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Old 03-04-2007, 09:56 PM   #1
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Raise a sagging joist


The other day I noticed that the plaster above my bedroom door was cracked. I recently repaired and repainted this spot on the wall (less than 2 years ago) and was surprised that the house was still shifting as it's over 50 years old and doesn't show many other signs of this occurring. At this point I also noticed that the door had dropped between a quarter and half an inch on one side such that the door is almost missing the latch.

I walked downstairs to look at what this was resting on. It's another wall. I went to the basement and it's not resting on anything, not directly anyway.

Today I figured out exactly where the wall is resting and cut the drywall out from the ceiling in the basement to see what was going on. The wall in rests on a double joist which is 3 or 4 feet from a metal I-beam. There's a piece connection to a neighboring joist that has nails that are visibly being pulled from the joist. From the point where the wall rests on the double-joist (intersection of walls actually) the double-joist runs at least 15 feet with no support. I think this is an issue that should be dealt with.

I am considering doing this myself. It doesn't seem like a big deal to take a screw jack and add an extra bit of support here. It's not like I'm replacing anything or removing structure. I'm only bolstering the structure. Am I being naive? Should I get a professional in to look at it? I could really let it go but we have doors that are suffering and the plaster is cracking and it really concerns me that the double-joist is moving relative to it's neighbors.

If this is something I can do: My foundation is in good condition. I should be able to bolt the screw-jack right into the concrete, right? I don't need to dig out a footing or anything, do I? thanks,

-James
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Old 03-05-2007, 07:18 AM   #2
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Raise a sagging joist


How thick is the basement floor where the post would be placed?
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Old 03-06-2007, 06:16 PM   #3
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Raise a sagging joist


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Originally Posted by duder View Post
The other day I noticed that the plaster above my bedroom door was cracked. I recently repaired and repainted this spot on the wall (less than 2 years ago) and was surprised that the house was still shifting as it's over 50 years old and doesn't show many other signs of this occurring. At this point I also noticed that the door had dropped between a quarter and half an inch on one side such that the door is almost missing the latch.

I walked downstairs to look at what this was resting on. It's another wall. I went to the basement and it's not resting on anything, not directly anyway.

Today I figured out exactly where the wall is resting and cut the drywall out from the ceiling in the basement to see what was going on. The wall in rests on a double joist which is 3 or 4 feet from a metal I-beam. There's a piece connection to a neighboring joist that has nails that are visibly being pulled from the joist. From the point where the wall rests on the double-joist (intersection of walls actually) the double-joist runs at least 15 feet with no support. I think this is an issue that should be dealt with.

I am considering doing this myself. It doesn't seem like a big deal to take a screw jack and add an extra bit of support here. It's not like I'm replacing anything or removing structure. I'm only bolstering the structure. Am I being naive? Should I get a professional in to look at it? I could really let it go but we have doors that are suffering and the plaster is cracking and it really concerns me that the double-joist is moving relative to it's neighbors.

If this is something I can do: My foundation is in good condition. I should be able to bolt the screw-jack right into the concrete, right? I don't need to dig out a footing or anything, do I? thanks,

-James
James,

Get a professional to look at it first. It shouldn't cost you a penny.

Never use a screw jack to raise something sagging as bad as that sounds. With something like that, we would use 6x6 posts and heavy duty bottle jacks (2 x 12's placed under the jacks to disperse the weight load). We might even add a thick piece of lumber laid flat against the bottom of the beam. Then use two 6x6 posts with two jacks to raise it, so that all the stress will not be in one location.
You would want to keep and eye on and check all your joists and other framing members that may be tied into this beam as it is SLOWLY raised. You would want to "Listen" very carefully for any signs of unusual stress ..... as it is being raised...

BTW- If you add a concrete filled lally, then you need to dig a hole in the floor about 2' x 2' and fill it 12" in depth with concrete (add portland cement to the mix) to create a footing. This should be done and cured, prior to raising the beam.

As mentioned, get a professional to look at this anyways. This info. will hopefully get you started in the right direction.

Last edited by AtlanticWBConst.; 03-06-2007 at 06:20 PM.
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Old 03-06-2007, 06:54 PM   #4
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Raise a sagging joist


I second that. We had a general contractor come out and look at our sagging floor. It cost us nothing, but saved us a lot of stress knowing we had a pro look at it. If its just one joist it shouldn't be a huge issue. Hopefully things go well.
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Old 03-07-2007, 08:57 PM   #5
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Raise a sagging joist


Thanks, everyone who responded. I will talk to a couple contractors. I already am working with one on some exterior mortar issues. I don't think it's a serious issue but I think it might be worth stopping if not reversing the sagging. thanks again.
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Old 03-09-2007, 11:56 AM   #6
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Raise a sagging joist


What Atlantic said....

It should be stressed to pay attention to everything that is happening while you raise the joist. After 50 years of settling, your house may not like the idea of just being forced back up.

A firm I used to work for was involved in trying to raise an old house that was sagging. They ended up doing very little to the structure because as soon as they started to raise it up, they started to crack everything.

Good luck.
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