Viewing 3 reply threads
  • Author
    • #46012

      Short version of a seriously long story: I bought a “rehabbed” house in Chicago about 9 months ago. The problems in this house are legion–there’s a lawsuit pending–but here’s the Problem Du Jour:

      The floor of my 2nd floor bath has a downhill slope of about 4 inches over a 10-foot span. This is due to the joists below, which are rotten beyond repair. I have hired someone (originally to level the floor, but then we saw what the deal was with the joists and decided THAT was more serious.)

      Here’s the thing: HE wants to jack up the floor from underneath, then place a support pole and have that as the main support of the floor. (He hasn’t said anything about replacing or sistering the joists, which I find…odd, to say the least–but maybe I’m just not understanding his whole plan.)

      I, on the other hand, lean more towards “Let’s rip out the ceiling (or the floor, whatever works best) and replace those rotted joists entirely.” I mean, if we’re going to do it, let’s do it all the way. He seems less-than-enthusiastic about this option.

      My main concerns: 1) is his way enough support? 2) What are the risks involved in just jacking up a floor like that?? From what I understand, jacking up large structural portions of a building should be a slow (weeks, months even) process, done in tiny increments to avoid major structural damage. He says otherwise….

      He’s insured, so I guess it’s not life-and-death–but still, I’ve been through enough with this house and would really prefer no further catastrophe. Any advice on the best course of action would be greatly appreciated.

    • #248741

      I agree with you, but there are so many variables we can’t see from here. Joist replacement would be done from below by demolishing the ceiling. It may be possible to sister new joists along side existing, and tying into the top-sill (if not ballon frame) where the joists have rotted. The rotted components and affected floor section would have to be removed.

      What kind of span are the joists?
      Is your ceiling drywall or plaster?
      Is the house conventional framed or balloon?
      What would your contractor use to support the column and beam?
      If the joists have failed allowing the floor to sag, how does supporting them on a beam and column provide a long-term solution?
      Does his proposal include replacing the rotted section?

      Sorry, more questions than answers, you probably need a second opinion (bid).

    • #248743

      You have more problems than you know. If the joists sag 4″ across the floor to one end, then the wall is settling. If the joists sag 4″ in the middle, and do not spring back when a load is removed, a support has failed within your structure (possibly a load bearing wall removed on first floor). A rotten failure does not provide long term warnings, more of a brittle failure, instant. I don’t doubt that it is rotten when you look at it, its just that rotten timber will perform structurally until the very, sudden, end. This is why your insured contractor is willing to just shore the existing construction. I would replace the whole thing, and shore with a column.

    • #248762

      You did not say whether the house is frame or brick. Let’s assume frame. The question is what does the ceiling (and actually the joists) do over by the wall? If the ceiling is down where the ceiling meets the wall then you may also have a problem in that wall. In that case you need to rip down the ceiling and the plaster on that wall and repair the wall along with the joists. In other words if the first 6″ of joist by the wall are ok but it gets rotten after that then the wall is ok. If not and the joist is rotten all the way to the wall the wall is most likely involved.

Viewing 3 reply threads
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.