Need Some Help.....sagging Floor Joists.

 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 10-04-2012, 03:16 PM   #1
Pro
 
BlueRidgeGreen's Avatar
 
Trade: Craftsman
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Middlebrook, Va
Posts: 1,464
Rewards Points: 3,732

Need Some Help.....sagging Floor Joists.


I finally decided to remodel the master bath in my own house after years of leaving the entire suite to be our "junk room". In the 5 years I have owned the house I may have entered the room 10 times. As I was doing the demo I started to notice a serious problem. The bathroom was added about 12 years ago by the previous owner ( a total hack drywall contractor) and now I see what a mess it is. I am freaking cause I just special ordered and payed for about $5,000 in travertine and fixtures.
As I was starting to peel back the heartpine flooring I noticed that there was a 1 1/4" drop from the band joist to the center of the room......only about 5 feet. The guy who built it just threw it in and also cut notches for the drains in the ends of the joists right above the bearing wall below....half bearing, no overlap. The original joists are oak, 2" x 7 1/2" nominal, 16" o.c. spanning 15'. There was a big jetted tub that may have contributed to the sag.....catastrophic tile failure around the toilet flange (very poorly laid tile....thin set over 3/4 ply...popped off in full tiles with a slight nudge). No noticeable cracking in the dining room ceiling below, but drywall has been layed over the original plaster. No separation from back wall to ceiling above (attic). That ceiling is only dropped 5/8". Looking back at the pre demo photos....no cracking in the wall tile along the back wall which spans the sag. All the floors in the house have some sag after 110 years, but not that much.
So the million dollar question...........What am I going to do? Can I even continue? I was thinking of sheathing the back wall after some major solid blocking, then gluing and screwing till kingdom come. Adding some solid blocking in the bathroom floor that is exposed. I really don't have the time or the $......or the will to tear out the entire antique heartpine floor in my bedroom and sister joists that will cantilever and carry some of the load. Do you think that basically turning that back wall into a "torsion box" "truss" will keep the floor from sagging further and ruining my entire bathroom. It seems like it is stable.....no bounce at all, rock solid. I feel like it may just stay exactly as is, which I am fine with. I was planning on a walk-in shower (adjacent to exterior wall) and travertine on the floor after leveling it. Any help or advice is appreciated.
Attached Thumbnails
Need some help.....sagging floor joists.-deanmb1.jpg   Need some help.....sagging floor joists.-deanmb2.jpg   Need some help.....sagging floor joists.-deanmb3.jpg  
BlueRidgeGreen is offline  

Warning: The topics covered on this site include activities in which there exists the potential for serious injury or death. ContractorTalk.com DOES NOT guarantee the accuracy or completeness of any information contained on this site. Always use proper safety precaution and reference reliable outside sources before attempting any construction or remodeling task!

   

Advertisement

 

Old 10-04-2012, 03:17 PM   #2
Pro
 
BlueRidgeGreen's Avatar
 
Trade: Craftsman
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Middlebrook, Va
Posts: 1,464
Rewards Points: 3,732

Re: Need Some Help.....sagging Floor Joists.


I forgot to mention, the back wall is 5 ft. or about 1/3 in to the 15' span of the floor system. Thanks in advance. Sorry for the length.

Advertisement

BlueRidgeGreen is offline  
Old 10-04-2012, 05:58 PM   #3
Pro
 
JR Shepstone's Avatar
 
Trade: Carpentry
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Wilkes-Barre, PA
Posts: 906
Rewards Points: 1,212

Re: Need Some Help.....sagging Floor Joists.


In my opinion, if it's as solid as you say it is, I don't think that sistering on some joists to bring the whole thing into level would hurt. This is assuming no rot or decay, just that the floor joists were over-spanned when put in originally.

If that isn't going to work, you can always brace the floor from the dining room below, cut out a gap in the floor joists in the middle, put in a doubled up header and reattach existing floor joists to new header, and also add on some sisters for additional support and to bring the floor into level.

(These ideas were thought up and typed out by someone with limited structural engineering experience, and should in no way be taken as gospel. Your results may vary)
JR Shepstone is online now  
Old 10-04-2012, 06:44 PM   #4
General Contractor
 
greg24k's Avatar
 
Trade: New Home Construction-Additions-Remodeling
Join Date: May 2007
Location: NJ
Posts: 5,368
Rewards Points: 3,060

Re: Need Some Help.....sagging Floor Joists.


That whole floor system need to be ripped out, re-framed and plumbing needs to be redone. It looks like the joist been cut more then they should, not to mention 7.5" joist cannot span 15'.

The whole job was an abortion.
__________________
I never lost a cent on the jobs I didn't get!
greg24k is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to greg24k For This Useful Post:
ryanshull (11-04-2012)
Old 10-04-2012, 07:03 PM   #5
Box Builder
 
Morning Wood's Avatar
 
Trade: Pretty much anything with wood and some metals
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Rockport, MA
Posts: 3,200
Rewards Points: 3,168

Re: Need Some Help.....sagging Floor Joists.


Correct me if I'm wrong? Is there a bearing wall underneath the joists very close to where they are all cut up? If so, then I would sister on lvl ripped to width besides all oak joists as long as I could get them. You could also order kd syp untreated to sister on if you can't use lvl due to thickness. All plumbing needs to be removed and reinstalled extremely carefully by cutting holes in the center of the joists. You are going to have a hard time getting that sag out of the floor. You may have to though to et the plumbing pitched right. Even doing that way won't be to code, but it should be safer than it was.
Morning Wood is online now  
The Following User Says Thank You to Morning Wood For This Useful Post:
BlueRidgeGreen (10-04-2012)
Old 10-04-2012, 07:17 PM   #6
designer + carpenter
 
NINZAN STUDIO's Avatar
 
Trade: carpentry
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: FL
Posts: 556
Rewards Points: 510

Re: Need Some Help.....sagging Floor Joists.


Quote:
Originally Posted by greg24k View Post
That whole floor system need to be ripped out, re-framed and plumbing needs to be redone. It looks like the joist been cut more then they should, not to mention 7.5" joist cannot span 15'.

The whole job was an abortion.
15' span you should have at least 2x12 SYP No.2 joists assuming 75 PSF total load (live load + dead load) - in FL anyway. Better yet would be an I-Joist system or open web floor trusses.

Sistering on scabs at the ends OR doubling up each joist from end to end is not going accomplish much. You need more depth to achieve allowable deflection under load. How high is the ceiling below in the dining room? Do you have room to use new 2x12 joists?

Last edited by NINZAN STUDIO; 10-04-2012 at 07:52 PM.
NINZAN STUDIO is offline  
Old 10-04-2012, 07:49 PM   #7
Pro
 
J L's Avatar
 
Trade: Woodworker
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: West Palm Beach, FL
Posts: 2,208
Rewards Points: 1,056

Re: Need Some Help.....sagging Floor Joists.


Anyone have a span chart for 2x8 oak?
__________________
The artist formerly known as RemodelGA
J L is online now  
Old 10-04-2012, 07:53 PM   #8
designer + carpenter
 
NINZAN STUDIO's Avatar
 
Trade: carpentry
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: FL
Posts: 556
Rewards Points: 510

Re: Need Some Help.....sagging Floor Joists.


Rule of thumb type table, use at your own risk without engineered structure for your specific project.

http://www.awc.org/calculators/span/...rcalcstyle.asp
NINZAN STUDIO is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to NINZAN STUDIO For This Useful Post:
J L (10-04-2012)
Old 10-04-2012, 09:26 PM   #9
Pro
 
BlueRidgeGreen's Avatar
 
Trade: Craftsman
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Middlebrook, Va
Posts: 1,464
Rewards Points: 3,732

Re: Need Some Help.....sagging Floor Joists.


The AWC span calculator came up with something like 12' for 2x8 oak....1 1/2" nominal I believe. I feel like the span was just fine for its original intention. The fact that someone added a bathroom and a dividing wall 1/3 into the span is what caused the major sag in my opinion. i also have seen joists similar to these carry serious loads for hundreds of years. Old growth as opposed to new.....2" as opposed to 1 1/2". I am not really in a position to tear out the whole floor system (the Holmes on Homes solution..."tear it all out and make it perfect cause I have an unlimited budget from Owens-Corning and Home Depot", not the real world, the one I live in) I feel like a few structural band-aids to help beef up a floor that although imperfect, seems very solid; should make me sleep better at night.
Has anyone ever heard of using the dividing wall almost like a truss? Sheath, glue, screw and Simpson strap the bottom plate to the joists. I am fine with moving on if I feel like the floor has reached its full deflection and will sag no more.....does this sound at all reasonable? All the signs point to this as being the case. Has anyone seen this occur before. I have worked in many old homes that seem to have sagged floors that have remained viable after they deflected.
Am I just trying to believe that cause I can't really deal with the alternative?
BlueRidgeGreen is offline  
Old 10-04-2012, 09:51 PM   #10
Eater of sins.
 
ScipioAfricanus's Avatar
 
Trade: Designer/Drafter Extraordinaire
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Orange County, CA.
Posts: 2,478
Rewards Points: 1,846

Re: Need Some Help.....sagging Floor Joists.


Are you saying that the "back wall" is where the floor is deflecting?

If so, I guess it would be possible to take out the back wall, install a blind beam of the proper size, making sure the beam is supported properly at both ends, then re-frame the back wall.

The operative word is 'properly', it could be designed prescriptively and you could get permits for if it passes the Building department O.K.

You may have to move or get rid of some of the floor joists or sister or? but it might be possible.

Andy.
__________________
www.draftinginoc.com
ScipioAfricanus is online now  
Old 10-04-2012, 09:57 PM   #11
Eater of sins.
 
ScipioAfricanus's Avatar
 
Trade: Designer/Drafter Extraordinaire
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Orange County, CA.
Posts: 2,478
Rewards Points: 1,846

Re: Need Some Help.....sagging Floor Joists.


Do you even have building codes in Middlebrook?

I can't find any reference on line.

Andy.
__________________
www.draftinginoc.com
ScipioAfricanus is online now  
The Following User Says Thank You to ScipioAfricanus For This Useful Post:
BlueRidgeGreen (10-04-2012)
Old 10-04-2012, 10:52 PM   #12
Pro
 
BlueRidgeGreen's Avatar
 
Trade: Craftsman
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Middlebrook, Va
Posts: 1,464
Rewards Points: 3,732

Re: Need Some Help.....sagging Floor Joists.


All signs have been pointing to "normal" old house settling. As if all the sag was pre- hacked in bathroom addition. I checked all the other floors and ceilings in the house with the laser. Average sag in dead center of span is about 3/4" with one other floor having dropped an 1 1/8" (similar to bathroom in question).
Seeing what was under the heart pine scared the bejeezus out of me. However, floor seems very solid under "jump next to half glass of water" testing methodology. I think I am going to solid block all I can throughout exposed bathroom floor joists, 3/4 Advantek glued and screwed, and turn the back wall into "wall truss". Any other suggestions for imperfect, Band-Aid repair greatly appreciated.
And yes, they do have building codes in Augusta Cty, Va. As you can see from the photos, a lot o' folk jus don't concern themselves with such silly nonsense. I really should have caught it when I bought the house. Growing up in city apartments, I was truthfully just so idiotically optimistic about owning my own country "estate", my response to everything was, " oh yea, I can fix that in a day or so, no problem". This is the last room to be done........only took 3 years. Then, outside. Thanks for the input.
BlueRidgeGreen is offline  
Old 10-04-2012, 11:33 PM   #13
Maker of fine kindling
 
Gus Dering's Avatar
 
Trade: cabinet maker
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Santa Rosa CA
Posts: 6,073
Rewards Points: 2,206
Send a message via Yahoo to Gus Dering

Re: Need Some Help.....sagging Floor Joists.


Site engineering is discouraged with enthusiasm by large numbers around here.

There are times when I agree and times where I think it is acceptable. You seem to be competent and conscientious and you are working on your own home. Perfect recipe for some creative solutions IMO.

I like the idea of using that wall as a place to conceal a header. Wrapping straps around the joists and over the concealed header would let me sleep better. Sheathing the wall can't hurt.

Putting some spaces in your posts would be the best thing you could do.
__________________
Every parent who has walked barefoot into their child's room late at night hates Legos
Gus Dering is offline  
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Gus Dering For This Useful Post:
BlueRidgeGreen (10-05-2012), hdavis (10-05-2012)
Old 10-05-2012, 12:53 AM   #14
Pro
 
hdavis's Avatar
 
Trade: remodeling
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: CoastalME
Posts: 7,565
Rewards Points: 9,260

Re: Need Some Help.....sagging Floor Joists.


I'm with the concealed beam approach. Leave the old joists where they are (but do some repair), and hang new ones off the beam. If you tie the old and new joists together, your beam will have to be sized to handle half the floor load for the full 15' span instead of just half the bath load.
hdavis is online now  
Old 10-05-2012, 06:48 AM   #15
designer + carpenter
 
NINZAN STUDIO's Avatar
 
Trade: carpentry
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: FL
Posts: 556
Rewards Points: 510

Re: Need Some Help.....sagging Floor Joists.


What is your concealed header (aka upset beam that you will "hang" the floor joists from with straps as suggested) bearing on? The end points of this beam will need a min bearing area. Just something to think about.
NINZAN STUDIO is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to NINZAN STUDIO For This Useful Post:
BlueRidgeGreen (10-05-2012)
Old 10-05-2012, 07:33 AM   #16
General Contractor
 
greg24k's Avatar
 
Trade: New Home Construction-Additions-Remodeling
Join Date: May 2007
Location: NJ
Posts: 5,368
Rewards Points: 3,060

Re: Need Some Help.....sagging Floor Joists.


According to this pictures, flush girder will not do anything for that floor system. Everything is hacked up, cut up, sliced up and good for nothing.

It's your house, re-frame the whole floor system, find a way to re-route plumbing if you have to and call it a day...
It's not cost you much more, since you already have everything open, and if you can't do that yourself, or not sure how, a few hundred for an Architect will be a smart investment. Then hire a knowledgeable framer and you will have a sound floor system... because you gonna be adding and hacking up more s^*t and in the end you will end up with the same problem if not worst.

In addition if you provide a more open shot of the surrounding floor area, you can get a better advice here.
__________________
I never lost a cent on the jobs I didn't get!
greg24k is offline  
Old 10-05-2012, 09:15 AM   #17
Pro
 
BlueRidgeGreen's Avatar
 
Trade: Craftsman
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Middlebrook, Va
Posts: 1,464
Rewards Points: 3,732

Re: Need Some Help.....sagging Floor Joists.


Quote:
Originally Posted by greg24k View Post
According to this pictures, flush girder will not do anything for that floor system. Everything is hacked up, cut up, sliced up and good for nothing.

It's your house, re-frame the whole floor system, find a way to re-route plumbing if you have to and call it a day...
It's not cost you much more, since you already have everything open, and if you can't do that yourself, or not sure how, a few hundred for an Architect will be a smart investment. Then hire a knowledgeable framer and you will have a sound floor system... because you gonna be adding and hacking up more s^*t and in the end you will end up with the same problem if not worst.

In addition if you provide a more open shot of the surrounding floor area, you can get a better advice here.

Luckily, I happen to be a knowledgeable framer who knows at least ten ways to completely fix the problem. They all involve way more labor and money than I believe is necessary.

Being that it is my own house and I am fairly confident in the strength of the floor as it sits, hacked up and all, I am going to just patch it up and move on. I was just trying to come up with the best possible ways to do that.

In the end, I will be taking a slight risk. But, considering that it is hard for me to find five spare minutes these days, I am willing to take it. If I am wrong.....I will just tear everything out in X # of years and do it right.
BlueRidgeGreen is offline  
Old 10-05-2012, 09:15 AM   #18
Pro
 
hdavis's Avatar
 
Trade: remodeling
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: CoastalME
Posts: 7,565
Rewards Points: 9,260

Re: Need Some Help.....sagging Floor Joists.


Quote:
Originally Posted by NINZAN STUDIO View Post
What is your concealed header (aka upset beam that you will "hang" the floor joists from with straps as suggested) bearing on? The end points of this beam will need a min bearing area. Just something to think about.
Yes, that and how the load gets transferred down through the structure.
hdavis is online now  
Old 10-05-2012, 09:17 AM   #19
Pro
 
BlueRidgeGreen's Avatar
 
Trade: Craftsman
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Middlebrook, Va
Posts: 1,464
Rewards Points: 3,732

Re: Need Some Help.....sagging Floor Joists.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Gus Dering View Post
Site engineering is discouraged with enthusiasm by large numbers around here.

There are times when I agree and times where I think it is acceptable. You seem to be competent and conscientious and you are working on your own home. Perfect recipe for some creative solutions IMO.

I like the idea of using that wall as a place to conceal a header. Wrapping straps around the joists and over the concealed header would let me sleep better. Sheathing the wall can't hurt.

Putting some spaces in your posts would be the best thing you could do.

Thanks a million Gus. Thats exactly how I feel. My house......room to experiment.

And the spacing advice..........priceless.
BlueRidgeGreen is offline  
Old 10-05-2012, 09:25 AM   #20
Pro
 
BlueRidgeGreen's Avatar
 
Trade: Craftsman
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Middlebrook, Va
Posts: 1,464
Rewards Points: 3,732

Re: Need Some Help.....sagging Floor Joists.


Quote:
Originally Posted by NINZAN STUDIO View Post
What is your concealed header (aka upset beam that you will "hang" the floor joists from with straps as suggested) bearing on? The end points of this beam will need a min bearing area. Just something to think about.
That back wall where the concealed header will be spans from the exterior wall to the center interior bearing wall. Very typical four-over-four, center stair, turn of the century farmhouse.

It is balloon framed, so lagging the wall/perimeter joists and inputting the posts will be pretty easy.

Advertisement

BlueRidgeGreen is offline  
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to BlueRidgeGreen For This Useful Post:
hdavis (10-05-2012), NINZAN STUDIO (10-05-2012)


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Repair for sagging 9' header 72chevy4x4 Construction 4 02-27-2012 06:34 AM
Drywall sagging on 24" o.c. ECinc Drywall 20 10-30-2010 09:31 PM
Looking for carpenter w/ experience in fixing sagging floors (Westchester County, NY) rid021 Help Wanted or Looking For Work 0 10-18-2009 03:34 AM
sagging screen problem Badintheknees Decks & Fencing 11 07-08-2009 12:42 AM
shallow roof and sagging rafters boman47k General Discussion 0 11-20-2008 12:14 AM

Join Now... It's Fast and FREE!

I am a professional contractor
I am a DIY Homeowner
Drywall Talk is for
PROFESSIONAL CONTRACTORS ONLY!

At DrywallTalk.com we cater exlusivly to professional contractors who make their living as a contractor. Knowing that many homeowners and DIYers are looking for a community to call home, we've created www.DIYChatroom.com DIY Chatroom is full of helpful advices and perfect for DIY homeowners.

Redirecing in 10 seconds
No Thanks
terms of service

Already Have an Account?