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Old 06-15-2012, 06:43 PM   #1
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Uneven floor joist


I think we have bit off more than we can chew. We are building our own home. The floor joists are not level. It seems to me (I am not a contractor) that the foundation we poured must not be completely level. So how do we get the floor joists in the middle to come down. If we remove the face plate then there won't be a plate on the foundation. If we don't the joists towards the middle with be higher than the ones on the ends. Any suggestions?

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Old 06-15-2012, 07:21 PM   #2
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Without more info, if the foundation is the problem, there are companies that can cut concrete. It isn't cheap, but may cost less than other fixes. Mostly you would have to jack up the floor enough to take the weight off so the saw does not bind. This is assuming you don't have the walls up yet.

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Old 06-15-2012, 07:23 PM   #3
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We don't have walls up yet. There isn't any other way to get it level like cutting out the plate?
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Old 06-15-2012, 07:32 PM   #4
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Cutting / removing plates, (sills, there should be two) not really a right way. Maybe if there is only one or two high joists you could notch into one sill with a sawzall then rip the bottom of the rim joist. If you only have one sill it isn't a good idea.
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Old 06-15-2012, 07:34 PM   #5
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do you have any photos? when you say middle do you mean the joists between the two side foundation walls or do you mean the middle between the front & rear foundation walls?

what type of foundation? full basement, crawl space?

do you have a center beam? is it set at the correct elevation (top of beam level with top of sill plate?

again, photos sure help ....
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Old 06-15-2012, 07:35 PM   #6
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Post pics and give us some dimensions to work with! Bet you'll get a ton of suggestions if you provide plenty of good information.
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Old 06-15-2012, 07:46 PM   #7
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Thanks will take a picture and will let you know.
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Old 06-15-2012, 08:48 PM   #8
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Fix the foundation. Do not leave anything out. Do not cut and end up with undersized joists. If anything, go a larger size on all the others and only adjust the ones at the higher points. But without a better explanation and some pictures it's impossible to say what to do.
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Old 06-15-2012, 11:16 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by GBrackins View Post
do you have any photos? when you say middle do you mean the joists between the two side foundation walls or do you mean the middle between the front & rear foundation walls?

what type of foundation? full basement, crawl space?

do you have a center beam? is it set at the correct elevation (top of beam level with top of sill plate?

again, photos sure help ....
I mean the middle between the front and read foundation walls. It is on a crawl space. I do have a center beam, but I will have to check to see if the beam is level with the sill plate. I will get pictures when we go back tomorrow. Thanks for the time to answer.
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Old 06-15-2012, 11:24 PM   #10
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I mean the middle between the front and read foundation walls. It is on a crawl space. I do have a center beam, but I will have to check to see if the beam is level with the sill plate. I will get pictures when we go back tomorrow. Thanks for the time to answer.
if they are higher between the front & rear foundation walls, and you have a center beam it's very possible the beam was set too high. I'm curious to find out what you find ....

hope this helps
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Old 06-16-2012, 12:34 PM   #11
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a quick and easy way to adjust already built in place floor joists to fit an uneven foundation. use a scrap 2x4 block and nail down flat at the edges of the room. nail a nail that sticks out of block to each block and use a strong string line strung to the nails and pull it tight from block to block. the string should be 1 1/2" off of the floor joists so use another 2x4 block and use it for a guide along each floor joist to show how in line the joists are with the ends of the room. if a joist is to high then to cut it free, use a sawz all and cut free the joist and notch out the underside to allow it to rest down into position at the correct height. if joist is to low then use sawz all and then shim under joist to raise it up to the correct height.
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Old 06-16-2012, 02:34 PM   #12
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I assume that you are not actually building this since, if you were, you would have to already know how level the foundation was before the 1st plate went down and you would already know the beam height.

So my question is why are you not asking the contractor how he is going to fix this? I would seriously begin looking for a new contractor. If yours is having difficulty getting the floor system down level then I can only imagine how bad the rest will come out.
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Old 06-16-2012, 03:11 PM   #13
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I assume that you are not actually building this since...
Because you didn't read the part about "we are building our own home"?

I'd be shaking my head at any outcome that would lead to even needing to ask the original questions. So, yeah, you have to wonder just where this is heading. Permits involved? Inspections? No? Ugh.
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Old 06-16-2012, 03:24 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by wkearney99 View Post
Fix the foundation. Do not leave anything out. Do not cut and end up with undersized joists. If anything, go a larger size on all the others and only adjust the ones at the higher points. But without a better explanation and some pictures it's impossible to say what to do.

I've dealt with some really out of whack foundations---adjusting the sill plates was always the answer--who has the luxury of stopping all work while the foundation top is ground down?

Proper framing--sill sealers and grout should be the answer--
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Old 06-19-2012, 08:30 PM   #15
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Thanks for all the help. We had my brother-in-law come down and look at it. I hated to make him drive, but having a live person come look seemed like a better idea than just posting pictures. It was the foundation was a little high towards the middle. They cut down the foundation and the floor is laid. Now, hopefully, my husband and father can move forward without any more major problems.

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