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foxmanb 03-26-2012 09:47 AM

no support under load bearing wall?
I have a hunch that my house was not constructed properly, and I'm hoping some of you can help me with this ;).

Basically, I have a 3 story house, in the basement there is a beam made of 2x8's which runs the length of the basement with lally posts every 8 feet, this is normal... the only problem is, the load bearing wall on the main floor is 4 feet to the right of the basement beam, and the 2x8 beam above the main floor is directly above the main floor load bearing wall. So it seems to me that the weight of the top two floors of the house rests on joists in the basement rather than the support beam in the basement. The floors have sagged more than 3/4 of an inch in some places. The house was built in 1986.

There are many electrical circuits running through these joists, so sistering new joists in and running them the entire length of the original joist isn't really an option without hiring an electrician (expensive).

I was thinking a big steel beam would be able to cover the entire span without the need for supports every 8ft that a beam made from 2x8's would require.

Do I have any options here? Would the home builder be obligated to fix this? I've seen other homes on the block which are the same model, and many of them have the same sagging floor problem.

Thank you

Daniel Holzman 03-26-2012 11:04 AM

The only way to determine if the house is safely and properly constructed is to develop a scaled, accurate framing plan for all floors. Then computations can be run for the main structural elements to see if they are overstressed. This is something an engineer or an architect can do for you. Speculating on whether the house is correctly designed without such a diagram is not going to be productive.

Assuming you determine that the house was either improperly designed or improperly constructed, it would be a legal issue about whether you can claim against the original builder. Many states have statutes of limitations on such claims, and in any case it is almost never a simple issue.

Discussing options for repair of the "problem" without a complete, accurate framing plan is not likely to be productive. Virtually any framing problem can be corrected, some more easily than others, and all at a cost.

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