Sagging Floor

dosoJanuary 20, 2010

I recently bought a single family frame house in NYC that was built around 1920. During renovations, my contractor pointed out that the 2nd floor saggs about 1 3/4" towards the center of the house. The floor joists are 2x6, 16" on center, spanning a 16 foot width with wood plank sub-flooring. The house is 16 ft x 40 ft. During demo, there is evidence of gas and water pipes indicating that the main area that sags may have been a kitchen. Everyone I've spoken to said that for the age of the house, a 1 3/4" sag is nothing to be concerned about. I know fixing it would be very costly. I'm wondering if once my I move in, will it continue to sag further and cause more problems in the future. Does anyone have any advice about this?

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"...floor joists are 2x6, 16" on center, spanning a 16 foot width..."

That is grossly over-spanned by modern codes.

It would be very expensive to upgrade to modern codes and you would likely have to remove all the ceilings below the sagging joist and use taller joists, removing head room from the lower floor.

Another option would be to place a weight bearing structure in the span.

A structural engineer can look things over and should be able to judge if further sagging may occur.

A large load (like a kitchen) could have resulted in the sag over a long period of time, but the joists are still undersized for modern codes.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2010 at 4:01PM
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I had a bedroom on the second floor that sagged in the middle.

The fix: Removed the floor and sistered new 2x6 joists to the existing joists and replaced the floor. The floor was leveled and the ceiling on the first floor you couldn't tell anyway.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2010 at 10:46PM
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Will it continue to sag? That depends on why it sagged in the first place. If the support post in the basement is wood and is rotting off at the bottom then it will continue to sag.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2010 at 8:33AM
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