pier and beam and floor joist repair and leveling

Discussion in 'Framing and Foundation' started by NYSandyvictim, Sep 29, 2013.

  1. Sep 29, 2013 #1

    NYSandyvictim

    NYSandyvictim

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    Hello everyone. This may be a long post but i want to explain the best i can. In short im just looking for a little help fixing/leveling the foundation/floor joists in my home after a hurricane and contractor who made more of a mess then the hurricane. After we kicked the contractor out because they messed up EVERYTHING they did, i started researching for weeks straight on how to correct some things (mainly the floor) .

    The problem: After we saw how shoddy the contractors work was we really started checking everything. At this point the plywood subfloor was already down and badly unlevel and sloping bad in areas which was supposed to be leveled since we paid for it. We noticed that the side sill beam (pier and beam house) was badly rotted and cracked. Somehow the contractor didnt notice this or didnt care and laid the ply anyway. Well we made him take care of it foolishly and replace the sill beam/fix joists ect. He did it very poorly. He put in a cement footing 3" deep, replaced the sill with a treated 4x6.The joists that were badly damaged from the sill beam collapse he just put ripped down 2x2's on top of to make it look like it was fixed but didnt fix the joists.he actually cut the 2x10 joists off the sill beam and he sistered 2x4's about a foot or two in at the end all crookedly and barely attached . i slapped a few off with my finger when we took up the floor once he was gone. he also laid broken pieces of scrap wood all over the place to make the floor a little more level which it still was not.Not to mention he cut the wall studs off the sill beam and never replaced them. i guess he did most of this because he didnt own a jack and the rest out of carelessness and spite.

    Anyway now i am at the point of fixing this mess myself the right way starting from the dining room which is level all the way to the rear of the house. Dining room>Kitchen>bathroom/backdoor.Then end of the dining room to the middle of the kitchen is where the sill beam collapse was. I just started the job a few days ago. I sistered the original 2x10's with new 2x10's spanning from on the sill beam all the way to the center beam . BTW the house has 2 sill beams spanning 20' with a center beam splitting the span to 10' .The pics will tell more on how the house is. I got 4 done as of now leveled to the rest of the house that was undmaged and level. I connected the sisters with 3/8" carriage bolts with big washers and PL premium adhesive as well as 3 10dor16d ring shank nails shot in every 16" with the framing nailer. nice and strong now they are level and dont budge like they used to when being pushed on. I am now at the area where the sill collapsed and the joist is sinking more then 2" as it goes toward the sill beam. This also happens to be under the stairs and a non load bearing wall. The wall after removing the contractors ripped up 2x2 wedge under it is now floating about 2" over the joist. I have to get that joist back up to level. i put two jacks under it . This is where im at now.

    There is a few beams laying across the floor under the stairs in which i need some advise on. The middle two dont look like they are doing anything . The one on the right (pics below) looks like its partially under a perpendicular wall in the kitchen . The one on the left looks like it goes all the way the the rear of the house. Iv never seen anything like this. maybe someone here can see something or give advise on what they would do. I dont want to go breaking anything jacking. Anything you guys happen to notice in the pics below that would help or anything i should know .I know its kinda hard to tell. I did start jacking a little today and got the joist up around a inch already going very slowly all day.A pump or two every 20-30min.There doesnt seem like that much pressure on the jacks.There was some minor creaking and popping sounds on a couple pumps at the end of the day when we decided to stop and let it sit overnight. The pops sound like they are coming from the beam running under the stairs that i mentioned above. Could be just some nails breaking free or just unsticking. No major sounds. I just wanted to get some advice hear before i continue. My plan is to get it back up to where its supposed to be and sister a 2x10 across it like i did to the others.
     
  2. Sep 29, 2013 #2

    NYSandyvictim

    NYSandyvictim

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    Heres some pics of everything from the contractors mess,sill beam old and new and then the work on the joist i just started.

    sill beam problem
    [​IMG]
    new sill beam( what looks like fixed joists is not.They acually only go in 15" or so and attached to the top of the old 2x10s that were cut which are hanging below the sill beam inside.
    [​IMG]
     
  3. Sep 29, 2013 #3

    NYSandyvictim

    NYSandyvictim

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    pics of contractors mess
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  4. Sep 29, 2013 #4

    NYSandyvictim

    NYSandyvictim

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    [​IMG]

    on the left is where i started fixing and right side is more contractors crazy mess.
    [​IMG]

    Joist i sistered so far with new 2x10's glued,bolted and nailed spanning sill to middle sill.
    [​IMG]

    Now for what im up to and need some advice on if possible.
    The problem vvvv Notice how looking through the wall under the stairs the floor is dropping bad compared to the rest of the house and newly sistered joists past it.
    [​IMG]
     
  5. Sep 29, 2013 #5

    NYSandyvictim

    NYSandyvictim

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    I started removing all the little pieces they wedged under the wall to make up the space between the sunken joist and the wall.This needed to be removed to jack it of course.
    [​IMG]
    more pics of the wood from the kitchen side.
    [​IMG]

    with the wood removed. Notice the large gap under the wall and sunken joist below it.
    [​IMG]
     
  6. Sep 29, 2013 #6

    NYSandyvictim

    NYSandyvictim

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    as the joist sinks down going towards the stairs. the middle sill beam is what it keeping the joist up high on the right side.
    [​IMG]
    under the stairs .These are the beams i mentioned above that im not sure of what they are there for. The right one looks to be under the perpendicular wall in the kitchen just a tad but ends about 5' back.The middle 2 end about 3ft back and arnt doing anything. The left one seems to run through the whole kitchen under the drywall but im not sure its actually doing anything.IDK.That one seems to be the only thing really creaking when jacking though. Some pics to help you help me
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    heres where i set up my jacks. jack on the right is sitting a long 4' 2x6 and a few other 2x's packed tightly into the soil and leveled. On the top of the jack is 2 2x's .One i drilled a hole in the size of the jack screw to keep it on there steady. The other jack on the left is my secondary just sitting on the cement footing. BTW i had a friend repour the footing so its now 3ft deep. A little better then the 3" the contractor did.The original 2x10 joist in the pic is not touching the sill .It was cut and only thing holding it up it that piece of 2x6 in the front which was not even held on good itself. I put a extra 2x6 spanning all the way just for strength while jacking which will be changed to a new 2x10 when its jacked all the way . The front one will be coming out too after and also be a 2x10.
    [​IMG]

    Sorry for the long post . I just wanted to give a idea of my situation . Any advise from here foward is greatly appriciated on anything you can see or would help my journey. Thanks a bunch.
     
  7. Sep 29, 2013 #7

    nealtw

    nealtw

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    I think you did good by getting rid of the contractor want to be. I think I would have attacked this a little different than you did but, here you are.
    How did you attach or support the floor joists at the new sill beam?
    I can't figure out for sure the beams under the stairs. If they are below the floor joists, they may have been put there to support the stairs and wall beside the stairs just to take the bounce out of the floor.
     
  8. Sep 30, 2013 #8

    guyod

    guyod

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    You have alot of pictures and detail but i am still having so trouble following why or how the floor is so far out of level. The one picture looks like its 6" out of level in 6' and 16" away the next floor joist under stairs looks level. (I think its the stairs there). So the floor joists are not long enough to sit the new sill and you are jacking up floor joists one at a time while sistering in new 2x10? I would not do this. You should be jacking up as many floor joist at one time as possible. A 4x4 makes for a good temp beam should be safe spanning 6'. Use 6x6 if lifting more than floor joists. You should not be jacking up the walls steps 2nd floor or roof unless there is obvious gap that needs to be filled. I see your wall has new studs so that would suggest that they were installed after the floor sank. I would not jacking anymore. Instead I would cut down studs of wall. you dont want to jack up 2nd floor if it doesnt need it.
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2013
  9. Sep 30, 2013 #9

    NYSandyvictim

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    floor joists just rest on the sill beam. I did add some L brackets but the original joists just sat on the sill between the wall plate and the sill.

    The floor is out of level because a portion (first pic ) of the sill beam collapsed where the joist dropped with it in that area. The contractors fix was not raising the joists back up to the original position ,he just nailed a 2x4 to the side of the old one that attached to the top portion of the old 2x10 .So basicallly the 2x10 is still dropping below the sill beam while the new 2x4 is sitting on the sill beam just holding the original from falling more.However the original 2x10 supposed to be sitting on the sill also is supposed to support the wall plate which now nothing is. The problem is just in that 6' or so area however since he didnt fix that area he hacked up the rest of the kitchen joists to make it more level with the damaged area instead of fixing the actual problem then kitchen joists would have been good and level. Before he started on the house there was only a single 2x10 every 16oc .Now there 4 or 5 pieces of wood in all different spots off each original 2x10 making spots of unlevelness and voids all over.

    The joists were long enough to reach even the new sill but the contractor cut them short because he didnt own a jack to get them back up wjere they were supposed to be before putting in the new sill beam.

    I was able to get the joist under the stairs jaacked all the way back up yesterday so now the top of the 2x10 is up against the wall plate and bottom over the sill. I then sistered a new joist in there so it sits flat on the sill beam. now its in the same position again like when the house was built. It doesnt look like the jacking effected any walls,just the joist im thinking .There was very little pressure on the jack handles. The wall with the gap was put in after the problem and the contractor never even screwed it down to the joist . The whole bottom was pretty much floating. Well he had ply wood under it ,The plywood was touching the adjacent joists but not the joist under the wall which is the reason why the gap is there when the ply was removed.

    I would like to here how you guys would do this job. Thats the reason im here. Anything im doing wrong or could be done better i would like to know. Im all about wanting to do everything right.
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2013
  10. Sep 30, 2013 #10

    guyod

    guyod

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    The 2x10's should be spanning from beam to sill. Make sure your beam is strong enough. it wouldnt hurt to sister boards on to that too.
    Use a long straight edge across floor joists to make sure you dont have dips or humps
    I would jack up more than one floor joist at a time. Other than that i think your making the best out of a hack job.
     
  11. Oct 1, 2013 #11

    nealtw

    nealtw

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    What I would have done different is, bring the foundation concrete up to 1 1/2" below the bottom of the joists used a 2x6 sill plate, slid in new joist and removed all the old junk. That would be the plan anyway, you always run into reasons why the best plan might be so simple. You are a long ways down the road, so I think you should continue and we will just thru you curve balls from time to time.
    Did you notch the new joists to get them above the sill beam? Did you leave room for a rim joist? The rim joist sits on the out side of the sill and you nail thru it to the joists.
     
  12. Oct 1, 2013 #12

    NYSandyvictim

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    yes all the sisters i am putting in span from sill to middle beam getting rid of all the multiple little boards that were put all over the joists. The middle beam is the most solid part of the house. Its rock solid and in great condition. Size is 6x10 i believe and has 10" wooden piers under it about every 8' . I have been using a long 10' piece of red oak as a straightedge as well as my 6 and 8' box level. Trying to get it at least 1/4" out in 8' . The ones i did so far are less then 1/8" out in 8' and dead level in both directions. Before we found the mess under the new plywood we decided to take up the floor because it was over 2" out in like 4-5ft. Funny thing is the first thing we said to the contractor is we need flat floors and at the time it wasnt nearly as bad as after he finished. In contract it says level and flatten all floors and shore up any beams/joists. Right now we are waiting for the building dept to take action against him. The floors is only 1 thing of many things that were messed up. guy couldnt even do drywall right. Most held in by 2 screws and plastic water bottles wedge in the bottom. We also paid him to insulate the crawlspace and that wasnt done either. He put a few pieces of bat in a couple joists that were already laying in the dirt when we took the floor up.
     
  13. Oct 1, 2013 #13

    NYSandyvictim

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    That is interesting . I didnt know that would be ok to do. We never had any concrete around the house. It always was just wood pier and sill beam and open on the sides. I figured that concrete and rim joists were for a different type of foundation. The contractor put some cinderblocks under the sill beam to close it off a little. Not much room for a rim joist.The way the house is the vertical wall studs go down and sit on the sill beam. I can see a rim joist giving nice support though and closing it off the air much better.

    I did notch a couple of the joists i put in on the top of the joist not on the bottom. The deepest notch on top was about 1.5" .I had to notch 1/4" out of one joist on the bottom . Reason is the contractor also put the sill beam in a little crooked. It slopes down a bit going towards the back of the house.

    Right now a have run into a little issue. The joist under the wall i got raised all the way up and a new joist sistered to the side of it in the front however the joist is still twisted or tilting foward. I have been trying to get it to go straight but it wont budge. It might be just set crooked now from being like that over time. Anyway i can get it to go straight again? By straight i mean vertical .Right now its tilted like ( / ) and im trying to get it back like this ( i )
     
  14. Oct 1, 2013 #14

    guyod

    guyod

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    3 Options
    Blocking to next floor joist( will probably need lags or ledgerlock screws to grip enough to pull joist straight)
    Shim new floor joist until its straight. (leave old tilted)
    Remove old floor joist.
     
  15. Oct 1, 2013 #15

    nealtw

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    The notching of the joists is a no no, so before you close that up we will get that fixed up.
    To the question on the joist leaning, first have a look and make sure you haven't got nails or such that is stopping it from moving. Then decide whether the top or the bottom is in the right place.
    If it is right on the top of the joist then cut a block that would fit between that joist and the next joist on each side. Install the one block high on the side that is right and the other low on the other side, as you hammer it in to place the joist will straighten up. If the next joists start to bend too, more blocks between joists even if you have to right across the run. Joists that are more than 7 ft should have bridging or solid blocking anyway. As you do blocking you want to keep an eye on the joists for straightness. Crooked joists make putting plywood down a pain.
     
  16. Oct 6, 2013 #16

    NYSandyvictim

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    I thought notching the top of the joist wasnt too bad at around 2" or so .Also only the sill side is notched and center beam side is not. Is that not ok. I cant think of any other way to do it though.

    I was able to get the joist a little bit more straight . Then i did as suggested above and did the blocking trick then shimmed out the bottom of the old joist a little and pulled the top in with some lags then sister in the new 2x10 . Worked out good as now i also have some joist on the other side of the wall sticking out for the plywood to screw to so now i wont need to add a blocking strip for the plywood. Just finished up rebuilding the stud wall that was over the joist from scratch. Straight as a arrow now and 90 degrees from the perpendicular wall. Full studs too not pieces like it was. Now im moving to the next joist starting the kitchen. I had foundation company come out to my house yesterday for a estimate on fixing some foundation stuff here. Unfortunatly they werent really able to help since what they really do is ok on my house . Center beam support ect and werent able to do anything with the sill beam and under boiler due to the low height of my crawlspace. They did say that the only thing they can see wrong with the sill beam replacement span is its on a slope going down towards the back of the house.The piers they said looked ok except for a the one at the back of the span which is lower but intact and not leaning or shifting which leads them to believe its running pretty far down into the dirt. They may have been able to replace that pier but he said it probably wouldnt be worth it for us.Something with the soil condition being at sea level ,escavating ect. As far as leveling the floor with the sloping sill he said to pretty much do what i am doing and shimming the 2x10's on the sill for that area to make up for the sloping with it only be a 8ft span or so where its sloping. They did say the rest of the joists were a mess and i got a real butcher contractor.They must be fixed of course like im in the process of doing.

    thanks for the replies so far.

    Not sure what im going to do yet at the end of the kitchen where the guy cut the joists completely off the sill beam ,put a cross headerish 2x6 and connected the cut joists with joist hangers to it. he then has the header sitting on 2 piers he made. So basically the joists there are not connected to the house.They are just on those 2 piers on the inner crawlspace of the house not reaching the sill beam. The piers are also sticking up too high and when i remove the header and sister a2x10 the pier may be in the way of getting the 2x10 on the sill .
     
  17. Oct 6, 2013 #17

    nealtw

    nealtw

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    I guess I was looking at the notches your guy did in his peices, I would like to see a photo of yours. With his the space above the beam would have been filled and the joist hung in hangers would be the correct way to do it. If the peirs are in the way, you could cut them down or frame around them with a double on each side and double blocking front and back with hangers and hang the missing joist off the double blocking, the blocking would be joist material. Or just change the layout to have a floor joist on each side of the pier, just screws up the plywood a little.
     
  18. Oct 13, 2013 #18

    NYSandyvictim

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    Found another big prob that has to be fixed asap. I may call someone in to fix this but would like to know the best way to fix it anyway in case i do decide to do it. On the kitchen wall (load bearing) the wall plate is rotted and cracked. There was a beam under between the wall plate and joist like(the same ones that are under the stairs but the contractor cut it out in that area of the crack and i can already see it has sagged down a lot. This looks like a major problem to me. this is the only wall perpendicular to the floor and ceiling joists in the kitchen . This wall also holds the stairs and ceiling/2nd floor joists. You can see in the pic how theres the wall with the beam between the joist and the plate and where the beam ends the plate sinks down a lot all the way to the actual floor joists.

    From the pics what do you think i need to do to fix this. Im thinking i will need to build a tempory support wall somehow then replace at least part of the wall (not the part that holds the stairs) I dont know how i would support the stairs.

    I temporarily put a double 2x4 between the joists under the problem area to hold it for a short time(red 2x4's) I still need to fix/sister the joists under the wall too.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  19. Oct 13, 2013 #19

    NYSandyvictim

    NYSandyvictim

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    Here are some more pics of the problem area

    heres the location of the wall shown from further away .Problem is at the end of the wall under where the microwave opening is (sheetrocked in this pic).See how stairs are connected to it. In the forground is the new non load bearing wall i just built replacing the one the contractor built very badly.
    [​IMG]

    whole wall straight on view
    [​IMG]

    Notice the beam/planking that ran between the wall plate and the joist . It sticks out a little in the front and rest of it under the stairs . This was cut under the cracked area and reason it probably broke and sagged.
    [​IMG]
     
  20. Oct 13, 2013 #20

    guyod

    guyod

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    I would attach a min of a 2x6 temporarily to the studs. Span from end to at least stud on other side of boxed out hole in wall. Attach it with 2 4" 3/8 lags per stud. I would do this on both sides. Then jack up 2x6 on both sides of wall. If lags start pulling out or it is hard to jack up then stop. Hopefully you can get it up that extra inch to replace the bottom plate. If the wall doesnt want to jack up you will have to cut studs down a little. once the new bottom stud is in straighten out the 2 stud that are crooked. You will probably need sledge hammer.

    IMG_2036.jpg
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2013

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