12:33 AM 12/11/2012
Our home is 55 feet long. The first 52 feet is level. However the final 3 feet is about 1 inch higher than the rest of the floor. I had someone come take a look at it and they suggested we shim our new floors to raise them up one inch so that the entire floor is level.
It seems crazy to me to level the entire floor just because the last few feet are higher. Is it possible to modify the joists to make them one inch thinner? Am I risking disaster even thinking about this.
Would love to hear from someone that has experience with this.
There really is no way to knowing based on the information you have provided. It could be that you have oversized joists in the one area and cutting an inch off, while onerous, wouldn't cause a problem (unless they are metal "C" joists). I'm assuming that the 55 foot dimension is from front to back and the beams run side to side? That would be the more important dimension for what you are asking.
When you say that the final three feet aren't level, is there a difference of an inch between an old floor and an addition or is it a slope? An inch drop in a three foot span with the rest of the floor being level strikes me as odd and I would want to make sure that something structural hadn't occured before I did anything else. What's underneath the part that is higher? Can you access the beams from below and would it cause a problem with ceiling heights below by dropping them an inch? Are there bearing walls underneath where you want to cut the joists? What size are the beams now? These are all things I would want to know before giving you a yes or no answer to your question.
While shimming the whole floor is a lot of work, without seeing the situation, I probably agree with your contractor and putting in sleepers or shimming would be the way to go.
3:55 AM 12/11/2012 | 0 Votes
We have seen thiss often.
Settlement has dropped all the joists, probably shaping them sort of banana. The cellar support beam (depending on your width) keeps all of the interior joiss dropping a similar deflection.
So what's going on with the front and rear joists that makes them so different?
Older buildings tied that first joist to the masonry front and back, so they didn't fall like the others.
Usually I run a circular saw along that first joist (which hopefully is under the frame wall) and attach a cleat to the face of that joist. The old subfloor will usually drop right down to level (It never wanted to be held up in the first place). you will need access to underneath to fasten the cleat ( a 2X6")?
What I want to know is do I get the princess's hand?
2:05 AM 12/12/2012 | 0 Votes
Sorry for the poorly written original post. Lets see if we can answer a few of these questions:
1. The joists run side to side and are approximatly 20 feet across. They sit inside the brick
2. The house is about 100 year old.
3. The joists are all the same size.
4. The height difference of the slope is on an incline.
5. The building is 4 stories and the slope gets larger and larger as you go up. On the 4th floor it is closer to 3 inches. (Its like the back part of the back room is on a hill.
6. There is partial access to the joistsbelow from the basement on the first floor. The fourth floor has a better view of the joists and the roof.
7. The joist size seams to be just under 8"x3"x20'
8. Looks like they added a concrete apron around the boiler room at some point. Not sure if this may have affected thigns. One of the walls of the boiler room is sitting right under the girder.
4:11 AM 12/12/2012 | 0 Votes
Points 1-8 are completely routine.
Boiler Room enclosures were required by code probably during a heating plant conversion in the 1950's, after the settling had taken place, so it wouldn't effect the house structurally.
Put a level across the bottom of the joists as viewed from below in cellar to confirm diagnosis.
Do not consider shaving beams. It is illegal and unwise. Plus time consuming and a pain.
7:53 AM 12/12/2012 | 0 Votes