DIY Home Improvement, Remodeling & Repair Forum > DIY Home Improvement > Framing and Foundation > Strengthen floor for aquariums




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Old 01-20-2008, 05:27 PM  
ToolGuy
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Originally Posted by guyod View Post
precast footings might work if he has solid ground,

I dont see how you can support 8 or 9 floor joist without a beam.
With 8 or 9 footings and jacks/posts/whatever works. It's not like they cost a lot.

Rather than starting with the most costly, most complex solution, why not start with the simplest and tweek as needed. If the ground is not solid it has to be dug down to solid soil. But that's the case with any of the above mentioned solutions. If digging below the frost line is needed, again that applies to all the above. If gravel is needed for drainage under the footings... I think we all get the idea. Start with the simplest solution, then elaborate as needed. I'm guessing some footings and posts under the stress zone is all that's needed. Materials, about $100 or so. Labor, free. Simplicity, priceless.


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Old 01-21-2008, 02:35 PM  
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Wow, take a day away from the computer and all kinds of stuff goes on. Thanks for all the input guys.

I think we'll be shooting for the footings with support posts. The question I have about these is are the jacks a good long term solution?

Another question is how do I know if the floors are tongue and groove or not? I may have to get pictures of the floor to show you to see where the grooves are and such, but I won't really be able to do that for a week or so.

When I was thinking about what to do to support the floor I was thinking along the lines of what guyod and ToolGuy were describing, which makes me feel I am not totally out of my league with this. Though now I know what to do If I wanted to put a 10,000 gallon tank in.

There are no closets on the new part of the house, just a living room (which is where we want to put the tanks) and a kitchen with a small wall between them, there is a small, about 10' wide, dining area that connects the living and kithen areas (this area also has the wood floors). The living area has hardwood floors and the kitchen has tile. My question here would be in what area would be best to put the access into the crawl space?

Thanks for all the help.



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Old 01-21-2008, 04:57 PM  
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Only you can decide the best location to make an access hatch, as it's mostly a matter of cosmetics - where would you rather it be seen. Speaking of which, since it will be visible you'll want to make it look nice. Best thing to do is to use a thin kerf blade on a circular saw and carefully cut a nice square (or rectangle). Use a jig saw to get into the corners. That way you can use the same floor boards when making the cover for your new access hatch. I would tend to make it atleast 24" wide, which means you'll have to go through at least one joist. That in turn means you'll have to put a header on each end of your access way. If you cut the cut joists back another 3/4" your 1-1/2" thick header will support both the cut floor and the access cover. You may also want to get a nice looking recessed thumb-pull for it, so you don't have to use a screwdriver or something every time you need to open it.

Screw jacks are good for long term use, as they don't tend to unscrew. However, treated wood posts are even better because they can't unscrew. I wouldn't use hydraulic jacks as the seals may go bad over time - just in case you're considering them.

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Old 01-21-2008, 07:48 PM  
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There is a space about 3' wide between the front wall and a wood burning stove would this be an okay place to put the access or would the weight of the stove compromise the joist when we cut through it?

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Old 01-21-2008, 08:31 PM  
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Before you cut into the hardwood floor i would be real sure there is not way of getting in from the outside.. Does the siding of the house go all the way to the ground?


I would rather you use cinder blocks as columns or at least a combination of screw jacks and blocks. Screw jacks work great until they kick out on you. i have had it happed many times. im normally just leveling floors when it happens so the floor just falls back to the original position or i have a back up in place. If this happens to your floor it will be bad.. if you do use screw jack you have to make sure they are perfectly level. The taller the jacks the more percise you have to be. im talkin about within an 1/8 of an inch in any direction.. make sure the metal plate on top the screw jack is screwed securily too the beam. im not sure what the weight capacity of the jacks are either you will want to check that when you buy them. i already had the bottom side of a jack bend in when it kicked out..

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Old 01-22-2008, 07:08 AM  
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When I went out on Saturday I walked the perimeter and couldn't see anything. The house is stuccoed and the stucco stops at the concrete for the foundation. Before I do any cutting I will be sure to quadruple check that there are no current access points into the crawl space.

I haven't made any concrete plans for what to use for supports, so thank you for the tip about jacks.

Thanks for the help.

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Old 01-22-2008, 08:05 AM  
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Be sure to check under the front and back stairs. Sometimes there is an access hidden under there.

I didn't catch it earlier, that you have a concrete foundation, and I'm surprised there is not already an access way. It should have been built-in from the beginning, for access to plumbing and such. If you're feeling especially ambitious you could put the access the outside. It would require cutting through the concrete and putting in a steel header, but then you wouldn't have to chop up your floor. Also, if a plumber or anybody has to get under your house, they won't have to tramp through your living room.

Just a thought I felt worth mentioning.

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Old 01-22-2008, 10:05 AM  
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It seems strange to me that there is no access either, the previous owner may have just put the new flooring over it when they did the floors.

What would an outside access look like, I may have seen it and not known. I am pretty sure it's not under the stairs as they only go up like 6", the front has two stairs about 3" high each and the back has one stair. All is concrete.

I can't say for sure if the foundation is concrete or block that has been entirely mortared over.

You guys have been very helpful, thanks for all the input.

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Old 01-22-2008, 05:27 PM  
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Default You don't have an access

I have inspected hundreds of homes with no access. You will need to install one to figure out what is going on. This unfortunately is a common problem, folks did not want the critters to find a way in.
Usually it is done because there is no room underneath to do anything anyway.
Good luck.

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Old 01-23-2008, 08:09 AM  
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Only 6" Steps? that is not a good sign or maybe a really good one.

Is there only 6" of foundation all around the house.. that is going to make it almost impossible to do any thing in the crawl space like inspector said.

there is a very small chance there is a slab or a slab with floor joist right on it. something to cross your fingers for.



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