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Old 10-28-2009, 04:52 PM   #1
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Help -my floor joist are drastically uneven


I just inherited a house that was built in 1859. It is an old farmhouse. 2 story. An addition was done but the upstairs floor is approx 6" higher than original floor. I really want to level this out and increase downstairs ceiling BUT am I asking for a headache? My thought was to gut house - intall new trust joists ( I think I spelled that correctly) - done. But....... I could use some opinions. Am I opening a 'can of worms' ??? Thanks

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Old 10-28-2009, 08:59 PM   #2
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Help -my floor joist are drastically uneven


YES.

The construction methods used in 1859 were very different than today.

Most often the out side walls were balloon framed.That means really long framing lumber ran all the way from the top of the foundation to the top of the second floor .

The wood is likely rough cut from a local hardwood.Could be oak,elm,poplar,I've even run across walnut!

There were no inspectors-often no plans--Just a sketch and the knowledge of the framer-All to often the farmer himself!

This may well be the biggest can of worms you have ever seen,or fairly straight forward.

Roll the dice. best of luck!==MIKE--

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Old 10-28-2009, 09:17 PM   #3
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Help -my floor joist are drastically uneven


Welcome to the forum! You can change your floor elevations to a certain extent by sistering joists, but this would only take some of the dips and gullies out of a room's span. 6" is a lot! You would have interior bearing walls to contend with as well as new footings for them if you properly consulted a Structural Engineer to get a plan of attack. As Mike said, to replace the floor system would be a total deconstruction of the roof and upper story walls, all of them.
Be safe, Gary
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