to relevel or not

our1925houseFebruary 22, 2009

Our house was built in 1925. We bought the house almost 2 years ago. We want to put hardwood floors down but the guy at the store said to wait until after our house has been releveled. When we talked to a few people they suggested we not do it since we don't know if it would cause any structural damage, crack windows and or walls. Do we need the house level? It is off in the middle by about 2 inches my husband says. It sags, but just in the middle. Our dining room table is the biggest way to tell. We can put a ball on one end (closest to the window) and the ball will roll down to the other end that is more toward the middle of the house. Any suggestions please?

Thank you

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If there are no structural issues causing the sag(other than under sized joists) and it's been that way for years, I would leave it alone. But I would have a knowledgable person do an on site inspection. Was the house inspected when you bought it? What did the report say?

    Bookmark   February 22, 2009 at 3:09PM
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If there are reputable renovation contractors in your area, you might get one in for a consultation. They do, as part of their service, re-leveling to complete foundation replacements.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2009 at 6:57PM
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As Ron suggested, if the house is not settling any further and there are no other structural issues, I suggest you not have the house leveled for the same reasons the others you consulted gave you. Have you added adjustable lolly columns in the basement with a beam? If not, that should be your first step before adding additional weight of a floor. Once you support the sag and even minimize it, you can take other easy and relatively inexpensive steps to level the floor. If you take the right steps now, before you add the floor, without necessarilly leveling the whole house, you'll have a new floor you can enjoy for a long time. A structural engineer would be your best bet for determining the integrity of the building and what should be done, if anything. I saw first hand where a church was leveled that had sunk in the soil. The leveling and subsequent reinforcment on the previously sunken side, caused it to start sinking on the opposite side. Imagine going through that expense.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2009 at 10:24PM
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Yeah, what the hell, leave it. It's only a couple of inches out! Out here if that house was up for sale and the inspector caught that,(which they would), the house would be deemed inhabitable and off the market until the fix was made, no matter what that entailed. As long as your perimeter foundation is decent, sagging in the middle is a fairly straight forward fix without too much concern for the above mentioned. Again, a consultation from a structural engineer or a licensed renovater could help you get on track. You need someone to see it up close and personal, not here on the internet where we only can try to vision it in our minds.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2009 at 10:18AM
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We had a sag in an upstairs bedroom similar to yours. The floor was pulled up, new 2x6 joists sistered to the existing 2x8 joists with lag bolts. Couldn't nail because the ceiling on these joists was plaster. Laid a new floor with plywood and no more sag.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2009 at 10:51AM
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