming, maybe incorrectly, that you can't sue a company that is out of business. And as to why we didn't resolve it before now, I only just discovered it when I went looking for the cause of the creaks.

Scuba_Dave 09-25-2009 02:28 PM

Is that an old stairwell with the white trim?
Easiest solution would be to put a post in if there isn't anything underneath preventing that

With the existing wires drilled thru the joists it might be tough to sister another joist in there

Clutchcargo 09-25-2009 03:08 PM

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I wouldn't worry about it. It's already a double and it looks like it's only headed off for the width of the stairs so not a big load on it anyway.

Mel N 09-25-2009 03:26 PM

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Hi Scuba Dave. The white trim is a stair well. The one that I'm standing on. My house is a cape cod. The staircase to the basement is directly under the stairs to the second floor. See photo.

I appreciate your thoughts. Do you think a 4 x 4 pressure treated post is sufficient? It's an 11.5 foot span from the steel I beam support to the foundation. The wall suggestion was a good one as well. But its a tight turn at the base of the steps which doesn't allow much room for things like a furnace, washing machine etc.

Clutchcargo, I don't understand your comment, "it's only headed off for the width of the stairs." Aren't the joists in question supporting the weight of the stairs above them?

Thanks everyone for your thoughts! I'm multitasking today so I may not respond as quickly as needed but I am grateful none the less.
Attachment 13708

Willie T 09-25-2009 03:39 PM

I'm pretty sure that would have gotten us red-tagged here.

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