Would you worry about this sloping floor?

LoPayMay 10, 2013

We have a mid 60s raised ranch. The second floor hangs over the bottom level a few feet. The interior floors slope slightly out on this overhang. It is hard to tell the exact pitch, since there is carpet on the floors and who knows what else could be under it that. DH is reluctant to pull back carpet and have a look see. If there is nothing under the carpet, I would estimate the difference from where the floor is level to the outside wall where it slopes to be less than .5 of an inch. From the exterior it does not appear that anything is out of plumb. There are no other structural problems that I can see.

DH thinks we should have the sub floors leveled before we refinish the floors. Our desired method for this would be to shim the sub floor. I don't think the current sloping is significant enough to merit pulling up over 60 SF of hardwood floors and then having it blended to match the rest of the floor. The floors are in two bedrooms.

What would you do? We have talked to a few flooring installers, and leveling the sub floor would not be in their scope.

FWIW, we are having the house resided in July. Would it be possible to resolve the sloping from the bottom of the overhang while the soffit is off? Our siding installer does full remodels, so it might be something they could handle.

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Yes, I would worry until I removed the carpet and some wall material and checked to see what's going on.

It could be nothing, it could be a rotted support system and the side of your house is ready to fall off. It could be a bad job of cantilevering the upper floor ... depends on how they did it.

Call a housing structural engineer - that's what they do.

And having it checked and if necessary corrected while the house is being resided is a good idea. it will be ripped open and accessible

    Bookmark   May 10, 2013 at 1:36PM
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I owned a 1920s home where the slope past the end wall was two inches over four feet. But there were new supports running down to the porch on foundation and no sign of any structural damage. I leveled the floor and carpeted over.

Definitely, check it out. But sagging is not unusual. I see it in the mirror every day!

    Bookmark   May 10, 2013 at 10:43PM
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If it's a cantilevered overhang, and the slope is limited to the area that overhangs, it was a result of under-engineering the joist size.
Is it in danger of collapse? probably not. Will it continue to sag? probably,but not much. Pulling up the floor and leveling will fix the unsightliness for another generation. The ceilings probably slope 1/2" too, but it's camouflaged by happening across the depth of the room, not concentrated like the floor issue.
Might be one of those cases where a structural engineer would give good advice and peace of mind.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2013 at 12:00PM
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I am having an engineer take a look later this week and will post his findings. Would like to have wood floors, but can't see spending the money to level something that might only be cosmetic.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2013 at 7:56AM
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The ranch I grew up in had level floors, but then, it was only a single storey. Our wood floors were great looking oak and ran everywhere except the kitchen and bath, which had linoleum.

Sloping floors don't prevent you from having wood put down, but I'd opt for true hardwood rather than the engineered or laminate things available today--they look too plastic.

My current 1908 house doesn't have one truly level floor in it due to settling, but it's not really a problem with my original oak floors...and it's kind of fun to watch the cat chase her ball toward the same corner every time. :) My previous cat would amuse herself when I wasn't able to play by dropping it down the basement stairs, then fetching it back to the top time after time!

    Bookmark   May 13, 2013 at 12:57PM
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Got an engineer out to look at the house. (Cost $600). Waiting on the written report, but the house needs to be jacked up and the header over the garage door needs to be sistered along with some other repairs to the joist in the overhang.

First carpenter that looked at it estimated a few thousand to fix. Not too bad in my book, considering the other resolution would be to demolish the wood floors and shim the subfloors.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2013 at 11:36AM
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Update - first contractor was a piece of work letting me know how home owners get ripped off paying full price when I told him about the other work on the house being done. Nice.....

The contractor doing the work is much more professional, and thinks it will be about 6K to do the work to level everything and repair and resulting damage to the interior. We have to tear our quite a bit of the finished ceiling in the garage and replace it since it is under a living area.

We will begin the interior work on this part of the house next year. And yes real hard wood floors. There is red oak in these rooms now, and we will be putting it down in the adjoining rooms, and then finish/refinish the whole area.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2013 at 4:22PM
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