Fixing structural issues?

Discussion in 'Carpentry and Woodworking' started by bryce, Aug 22, 2012.

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  1. Aug 22, 2012 #1

    bryce

    bryce

    bryce

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    I just had inspection done on a house to buy, it seems the guy moved the stair case at one time but did not support it properly.
    It is 1947 1-1/2 story with attic/bedroom. In the attic the floor has dips down quiet a bit pm pne site. Overall the house looks fine, i only noticed these things today.:eek:
    The inspection guy assures me i fix it for $3k paid to a professional carpenter and it will fixed! Needless to say i'm a bit sceptical/worried.
     
  2. Aug 22, 2012 #2

    nealtw

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    When a hole is cut thru the floor joists for a staircase, there needs to be a barring wall or a beam that carries the loads from above as well as the floor itself. If both floor have sagged the repair may be in the crawl space and may or may not be a big deal.
    If only the upper floor is sagging, then something major is required. It may be more than just installing a beam as it will have to be supported all the way down to the foundation and if the is nothing there, more would have to be added.
    I would ask the vender to have an engineer draw up the repair, then everyone will be on the same page on what is required.
     
  3. Aug 23, 2012 #3

    BridgeMan

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    If you show us a picture or two, we might give you some suggestions that could cut down on the $3000 estimate. And FWIW, most home inspection associations' standard operating procedures do not allow inspectors to provide monetary quotations. Or offer to make repairs themselves.
     
  4. Aug 26, 2012 #4

    bryce

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    [​IMG] This is the stair case that was moved. The unfinished spot to the far right on the floor is sloping down. The next room is the attic, about 25% of the floor is sloping down to that point, about 1" i think.
     
  5. Aug 27, 2012 #5

    nealtw

    nealtw

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    Your framing should look like this.

    floor-framing-stairs-with-landing.gif
     
  6. Aug 27, 2012 #6

    nealtw

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    Note the double joists on each side and the double studs under the corner by the landing and double joist at each end of the staircase. The joists can be singles if they sit on bearing walls but the post at the corner should be supported all the way to a footing in the basement.
    I hope this helps. Is the floor on the main also sagging.
     
  7. Aug 27, 2012 #7

    bryce

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    Hi Neal thanks that's a useful diagram. Based on it, i think i can see that the staircase will need some more support. You can see the pillar at the bottom it just sits on the wood landing and bellow he has some 2x4 jammed under it. So maybe two new big 4x4 pillars need to be put in, with footer?

    Yes the kitchen floor is uneven as well, there will have to be some work done on the footers.
    Do you think the sloping of the attic bedroom ( the next facing room) is related to the staircase lack of support? The kitchen? or all these separate problems?
    I'm meeting a lic. carpenter tomorrow who will give me a quote, i figure better to spend a bit of money on this problem get it correct properly.
     
  8. Aug 27, 2012 #8

    bryce

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    Here is the ceiling, nothing noticeable but who knows what under the foam tiles? I guess it can't be that bad (the seller refuses to remove.)
    The ceiling is bellow the attic with the slope. I assume when i remove the foam tiles i will find bent or even cracked beam/joices? How bad could it be?
    [​IMG]
     
  9. Aug 27, 2012 #9

    nealtw

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    I can't get the photo of the ceiling, but if he just put stairs in with out support he probibly didn't up grade the joists up there either but could live with that maybe and the staircase will be a good size job but can be fixed.
     
  10. Aug 28, 2012 #10

    bryce

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    [​IMG]
    Interesting looks like the guy who's still living there did some work around the headers! I guess he felt bad after what the inspector said. Notice the tiles different color. Maybe i can assume it is fixed.

    I was there today and the contractor did not seem to think the problems were such a big deal as the inspector suggested...

    He said for the crocked floor in the attic and the kitchen he would just put a new flooring over it to make it flat. I guess i do not need to pay him to do that.

    He said if they push things up they may crack in with old houses it is better to just leave it as long as the foundation are solid.
    Does that sound right to you?
    I guess it is a matter of ply wood pieces laid down and some filler to level it off? Or is it a bad idea to let think continue sinking. Here's the spot, i think it is big area actually that needs to be filled. What do i fill it with?[​IMG]
    So where the new tiles are he just change that area was weak, as the inspector said was not supported properly, so the up stairs floor sagged?
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2012
  11. Aug 29, 2012 #11

    nealtw

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    For some reason I am having trouble opening photos. I would still get quotes on lifting the house back up to level. The house settled a few inches soon after it was built and won't likely move any more. We have leveled just the floor but sometimes re-leveing the house is no big deal.
     
  12. Aug 29, 2012 #12

    nealtw

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    Ok, managed to open your photos. The question becomes which wall is supported by footing in the basement. If it is the wall beside the first step, there should be a double joist coming from over the door to the post to the right and a double from that wall to the other double. If that wall hasn't got bearing below the there would be a beam above the wall running full length to another beam from over the front door.
    Is that a repair to the right of the stairs on the floor?
     
  13. Aug 29, 2012 #13

    BridgeMan

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    Stairway below the landing needs a handrail, badly.
     
  14. Aug 30, 2012 #14

    nealtw

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    Bridgeman; You don't like the supper slide down and right off the landing out the door?
     
  15. Aug 30, 2012 #15

    bryce

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    Yes every one says that but it is the least of my concerns. It's kind of cool look no, wide open? Railing would ruin it. You can see how he uses it as table, lol.

    Should i replace that support pillar? How strong is that encased stuff?
    I going to be meet with the owner this weekend and he is going to answer all my questions. At least he fixed the headers, i guess he felt bad about it.

    Btw, i was thinking of taking that wall out on the far right beside the staircase on the first floor, you can see the door.
    [​IMG]

    Is that completely nuts? There is another wall and support above it in the room above, see first picture to left. I guess that is a no no. But what if it supported by a solid frame of real 4x4's around the entrance? Would that work, would that be strong enough?
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2012
  16. Aug 31, 2012 #16

    nealtw

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    Have him go over what he has worked on and what he knows about.
    Bearing walls, walls that have been removed, size of beams or headers that have been placed. A scetch of how the floor joists upstairs are running will be helpfull.
    No you wouldn't just frame out an opening with 4x4s. A none bearing wall can just be removed. A bearing wall can be removed but some engineering has to done on how to support everything.
     
  17. Aug 31, 2012 #17

    bryce

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    "A bearing wall can be removed but some engineering has to done on how to support everything. "
    What does that mean? If i put a big massive 4x4 frame around it then support from the basement. What else could i do?
    --------------
    { }
    { }
    --------------
    { }
     
  18. Aug 31, 2012 #18

    nealtw

    nealtw

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    Have a look at the post beside the the landing in your photo. The white box running across the ceiling will be some sort of beam. As little as two 2x10s and as much as a huge expensive engineered beam. The beam has to be strong enough to carry the weight of the floor and roof and anything else above. The ends are held up with 2x4 or 2x6 studs, as many as are requirerd to carry the load. You would find solid blocking below that post from the bottom of the floor sheeting to the top of the wall downstairs and than as meny studs carry the load to the footing below the floor. When removing a bearing wall you would need help calculating beam size, post size and whether or not the existing footing for the wall will be strong enough to carry that weight.
    Like I said, it can be done but, it deffinitly is in the planning and cost benefit analysis
     
  19. Aug 31, 2012 #19

    nealtw

    nealtw

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    bryce: keep in mind some of the sloping floor around a new staircase could be caused by some one failing to re-structure the framing for a changed load.
     
  20. Sep 4, 2012 #20

    CallMeVilla

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    Did your inspector lift the ceiling tiles to look at the structure? He can do this . . . It might solve some questions at this point.
     

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