Uneven Floor And Joists In New Room - Building & Construction - DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum


Go Back   DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum > Home Improvement > Building & Construction

CLICK HERE AND JOIN OUR COMMUNITY TODAY...IT'S FREE!

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 10-17-2011, 08:42 AM   #1
Newbie
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Westchester, NY
Posts: 20
Rewards Points: 10
Default

Uneven floor and joists in new room


Hello all. Hope I got the right forum for this post.

I have just had a contractor put a new room on my home. It is about 20 x 20 feet, with a full basement underneath. About half way through the room, one of two main headers spans the room. On the existing house side of the header, the floor and underlying joists are perfectly plumb and level.

On the other side of the header the floor is sagging about 1/2 inch over the six feet that are on that side of the header. The joists from underneath are not plumb either. I can actually roll a ball from the middle of the room to the outside wall of the new room.

My contractor has pretty much told me to suck it up and there is nothing he can do for me. He suggested that he would cut the header by 1/4 inch to lower the center of the room. I told him not to touch it until I spoke with the architect, but he cut it anyway. It did nothing.

The contractor has had about half a dozen excuses... cupping of the hardwood floor, shrinking joists, header not being even, just suck it up, it's the architect's fault, etc. Anything except, let me fix it.

My questions are these...Should I have to just suck it up? Is this caused by using wet wood (and subsequent shrinking) when the joist were installed or has the foundation sank a little? How can this be fixed? Should I pay him or should I get a lawyer?

I figured jacking the floor a bit and putting pressure treated wood in the crack would do the trick, my contractor is dead set against this. He says it will crack the drywall. I figure it is a small price to pay to have level floor.

I can visibly see and feel the floor sag when in my socks. I don't want to be reminded of this for the next 25 years that I am in the house. If anyone can help it would be appreciated. TIA.

Advertisement

Orangeclawhamme is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-17-2011, 09:22 AM   #2
JOATMON
 
ddawg16's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: S. California
Posts: 7,651
Rewards Points: 2,616
Default

Uneven floor and joists in new room


As a homeowner doing all of my own work, I have learned that NOTHING is perfectly straight.

However, 1/2"? If it was 1/8", yea....thats fine. That is about how much shrinkage I have seen in my floor joists from full wet to full dry. 1/4"? That is really pushing it. Can't blame that on shrinkage. 1/2"? Hopefully some of the experts will chime in. If it was me? I would be telling the contractor to suck it up and fix it.

Advertisement

__________________
Even if you are on the right track, you will still get run over if you just sit there.

My 2-Story Addition Build in Progress Link ... My Garage Build Link and My Jeep Build Link
ddawg16 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-17-2011, 09:42 AM   #3
Newbie
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Westchester, NY
Posts: 20
Rewards Points: 10
Default

Uneven floor and joists in new room


I figured the same. Thanks for the reply btw. I am pretty sure that it wasn't shrinkage either.

My feeling is that either the foundation sank a little or it was never put in right. There is no cracking of the concrete that I can see at this time. but I really don't know how to check this without a HUGE level, maybe a string or laser?

Unfortunately, the room is finished at this point. They had so much stuff in there that I wasn't able to even walk on the floor on the side in question until after the hardwoods were put in.

This is really bumming me out as I have spent a ton of dough on this addition only to be disappointed in the end. There are a couple other things as well, minor but they are still there. I also have issue with the wood stove(draft) he had put in and they really didn't finish puttying stuff inside the closet. It is sad that I have to bring up these issues to get them fixed.

Does nobody take pride in their work anymore or has it become non-profitable to do so?
Orangeclawhamme is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-17-2011, 06:34 PM   #4
journeyman carpenter
 
woodworkbykirk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: nova scotia canada
Posts: 2,767
Rewards Points: 150
Default

Uneven floor and joists in new room


your contractor sounds like an idiot. he doesnt want to fix what he messed up and is trying to blame his screwup on the architect..

the architect draws it up, the builder's job is to make it a reality.. now there are times when the new part of the house may have to be buildt slightly out of level for one floor so to line up with the existing but it should correct itself as it moves further away from the existing, thus becoming level. nothing worse than having a doorway from the existing into the new where the two floor heights are different, keep it at the same heigh

in regards to wood shrinking, 1/8" is expected especially with the lumber being used today its mostly fast growing wood which is more susceptible to shrinking.. 3/16 well you will see on 2x10's and 2x12.. somethign being off by 1/2" is just plain wrong

where the joists over the header are out of level on one side and level on other sounds like he didnt install squash blocks and pick up the point load. something is compressing under the load either there are no aquash blocks under the post on one side of the header or no footing was installed under that point load
woodworkbykirk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-17-2011, 10:42 PM   #5
Newbie
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Westchester, NY
Posts: 20
Rewards Points: 10
Default

Uneven floor and joists in new room


Thanks for the replies.

I wouldn't be mad if it had to start at the existing house being a little off to match. Fortunately, the floor is perfectly level starting at the front of the existing house and all the way across to the middle of the addition. From there it's all down hill, ha ha, literally.

Not sure what a squash box is. From what I gathered it is for engineered I-beam, on the ends. He used 2x8's for joists. A 2x12 is laying on the top of the concrete foundation as the sill plate. The only engineered pieces I have are the main beams. They are rectangular, not I-beams.

I put about half an hour into re-investigating. I checked the foundation level on all sides I could access. All other beams are level. Only the joists from the center beam to the outside wall are off. No cracks in the foundation or anything that would say the foundation has sunk.

Maybe after putting the weight of the walls on the joists, it compressed them or something. They are uniformly deformed, it seems, all on the outside wall. Hard to imagine though.

If the guy just jacked up the one side of the room 1/2 an inch and put some pressure treated wood in there and sealed up the new cracks around the bottom, I would be happy. But, he is looking at me sideways when I suggest it to him. Telling me that I have no idea what I am talking about. Do I have no idea?

I am no contractor. But I do know somthing about construction and repairs around the house. Kinda how I noticed this was messed up, and it will be how I will notice it every time I go into this room for the next 20 years.

The architect is showing up tomorrow morning. Maybe he can shed some light. Although I am not putting any faith into it. He was going to make the room just wide enough for me to put the TV against the far wall, put the coffee table right up in front to the TV stand and then the couch right behind it with no space to walk through. I caught that one on the second rough draft.

Wish me luck.
Orangeclawhamme is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-18-2011, 01:04 PM   #6
Newbie
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Westchester, NY
Posts: 20
Rewards Points: 10
Default

Uneven floor and joists in new room


The architect came by today. It turns out the floor isn't 1/2 an inch off after all, it is 5/8 to 3/4 off. His feeling is that the sill plate was put down wrong, the foundation was level, so they put the sill plate down and must have just figured it would be level as well. All the joists were then laid on the uneven sill plate and these individual joists were not checked either.

The solution... rip up my wife's beautiful hardwood floor and cut the plywood underneath. Lay 2x4's along side of the 2x8's under the floor to level just the plywood. Lay it back down and put the floor back in place. The architect says that jacking the floor is way too risky, especially when everything else has been built to the uneven floor. When old houses sag, they make spaces where things separate. Seeing as this was built wrong, but tight, there is no place for the house to move if were to be jacked up. All the drywall and windows would suffer because of this.

My wife was floored, no pun intended, well yeah. I gotta have sense of humor for this. I haven't heard back from the contractor yet, I am sure he isn't going to want to do this.
Orangeclawhamme is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-18-2011, 05:47 PM   #7
Framing Contractor
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Caldwell, NJ
Posts: 1,758
Rewards Points: 1,000
Default

Uneven floor and joists in new room


Quote:
Originally Posted by Orangeclawhamme View Post
Hello all. Hope I got the right forum for this post.

I have just had a contractor put a new room on my home. It is about 20 x 20 feet, with a full basement underneath. About half way through the room, one of two main headers spans the room. On the existing house side of the header, the floor and underlying joists are perfectly plumb and level.

On the other side of the header the floor is sagging about 1/2 inch over the six feet that are on that side of the header. The joists from underneath are not plumb either. I can actually roll a ball from the middle of the room to the outside wall of the new room.

My contractor has pretty much told me to suck it up and there is nothing he can do for me. He suggested that he would cut the header by 1/4 inch to lower the center of the room. I told him not to touch it until I spoke with the architect, but he cut it anyway. It did nothing.

The contractor has had about half a dozen excuses... cupping of the hardwood floor, shrinking joists, header not being even, just suck it up, it's the architect's fault, etc. Anything except, let me fix it.

My questions are these...Should I have to just suck it up? Is this caused by using wet wood (and subsequent shrinking) when the joist were installed or has the foundation sank a little? How can this be fixed? Should I pay him or should I get a lawyer?

I figured jacking the floor a bit and putting pressure treated wood in the crack would do the trick, my contractor is dead set against this. He says it will crack the drywall. I figure it is a small price to pay to have level floor.

I can visibly see and feel the floor sag when in my socks. I don't want to be reminded of this for the next 25 years that I am in the house. If anyone can help it would be appreciated. TIA.
You have two main beams in a 20' span? What size are the joists? What are the measurements from the foundation to the first and second main beam? Are the two beams flush or dropped?
__________________
Joe Carola
Joe Carola is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-18-2011, 10:49 PM   #8
Newbie
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Westchester, NY
Posts: 20
Rewards Points: 10
Default

Uneven floor and joists in new room


Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Carola View Post
You have two main beams in a 20' span? What size are the joists? What are the measurements from the foundation to the first and second main beam? Are the two beams flush or dropped?
one beam is to support a cantilever that existed before the addition was put on. The weight of the roof was going to be placed on this beam while the weight of the floor was to be placed on the other. I think they are 12" engineered beams 4 inches wide or so. They would have had to use 12'+ joists if the second wasn't added.

The joists are flush to the top of the beams and hangers are used. The joists then extend to the top of the sill plate. Joists are 2x8's. The floor in the new basement is uneven so height varies a little from floor to header but are about 85" or so. I do know that the two headers are in fact level and the joists between are as well. The beams sit on the foundation, they have maybe a 1/4" cut from them to make them level with the other beam.

After having the architect contact the contractor, he still swears up and down it is not his fault. I have a feeling we are going to have to take him to court to get anything done. Its a shame seeing as he was such a good guy up until this point. Luckily, I haven't paid him his last installment yet, which I have no problem doing as long as the job is right. We shall see, I have a tentative meeting on Sunday with him and the architect.
Orangeclawhamme is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-19-2011, 12:12 AM   #9
Tileguy
 
Bud Cline's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 10,466
Rewards Points: 2,580
Default

Uneven floor and joists in new room


Sounds like you should be hiring a structural engineer from another town that doesn't know either one of these guys and get another opinion. Hang on to your money at this point.
Bud Cline is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-19-2011, 07:10 PM   #10
Newbie
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Westchester, NY
Posts: 20
Rewards Points: 10
Default

Uneven floor and joists in new room


Quote:
Originally Posted by Bud Cline View Post
Sounds like you should be hiring a structural engineer from another town that doesn't know either one of these guys and get another opinion. Hang on to your money at this point.
Thanks for the advice. I have no intention of giving up a penny until I see some results. I will give the engineer a thought after our next meeting. I will hire them if we come to a stalemate.
Orangeclawhamme is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-20-2011, 11:41 AM   #11
journeyman carpenter
 
woodworkbykirk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: nova scotia canada
Posts: 2,767
Rewards Points: 150
Default

Uneven floor and joists in new room


its sort of sounds like the contractor didnt actually level the rim board, when they started to frame the floor. no foundation ive framed on top of is dead level. i mostly do icf work and then continue with the framing. when we pour our icf the concrete is within 1/8"- 1/4" of being level,, any odd spots we shim the ribbon so it stays level or we use drypack mortar to build up the mud sill.. this creates a perfectly level floor system

on a conventional foundation wall, more often than not we have to build knee walls on top of hte concrete, this is what the floor system sits on. problem being the foundation can be out of level by up to 2". when this happens we have to stick frame the walls, meaning every stud has to be custom cut to create a level base for the floor system to sit on.. i dont think your guy did this he just went with the foundation. this is quite common for slap bang framers, they just start building on it, they dont take elevations
woodworkbykirk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-20-2011, 11:53 AM   #12
Retired from the grind
 
gregzoll's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Midwest - Central Illinois
Posts: 14,401
Rewards Points: 2,464
Default

Uneven floor and joists in new room


Really depends on which side they put the crowns. Did they just do all crown down, or go crown up, crown down, etc. Some go all joists crown up, but then you end up with a floor that will not settle properly.
__________________
Ren: Now listen, Cadet. I've got a job for you. See this button? Ren: Don't touch it! It's the History Eraser button, you fool! Stimpy: So what'll happen? Ren: That's just it. We don't know. Maybe something bad, maybe something good. I guess we'll never know, 'cause you're going to guard it. You won't touch it, will you?
gregzoll is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-20-2011, 10:08 PM   #13
Newbie
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Westchester, NY
Posts: 20
Rewards Points: 10
Default

Uneven floor and joists in new room


Thanks for all the info guys. It seems that if things are going wrong, nobody wants to call you back.

Hopefully Sunday we will get together and discuss what will happen. These two guys are at odds right now. At least one is on my side.

By the way, I love Ren and Stimpy, Gregzoll. I actually have a Ren tattoo on my arm. Oh, my ice cream bar... Shame it got cancelled.
Orangeclawhamme is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-20-2011, 10:26 PM   #14
Retired from the grind
 
gregzoll's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Midwest - Central Illinois
Posts: 14,401
Rewards Points: 2,464
Default

Uneven floor and joists in new room


Still can watch re-runs on Netflix streaming.
__________________
Ren: Now listen, Cadet. I've got a job for you. See this button? Ren: Don't touch it! It's the History Eraser button, you fool! Stimpy: So what'll happen? Ren: That's just it. We don't know. Maybe something bad, maybe something good. I guess we'll never know, 'cause you're going to guard it. You won't touch it, will you?
gregzoll is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-23-2011, 09:05 PM   #15
Newbie
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Westchester, NY
Posts: 20
Rewards Points: 10
Default

Uneven floor and joists in new room


Ok, so I met with the contractor and architect again yesterday. They stayed for about an hour and the contractor was able to show us that the main beam in the middle of the floor was actually crowning in the center of the room. He took a string and went from one end to the other and showed that it was off by a little under 1/2 an inch.

He is coming back on tuesday to try and fix it. He is going to have the Lally columns cut by 1/2 an inch and he is hoping that eventually the floor will settle and come down or he will pull it down with these columns.

The architect seems to be on board with this and it certainly seemed to make sense at the time. What I am wondering is why it wasn't found sooner? Also, if anyone cares to comment on whether or not they think this is total BS or not, that would be much appreciated. TIA.

Advertisement

Orangeclawhamme is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off





Top of Page | View New Posts