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Old 12-17-2014, 03:19 PM   #1
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Fixing Basement Joists


I recently purchased a 100 year old home. It has been pretty well cared for over the years however it appears now that there was a design flaw.

On the first floor there is what appears to be a load bearing wall but in the basement there is not wall directly underneath. There is a load bearing beam a few feet away. As a result, over the years the joists have taken a beating and previous owners have sistered the joists to prevent further damage. It seems that this has been an OK fix but the joists they put in didn't span the whole way. As a result the floors are a little unlevel and their is some give between the sub floor and the joists. I would also like to frame in some of my basement so that the furnace doesn't draw in as much cold air and so the basement is a little more temperate.

As I think about adding more support, load bearing beams or walls, I am trying to think about where I can add them without having to add more concrete footing. I don't really know what areas of my basement have reinforced footing. Any help on this? The area in most need is the first 3-4 joists from the door into the unfinished area of the basement.
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Old 12-17-2014, 05:45 PM   #2
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Fixing Basement Joists


Welcome to the real world of 100 year old house's.
I've yet to see one that did not have over spanned, under sized, spaced to far apart joist.
There is no subfloor in those pictures, just old typical way of installing hardwood flooring directly to the floor joist.
Adding that 2 X 4 was useless and may be causing more harm then good.
Not even sure why they added that lolly column without also adding a beam to spread out the load.
The right way in most cases is to add a doubled up beam supported by columns sitting on proper footings to split the spans and use hydraulic bottle jacks to lift the beams until the floor is level .
No way is a column sitting on a slab a proper footing!

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Old 12-17-2014, 06:00 PM   #3
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Fixing Basement Joists


If what is seen in the picture isn't technically a subfloor it is in fact serving as a subfloor (see picture of the floor laid on top of it).

The lolly columns actually are on a beam (look a little closer).

I'm thinking about adding joists and load bearing walls/beams. One beam would be right next to the other beam. The load bearing wall would be next to the half wall of bricks. their would be planks to span those two areas. Would I need to break up and pour and deeper footings or should the footings in those two areas be good?
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Old 12-17-2014, 06:44 PM   #4
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Fixing Basement Joists


That Beam that the Lolly Column is on, is a pretty hefty support beam. They are Old Growth Oak. That flooring appears to have been added on top of the original flooring.

The question is, is there signs of the foundation shifting, doors & Windows not closing properly, signs of cracked plaster, porches pulling away from the house?
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Old 12-17-2014, 06:59 PM   #5
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Looks like the 2x4 (first pic)was simply put there to keep the floor from flexing above a sagging joist?
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Old 12-17-2014, 07:17 PM   #6
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Also if it is a two story home, it would be Balloon Framed.
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Old 12-17-2014, 07:18 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kory Beam View Post
Looks like the 2x4 (first pic)was simply put there to keep the floor from flexing above a sagging joist?
That joist is not sagging, it has shrunk down over the years, to the farthest that it will be at this point.

That Old Growth Lumber is like Steel. It takes a lot to cause it to flex.
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Old 12-17-2014, 07:58 PM   #8
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Hi Greg. Thanks a lot.

Not there is no foundation shifting, doors & Windows not closing properly, signs of cracked plaster, porches pulling away.

It is a two story with an additional attic space. Some of the old growth has cracks and have been reinforced with other joists.
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Old 12-17-2014, 08:13 PM   #9
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Beams and Columns and Footings (oh my!)
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Old 12-17-2014, 09:26 PM   #10
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Fixing Basement Joists


Quote:
Originally Posted by IowaSPEMan View Post
Hi Greg. Thanks a lot.

Not there is no foundation shifting, doors & Windows not closing properly, signs of cracked plaster, porches pulling away.

It is a two story with an additional attic space. Some of the old growth has cracks and have been reinforced with other joists.
Cracks are a normal process from the beams drying out over the years. Unless they are super wide, or go all the way through, there is no concern with them.

I have a 70+ year old house, that some of the joists have small areas cracking. They have not moved or done anything in the 11 years we have lived there. It just adds character.
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Old 12-17-2014, 09:26 PM   #11
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Fixing Basement Joists


I would be more concern about any plumbing or electrical changes over the years, along with that forced air furnace being added in, than anything that is not showing signs of structural distress.

You can most likely remove that Lolly column with no repercussions.
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Old 12-17-2014, 09:54 PM   #12
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Fixing Basement Joists


For what it's worth, those are LALLY columns, not Lolly columns.

"The lally column is named after a U. S. inventor, John Lally, who owned a construction company that started production of these columns in the late 19th century."
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Old 12-17-2014, 10:43 PM   #13
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Fixing Basement Joists


old house owner too and also had exact same problem, but in much worse condition. what i did was smash a hole through rubble stone foundation wall, slid in 2 sister 2x8's (nearly matching the true 8" joists old growth douglas fir joists), slid them all the way to the center beam and then glued & sigzag lag bolt (or was it nail? i don't remember now.. check my post in this forumn). i jacked up the old joist first.. very slowly over time and did not jack up to perfection, just a bit to take the major slope out.

FYI, my rubble stone walls do not have a concrete footer. they end on the soil. no spread footer. no concrete.

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