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Old 08-24-2006, 01:25 PM   #1
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leveling floor without moving joists


I have been working on a house that's about 120 years old, and wasn't very well cares for in the last 30.

The first floor of the house is old hardwood flooring that is shot. That's not the problem, the problem is that over the years the floor looks more like a wavepool than a floor. There is no practical way to lift the floor joists from the basement without having to rip out and rebuild everything so I'd like to avoid that.
Is there a simpler solution to getting a level floor out of this without the massive project that I forsee ?

ofr further reference, the highest point to the lowest point is over 1.5" in difference, and those 2 points are about 8 feet from each other.

any suggestions would be greatly loved.

Thanks in advance (even if there is no good news)

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Old 08-24-2006, 04:42 PM   #2
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leveling floor without moving joists


The first thing that came to my mind was to take up the subfloor and then add to the low joist a properly sized peice of wood to the top to equal the height of the highest joist. Then relay the subfloor or install new subflooring.

The other option is to leave the underlayment and just add strips of proper thickness to the low joist then lay a new 3/4 plywood subfloor.

The second option may cause you to have to shorten a few doors.

Dave.

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Old 08-24-2006, 06:34 PM   #3
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leveling floor without moving joists


Quote:
Originally Posted by slhfire

The first floor of the house is old hardwood flooring that is shot. That's not the problem, the problem is that over the years the floor looks more like a wavepool than a floor. There is no practical way to lift the floor joists from the basement without having to rip out and rebuild everything so I'd like to avoid that.
Is there a simpler solution to getting a level floor out of this without the massive project that I forsee ?
You say that the flooring is shot. Will you be removing it anyway?
Is there a basement below this floor or a crawlspace?
Have you looked to see if the floor joists are relatively level and it may just be the hardwood flooring that is wavy?

How are the floor joists attached at each end?


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Old 08-24-2006, 09:54 PM   #4
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leveling floor without moving joists


it's deffinately the joists, they have sagged / settled over the years, and they basically sit on the sill with a main support 4x6 across the house through the middle perpendicular to the joists. (Like I said 100+ year old house).

I've considered ripping up everything and "shimming" (not really using shims, but going along the joists and leveling it that way) but I just doin't know what kind of disaster awaits for me if I do that. Every other project I have done in the house started simple and got complex as I found more problems the deeper I dug. (Welcome to "my old house").
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Old 08-24-2006, 10:46 PM   #5
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leveling floor without moving joists


Well, once you shim everything and get it all back together, what's to stop it from continuing to sag. Floor sag is only a symptom of a bigger problem such as perimeter ground movement causing the exterior walls to slope inward compressing the floor joist cause the illusion of sag.
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Old 08-25-2006, 08:33 PM   #6
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shoring up existing structure has already been accomplished. so hopefully further sag or movement should be prevented.
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Old 08-26-2006, 12:41 AM   #7
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leveling floor without moving joists


Are the joists 2 x 10 (2 x 8) that have been notched at the ends?


The older joist may even be rough sawn tree trunks.

Usually the older houses had the joists notched and over time the joist would develop a crack because the notch would be a weak spot.


How large is the room? (10 x 10, 12 x 12, 14 x 14, 20 x 20...)

Without seeing what you have - I would install joist hangers on both ends of each joist. If the joists are under sized or spaced farther apart then normal then I would install a support beam ( at a 90 degree angle to the current joists) half way between the joist hangers and the current support beam. You would have a total three support beams including the current one.
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Old 08-26-2006, 03:32 PM   #8
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leveling floor without moving joists


notched 2x10s are the cuplrits, the room spans (along the joists) approximately 18 feet. there already is a large piece of timber perpendicular to the joists in the center (now supported by pillars). It seems that at some point the center large beam sagged (or was warped or something) which had the other beams sag, and so on. it's only really bad in 1 spot, leading me to believe (this is only a hunch) that there was some massive weight that should not have been on that floor, somewhere on it. It looks like there used to be a chimney /fireplace in the area, so maybe someone took out the chimney and stacked the brick there as it was comming down (just a theorey).
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Old 08-26-2006, 05:19 PM   #9
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leveling floor without moving joists


Any cracks in the beams other than at the notched ends?

Any termite damage?
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Old 08-28-2006, 07:58 PM   #10
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no damage aside from the cracking at the notched ends, and that's fairly minor. absolutely no insect or rot damage to the joists

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