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Jim Ignatowski 12-29-2012 11:48 PM

Fireplace Hearth is Sinking
Hello Everyone,

I wanted to get some opinions on something. My 1st floor fireplace hearth is made of marble and brick and requires additional support from the basement. I can see a sag in the floor and the hearth extension has separated a bit from the fireplace. Most people I've spoke with have suggested putting a couple of lally columns under the hearth for support, and slowly raising the floor. Sounds fine, but I was thinking that I should consult a structural engineer. Does anyone have any thoughts on this? Who would be the best person to contact to have this handled properly?

I have some photos of the fireplace and the basement ceiling here... Not sure they will be helpful.

Thanks in advance!

joecaption 12-30-2012 12:08 AM

Pictures to small to really see anything.
But your right someone really should be on site to look this one over.
Looks like someone's already tryed some home grown fixes that were done wrong.

Jim Ignatowski 12-30-2012 03:06 AM

Yeah, it looks like someone tried to add some wood and metal straps to support the floor, but it didn't work very well. It's really tough to photograph the problem. I definitely want a professional opinion... I'm just not sure who to call. Thanks for the response.

oh'mike 12-30-2012 04:58 AM

Structural engineer would be the person to call--

stadry 12-30-2012 07:01 AM

another ? - how much movement SINCE the reprs were made :whistling2:

Fix'n it 12-30-2012 08:35 AM

do those joists go all the way to the block wall ?

Jim Ignatowski 12-30-2012 12:42 PM

The joists extend to the foundation wall on both sides. The floor joists are all 4" x 6". I'm honestly not sure whether there has been any movement since I moved in here. I imagine the repairs were done by the previous owner. We did identify this as a problem during the inspection and used it as a negotiation point. I was thinking a structural engineer too ... I'm just not sure where I find one who can actually do repairs? Any suggestions on how to find the right person to handle this?

Thanks Everyone for the responses.

Fix'n it 12-31-2012 08:44 AM

i would like to see some pics of what those black brackets are doing. from the pics, that whole thing looks kinda screwy.

if it were me. i would first take a straight 2x4 and see just how much those joists are sagging. and i would also get a timber and a screw jack and see just how much it would take to push the joists back up.

Jim Ignatowski 01-04-2013 01:43 AM

Those metal brackets are on all of the floor joists throughout the basement. They are very thick and wrap around the bottom of the joist and then rest on the top of the beam that's perpendicular to it. I added a couple more pics, but it's really hard to photograph.

I think one of the reason it looks so screwd up is because someone just kept adding wood. It definitely needs to be jacked up, but I want to make sure that the jacks are properly positioned.

JKeefe 01-04-2013 11:24 AM


Originally Posted by Jim Ignatowski (Post 1082573)
I was thinking a structural engineer too ... I'm just not sure where I find one who can actually do repairs?

The structural engineer tells you what needs to be done. Then you or a contractor can actually implement the solution.

You could start by googling structural engineer "your town".

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