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Old 02-11-2012, 10:34 AM   #1
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Joist not flush and subfloor not level


Due to extensive termite damage, I have just had my sunroom completely re-framed. They took out more than half of the floor joists, installed new ones and installed the subfloor flush with the outside band and underneath the newly framed walls.

The problem is that one of the new joists was not nailed in flush with the rest of the floor framing and the new subfloor has a bump where it's screwed down to the joist. (Photo 1)

If you want to read about some of the other issues I have with this general contractor you can read about them in the Electrical Forum: Faceplates do not cover outlets.

The bottom line is that I would like to know what the correct fix is for this flooring problem. As it stands now, I can't have any flooring installed and I don't want carpeting in a patio room.

The seam in the subfloor also bisects the new patio door (Photo 2) and as a result, the door does not close properly (Photo 3). The floor needs to be leveled before the door installation can be finished.

There is a crawlspace underneath the room with about 2-3 ft. of headroom so the repair can happen either from the room interior or from underneath it.

What would be the best way to fix the floor so that it is solid and squeak-free. It's brand new and already needs repair. Sheesh!
Attached Thumbnails
Joist not flush and subfloor not level-photo.1.non-level-joist.jpg   Joist not flush and subfloor not level-photo.2.seam-bisects-door.jpg   Joist not flush and subfloor not level-photo.3.door-not-flush-w.frame.jpg  


Last edited by Projectsgalore; 02-11-2012 at 10:40 AM.
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Old 02-11-2012, 10:39 AM   #2
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Joist not flush and subfloor not level


I'd first take a look under the floor to see if a hanger got nailed to high, a bowed floor joist, trash on top of the floor joist stopping the subflooring from sitting flush.

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Old 02-11-2012, 10:46 AM   #3
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Joist not flush and subfloor not level


If he messed up something that simple I'd also bet the door is also not flashed correctly.
http://www.jamsill.com/

With those cheaper grade doors almost no one seems to ever take the time to properly support the threshold on the outside of the house. If it's not prevented from twisting it will leak at the outside corners and deform.
I use 1 X 6 vinyl lumber and attach it with stainless steel trim head screws.
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Old 02-11-2012, 11:04 AM   #4
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Joist not flush and subfloor not level


@joecaption - There were no joist hangers. The joists were nailed directly into the crosswise support joist or whatever you call the joist that spans the floor perpendicular to the other joists. And I don't think there's any trash between the joist and the subfloor.

But whether it was carelessly nailed, or bowed and needs replacing, how would you get to the joist? From underneath the room?

I am definitely concerned about the door leaking or even the seal failing--but this door is a ThermaTru Smooth-Side. Maybe my idea of cheap is out of the mainstream but while it's not very high end, a $1,000 door is not what I would call cheap.
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Old 02-11-2012, 11:11 AM   #5
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Joist not flush and subfloor not level


I would use a cat's paw and remove both those sheets of plywood.
Did he at least use T & G plywood with constrution adhesive on top of the floor joist?
I never use plywood anymore. I only use Advantec 3/4" T & G. Much more solid and will never delaminate.
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Old 02-11-2012, 11:30 AM   #6
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Joist not flush and subfloor not level


I don't think it had construction adhesive but yes, it was T&G from Home Depot. Since I paid for materials I have receipts with SKU#s. Here's the HD profile of the subfloor:



Pinnacle is the premium subfloor that has been engineered strong, durable, reliable and consistent from one panel to the next. Pinnacle has the right properties at the right price. Our new tongue and groove profiles are engineered to fit together quickly and easily. Pinnacle carries the APA stamp and exceeds PS 2-10 standards. Backed by a 50 Warranty against delamination and manufacturing defects, Pinnacle also has a 100-day No Sand guarantee.
  • A tongue and groove profile that provides added strength
  • Panels will not delaminate and there are no core voids
  • Backed by a 50 year limited warranty and a 100-day no-sand guarantee
  • Pinnacle is available in either fsc or sfi chain of custody certified wood
  • MFG Model # : 486701
  • MFG Part # : 23/32 4x8 T&G Premium Subflooring
>>I would use a cat's paw and remove both those sheets of plywood.


Since it was installed underneath the wall and the door is also sitting on top of it, how close to the threshold/wall would you go?

Would you also remove the door to replace that section of the subfloor?

Last edited by Projectsgalore; 02-11-2012 at 11:34 AM.
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Old 02-11-2012, 12:17 PM   #7
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Joist not flush and subfloor not level


If that is the ONLY bump in the floor, and you believe the T&G subfloor is adequately attached to the joist, and you believe the joist is adequately attached to the beams (the "perpendicular joists" you mentioned), you may be able to simply sand the high spot down using a belt sander. Once you have the floor over it, no one will ever know the difference. Of course, the lack of hangers may be a problem, if the nailing was not done correctly. But that is a different issue.
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Old 02-11-2012, 12:47 PM   #8
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Joist not flush and subfloor not level


Daniel - Last week I had the ThermaTru technician take a look at the door to figure out why it wasn't closing flush with the frame. After I showed him the problem with the joist in the center of the room he put a level down across the front of the door. There was a little bit less than a 1/8 inch gap at the end of the level and it could wobble back and forth like a see-saw.

So is it possible that the entire joist might have been nailed to the beam too high?
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Old 02-11-2012, 01:48 PM   #9
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Joist not flush and subfloor not level


No doubt the joist could have been nailed too high, but I doubt that is the problem with the door. You need to verify that the door was installed correctly, meaning plumb on both sides, level at the bottom and top, and square, meaning that the diagonal distance from upper right to lower left and upper left to lower right are identical. That joist, even if 1/8 inch high, should not directly affect the door, since the door (at least if it is like any of the doors in my house) is attached to the vertical framing members, and is not attached at the bottom. You should ask the ThermaTru technician for a written report on why the door fails to operate correctly, along with a written recommendation as to how to make the necessary adjustments.
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Old 02-11-2012, 02:17 PM   #10
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Joist not flush and subfloor not level


>> You should ask the ThermaTru technician for a written report on why the door fails to operate correctly, along with a written recommendation as to how to make the necessary adjustments.

Daniel, that is an excellent suggestion. Thank you!

And yes, I think there are more issues with the door than just the flooring. The GC didn't do a "string test" as specified in the manufuacturer's directions to ensure that the opening was plumb before the door was set inside.

And I will definitely get his report but my first order of business is to fix the floor. The GC told me, "Don't worry about it. It's simple to fix." Can you believe this guy? He badly bungles the job and then assures me he can fix it easily! Ha!
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Old 02-11-2012, 03:09 PM   #11
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Joist not flush and subfloor not level


The string test, at least the one I used on my exterior French doors, works as follows. You check the rough opening for square, level and plumb first. You check plumb using a carpenters level or a laser, on both sides. You check level using a carpenters level. You check square by measuring the diagonals of the rough opening, they should be identical. You check the floor for level using a carpenters level. Once everything is level, plumb and square, then you install the door.

You tack the door in place using a couple of removable nails (double headed), or a couple of screws. You check the door frame for level, plumb and square the same way you check the rough framing. Then you do the string test. You drive four small finish nails in the four corners of the door casing. You stretch a string from the upper right to lower left, and from upper left to lower right. If the door is in plane, which it should be, the strings barely touch. If the door is out of plane, the strings will have a gap where they cross (unless you have the strings backwards, in which case they touch each other, but you check this by reversing the positions of the strings). If there is a gap, you need to correct this prior to installing the door casing into the rough opening frame, else your door will not operate properly. My Marvin doors came with detailed instruction on how to correct an out of plane condition, which fortunately I did not need to use, because my door lined up perfectly. Yours might not.
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Old 02-11-2012, 03:34 PM   #12
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Joist not flush and subfloor not level


If the floor is not level and flat under that door it's never going to work.
Yes the door needs to come out to be able cut the floor out.
A Toe kick saw can made a perfect cut right along the wall. and around the rough framing.

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