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Old 04-12-2011, 09:35 PM   #1
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Fixing sagging floors in a 123 yr old house.


Greetings,

I recently bought a colonial home built in 1888. I love it, but the floors are sagging. The house has settled and it is sagging towards the center of the house. I have two Chimneys and the floor joists are discontinued at each chimney, the points where the sag is most noticeable. I went into the basement and discovered that the floor joists are 2" x 6" and sag noticeably. The spacing is inconsistent as some of the spans are 14" while others are less than 13" likely due to age and sagging.

My temporary fix involves building/putting up 5 ft spans of 4" x 6" ceiling and floor with adjustable lollies raising floor joists where sag is most noticeable in the dinning room (center) Kitchen (rear of Chimney where refrigerator sits) and underneath bathroom (off of kitchen). I intend to take my time in raising the floor joists (leveling from basement) over the next two months of spring.

I plan to spend the summer removing, moving, and replacing the plumbing and heating lines into the ceiling (joist areas) and then install 3-4 double 2" x 12" or 6" x 4" load bearing beams with permanent columns or building 3 1/2 load bearing walls in the basement (24', 18' and 10' ) as to sure up the old sagging floors.

I'm no expert and this is pretty ambitious. Do these fixes make any sense? Please Help!~Mecca

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Old 04-13-2011, 12:32 AM   #2
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Fixing sagging floors in a 123 yr old house.


Pics and location are always helpful, but it sounds to me like you generally have a plan. The first thing I'd do is figure out what all this is going to bear upon. A slab only? How thick? Reinforced w/ rebar? Etc. If I could not ascertain this info, I'd assume there is nothing, then cut holes in the floor and install proper footers for posts. And, if you are jacking the floors up, I'd suggest you do the "proper footers" right away. If you lift the floors, then the jacks drop half a mile, the house will get a dynamic load; far worse than the static load it now has. That could get real ugly. It would likely be a good idea to run this by an engineer so you get the proper sized joists, footers, and posts. Gross overkill is in order if you go solo. The house has lasted 123 yrs, so doing something approximately "correct" may well get another century out it.

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Old 04-13-2011, 07:09 AM   #3
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Fixing sagging floors in a 123 yr old house.


It has taken 123 yrs to get that way, nothing you do will correct it instantly, without creating more problems. You probably should have a careful inspection to determine if it is just normal settling, or there are other major issues.....rotton supports, beams, poor foundations, etc.
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Old 04-13-2011, 07:19 AM   #4
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Fixing sagging floors in a 123 yr old house.


As Bill said, hard to correct something 123 years in the making. If the joists are deformed you'll never straighten them out. But if they've just dropped due to a lack of support and there no walls above this area, you might be able to reduce the sagging without too much effort.
If they're are walls, you will need to deal with all the floors above as they've all sagged.
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Old 04-13-2011, 09:51 AM   #5
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Fixing sagging floors in a 123 yr old house.


Of all the old antique homes we restored I can't remember one that the floors didn't sag or were out of level. It sounds like you are on the right track but like already said if the sag is set in the joists that will not be an easy fix.

Some of the early 1800s homes we restored, the floor joists were trees with the top flattened off, that was fun getting the sag out of them.
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Old 04-13-2011, 09:58 AM   #6
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Fixing sagging floors in a 123 yr old house.


Quote:
Originally Posted by jiju1943 View Post
Of all the old antique homes we restored I can't remember one that the floors didn't sag or were out of level. It sounds like you are on the right track but like already said if the sag is set in the joists that will not be an easy fix.

Some of the early 1800s homes we restored, the floor joists were trees with the top flattened off, that was fun getting the sag out of them.
Jim, how did you get the sag out?
Ron

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