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Old 12-04-2015, 11:13 AM   #1
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floor leveling


Hello all!
Wife and I just purchased a ranch with half the house over slab , other half (bedrooms) over basement and 2 car garage (mbdrm). We ripped up the carpets and can see areas the are a lot higher in certain spots (master bedroom from of house goes up). There's an overall sag in the middle. That coupled with the slope upwards towards the house results in a 3 inch difference. Subfloors are old particle boards so we're thinking of taking up the plywood and sistering the joists to level the difference. We'd also like to make sure the area between the garage ceiling and master floors is well insulated.

Does anyone have any advice on sistering joists. Had a few flooring guys come out and want to shim the floors to level. 3+ inches seems like a lot to shim.
Seems like everyone has a different view. We're at the point we want to hire someone knowledgable to help us do this ourselves.
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Old 12-04-2015, 02:46 PM   #2
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Good plan to get rid of the particle board, bad stuff.

You could shim 3", but that's a lot. Shim or sister, you're likely to create problems with doorways, aren't you?

Did the house sag? Maybe jack it up part way and sister too.

Jaz
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Old 12-04-2015, 05:27 PM   #3
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3" is a red flag, shimming is not the ansewer.
Need to find out what moved that much and fix that.
Hard to even know what trade to suggest going to for help.
I worked on 100 plus year old houses for so long it was easy for me to see what was wrong.
Under sized, over spanned joist, improper footings under piers or not enough of them, fungus or insect damage.
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Old 12-05-2015, 07:19 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JazMan View Post
Good plan to get rid of the particle board, bad stuff.

You could shim 3", but that's a lot. Shim or sister, you're likely to create problems with doorways, aren't you?

Did the house sag? Maybe jack it up part way and sister too.

Jaz
Thanks, Jaz.
The main slope upwards is in the last 4 feet of the front of the house -- we think it was built poorly but I am concerned. We're living in it as tenants while we are in contract to buy it. It's on the bottom of a hill in a very hilly area (has a drainage / sewage easements on the property). Had multiple people look at it (flooring guys) that all seem to think adding plywood and shims would help. There's old water damage throughout -- one guy said it had to be 20 years old.

We contacted the old owner -- who owned it before the current seller. He said he did a ton of leveling on the slab side as it was drastic. There's still some slopping but overall it's flat. He said it was terrible. Makes me nervous.
It's a ranch with half on slab (kitchen , living (sunken -- below grade and has the same slope up towards the front of the house) , dinning and family (with extension). Other half (4 bedrooms and 3 baths) over the basement / garage).
The un-levelness is not just on the slab but also as mentioned the master bedroom and some areas in the other bedrooms. I am just concerned about future shifts but there's a wrap around huge deck that's very level -- been on for 20 years.

The house has a nice unique look, 12 foot ceilings and spacious which has my wife loving it but I'm freaking out about all the issues.

Seams in walls are bulging in some areas. Some folks say they seen worse but some are wow'd by the severity.

In my mind, the house is just surrounded by wetness and the shifting , settling has been severe -- esp. being it's on the bottom of a hill.

Im freaking out about buying it.

Last edited by patieboy; 12-05-2015 at 07:31 AM.
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Old 12-05-2015, 07:22 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joecaption View Post
3" is a red flag, shimming is not the ansewer.
Need to find out what moved that much and fix that.
Hard to even know what trade to suggest going to for help.
I worked on 100 plus year old houses for so long it was easy for me to see what was wrong.
Under sized, over spanned joist, improper footings under piers or not enough of them, fungus or insect damage.
Thanks Joe, that's what I am afraid of. Something seriously wrong. I think I need a soil and / or structural engineer. The problem is everyone who has come out so far (for level / hardwood floor quotes) just says what it takes to win the job. So an engineer will say yeah, we need to jack your house, sister beams, etc etc -- they are in the business of making $.

Just need an HONEST eval.
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