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Old 02-21-2016, 09:04 AM   #1
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Remodelling house, top down or bottom up?


I am thinking remodelling the second floor starting this spring.

Need to replace old 6mm laminate floor, trims and baseboards...... the list goes on.

Before I put down new floor I have to make the subfloor as level as possible.

There is one sagging joist on the first floor under my fridge.
If I leave it alone (will fix that when we save enough to remodel the whole kitchen) for now, will repair the sag in the future affect second floor's level?

I don't want to work in the wrong order, that means extra work in the future on second level

advice appreciated
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Old 02-21-2016, 09:11 AM   #2
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Not seeing how fixing a floor joist is going to have any effect on the second story, or in most cases why you would even having to wait to fix it before working on the rest of the house.
Access under the house, basement, crawl space, any pictures of the area in question?
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Old 02-21-2016, 09:30 AM   #3
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My DIY 2 cents opinion is that houses are built bottom-up. Remodel the same way.
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Old 02-21-2016, 10:02 AM   #4
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Thanks for the reply,

When we bought the house the basement is basically finished, so I kind of reluctant to open up the ceiling.

most importantly, the floor is covered by carpet, I am thinking to put 1/2" or 3/4" plywood on top of that so jack can have a solid surface, will that work? Or I have to cut the carpet and expose the concrete floor?
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Old 02-22-2016, 06:44 AM   #5
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You really need to remove that carpet . Tiles, laminated, wood floors etc all need a solid base. Carpet does not fit the bill and putting 1/2 or 5/8 material on top of it wont make it stable enough . It needs to go before you lay your new floor.
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Old 02-22-2016, 07:22 AM   #6
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I think it depends a lot on the type of remodeling you will be doing. If structural, I think you start from the bottom and work up. If it's a lot of cosmetic work like drywall, flooring, etc. I would start from the top and work down. Why? Because if you get your first floor all done, then start on the 2nd floor, you will be dragging out carpet, drywall or old plaster down and through what you just finished, bringing all that dirt and debris through newly finished areas. All that dirt will collect on walls and flooring. Just my two cents'.
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Old 02-22-2016, 10:04 AM   #7
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Thanks for all the replies.

Most of the work is cosmetic, so I believe Gymschu has a valid point.
can't imagine drag all the materials over the new floor
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Old 02-24-2016, 11:33 AM   #8
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You have to know the history of the house as well as how the framing and foundation look. Without knowing these, it's a willy nilly guess on what to fix. If the second floor has a slope, you must find out why it is sloping. If only 1 joist or particular area of the kitchen has a floor sag, it may be just that area. My house is sagging all over, one reason it was cheap. I won't be correcting any of it by lifting/moving anything. A chimney is at the center of it and framing is tight to the chimney. If I were to move any framing, the chimney has to be free of it. I will be adding shims instead.
You have to open ceiling/walls to see what is going on. You can choose to go blind as well, which isn't always a foolish thing. In general, framing keeps its capacity to hold up a house. Termite or rot is usually local and does not create a whole slope. Foundation can be checked easily for problem settle.
I have sold renovated houses where the floors were not plane level. It depends on how it feels to walk around the area. How is it for you, having lived and walked on it? Be critical but not measuring your feelings with a level. It is somewhat like a person who checks the smoothness of a wall with light and looking for shadows. It is impossible to have that kind of smooth wall. If a buyer picks on it, that is not your buyer.
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Old 02-25-2016, 08:36 PM   #9
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the second floor is fine, the 6mm laminate floor is ok, no obvious gap between the floor and and base shoe.

only problem I can see is there is a bump on the floor around a transition, what I can tell is they didn't cut the door trim and leave expansion space, instead they cut the floor around the door trim and sealed the gap

I am hoping that's the cause of the bump, but I have to check the condition of sub floor when I remove the old laminate floor.
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Old 02-25-2016, 11:50 PM   #10
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Step on the bump and if it depresses, then it may be expansion. If not, the subfloor was not as flat as it should be.
About the order of fixes, there is no set or better order. Finish is obviously last. Paint can be retouched but you may be retouching a lot, esp if you paint, install trim, caulk the trim for gaps, and have to paint the joint all over again. Dust control and cleaning may have to be reset multiple times and that's just part of fixing while living in the house.
I used click together engineered floor. I had to remove the door trims. Glue or nailed flooring may be easier but flooring should not show any gap under the jambs and moldings. Use oscillating saw to undercut the existing door parts. Remove some rough framing or drywall so you have more room to slip the flooring in. If you're removing 6mm floor, how does it tie to the stair tread?
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Old 02-26-2016, 02:16 PM   #11
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just removed some caulk around the door trims, and my 2-year old son can depresses that area when he walked on.

so I guess my initial guessing was about right, but can only confirm when I remove the old floor on that area.

it's some kind of cap of 3" wide ties between the floor and the stair tread.
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