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Old 11-22-2010, 09:51 PM   #1
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Sagging floor....not your typical case...


Ok, I will keep this as precise as I can.

I bought my 2-story NJ house, built in 1925, last year and started demo on the upstairs bathroom. Once I started ripping up the floor, I noticed that the second floor joists run perpendicular to the first floor joists.

Now comes the part I hope I can explain clearly. The first floor has two serious sags (one of which was so bad that the previous owner had built a step into the kitchen to achieve flatness). Both of the sags correspond to the walls perpendicular to the second floor joists suggesting they bear a good deal of the upstairs load.

The problem is that not only are these two walls parallel to the first floor joists, but the walls are centered BETWEEN the first floor joists (which are 2x10 16"oc). This means that a good portion of the second floor/attic weight is centered on just tongue and groove subfloor. This is where the sag is. The sag gets to be as bad as 0.75" between the joists.

What I would like to do is jack the sag up and place a couple additional floor joists 2x10x10s running directly beneath the walls. One end would be supported by the main wood beam and the other end would be held up by combining 3 2x6s running to the concrete basement floor.

Does this sound like a good remedy? If so, does anyone have any experience, tips, or advice as to how I should go about jacking the sag up to fit the 2x10s between the subfloor and main beam?

Thanks in avance....
Steve
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Last edited by wrestlin; 11-23-2010 at 02:17 PM.
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Old 11-22-2010, 11:47 PM   #2
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Sagging floor....not your typical case...


hi wrestlin. Do you have any construction experience? Your house isn't going to fall down or anything, but there is a slight chance of getting hurt when you start jacking houses up.
If I under stand you correctly, you have 2 walls to jack up? And a floor beam runs under one end of them both?
Doubled up 2x10's would probably OK short term, but not for the long haul. If I understood you right your trying to carry a 10x? section of second floor and possibly the same size section of roof. I would use 6x10's with a 6x6 post. You wouldn't want to go back and do it all over again in five yrs.
How close is the nearest bearing point under the existing beam? And will the basement slab take the weight without cracking?
Use a screw type floor jack. Better control, more stability, and no hydrolic seals to go out. You should be able to find them at a tool rental center.
Do the two walls end directly over the beam? Or do they run past aways? Let us know. Pics are always nice,too.

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wrestlin (11-23-2010)
Old 11-23-2010, 05:52 AM   #3
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Sagging floor....not your typical case...


Sounds like "ad hoc" finished attic or 2nd floor addition - the new supports (both the "joists" and their supports, all the way down to the foundation) should be engineered based on the calculated loads they are carrying. In the communities where I inspect you need a permit to do this type of work, and the permit application has to include drawings stamped by by an architect, structural engineer, or other qualified and licensed design professional.
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Last edited by Michael Thomas; 11-23-2010 at 08:42 AM.
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Old 11-23-2010, 07:39 AM   #4
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To the OPS: You are considering a relatively advanced project. I say it is advanced because you need to engineer the structural system (Michael Thomas post), you need to carefully develop the temporary support program during the installation, and you definitely need a permit. This puts this type of job outside the skill level of most DIY people.

I have no idea what your expertise level is. This is certainly a doable job for an experienced person, but people have been seriously hurt, even killed, during this type of work, mostly due to improper temporary support.

As for internet chat room design, as developed by ccnvchris, let me point out that no one on this site has seen your house, you have furnished no drawings, and it appears that the construction is unusual. To offer a specific set of recommendations for sizing of members and installation techniques without seeing the site is pretty bold, some might say reckless.

My suggestion is you hire an experienced engineer, architect or contractor to look at your house, develop a plan, prepare drawings, and file your permit.
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wrestlin (11-23-2010)
Old 11-23-2010, 07:53 AM   #5
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Sagging floor....not your typical case...


I made up a quick rough sketch of whats going on.
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Last edited by wrestlin; 11-23-2010 at 08:29 AM.
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Old 11-23-2010, 08:16 AM   #6
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Sagging floor....not your typical case...


Quote:
Originally Posted by Daniel Holzman View Post
To the OPS: You are considering a relatively advanced project. I say it is advanced because you need to engineer the structural system (Michael Thomas post), you need to carefully develop the temporary support program during the installation, and you definitely need a permit. This puts this type of job outside the skill level of most DIY people.

I have no idea what your expertise level is. This is certainly a doable job for an experienced person, but people have been seriously hurt, even killed, during this type of work, mostly due to improper temporary support.

As for internet chat room design, as developed by ccnvchris, let me point out that no one on this site has seen your house, you have furnished no drawings, and it appears that the construction is unusual. To offer a specific set of recommendations for sizing of members and installation techniques without seeing the site is pretty bold, some might say reckless.

My suggestion is you hire an experienced engineer, architect or contractor to look at your house, develop a plan, prepare drawings, and file your permit.
Im a biochemist. This is my first house and im learning as I go. That is why for this particular project I am seeking advice here. I know that going with a professional is almost always the safest thing to do, and if necessary I will do it. But as with some DIYers, I dont think there is much outside of my ability to learn ...the only question is how readily available the required knowledge is and how willing I am to take the time to learn it

Given that the house has been like this (two story) for at least 50 years, I do not consider it to be on the verge of collapsing. I understand that jacking it up is another beast....I guess my most optimisitic resolution was to use a few lally columns to get the subfloor high enough (up about 3/4inch) to get a few additional joists between it and the main beam.

The main goal here is to have the house levelled as much as possible from the basement so I can continue on to renovate the upstrairs bathroom I have been working on.

Hopefully the drawing will clear up what I am trying to accomplish here.

Last edited by wrestlin; 11-23-2010 at 11:16 AM.
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Old 11-24-2010, 04:04 PM   #7
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Sagging floor....not your typical case...


Hi again wrestlin. I had one more thought rattling around in my head the other nite, but just ran out of steam before I could get it typed.
But first things first. I'm not pushing you to DIY. But think about aspects of the task that may not have occured to you. And if you don't have any practical experience, you shouldn't take this on by yourself.
Back to my thought about your basement. How well does the soil drain? If you have to add two footings will that create a leak issue?
And aren't there any similar homes in your neighborhood? Perhaps one of your neighbors is familiar with this problem.
I'm interested to know how this works out. To bad we're not neighbors, cause I love these type of jobs!

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