Sagging Floor Joists in a house we are buying
Hi, there. I usually post on the Home Buying & Selling forum, but this is more specifically a home repair issue, so I thought I'd give it a shot in this forum.
We are probably going to buy a house we are now renting. We are actually under contract to buy it, and the seller was kind enough to allow us to rent it a few months before closing (various reasons for that, not important to this issue).
We had a home inspection done a few weeks ago, and the inspector found sagging floor joists under the house. The "piers" are apparently ok, but the joists in some areas have some dry rot. This was not a surprise, since the floors in the house are somewhat "wavy."
The home was built in 1977 and is in TN. It's a crawlspace construction, and there are two floors.
There is also some mold under the house, but I'm told it has not extended to the subfloor and is fixable. The fix will require removing the insulation, but this is not that bad of a thing because I understand that it will be hard to fix the joist problem while trying to work around and salvage the insulation.
I also have been advised as to the solution for preventing future moisture problems under the house, so that these problems will not occur in the future once the current damage is fixed.
My questions, though, are more about the floor joist situation. One contractor who came by to check things out advised me that there are two fixes. One is to jack the house up and replace the damaged joists. The other is to sort of "sister" new joists alongside the old. That would not fix the wavy floors but would stabilize the flooring structure and keep the sag from getting worse.
It seems to me that the "jacking" situation is the preferable solution, although I'm also pretty sure it will be quite a bit more expensive. We are not paying for these repairs, by the way.
I'm sort of a little concerned because there has been no mention of calling in a structural engineer. It seems to me that this would be a situation that calls for one. Am I overblowing the potential seriousness of the situation? Is my understanding that the "jacking up" solution would be a better fix accurate?
Thanks for any light you can shed. And if any engineers should happen on this and want to opine--thanks. (And please dumb it down a bit; as my user name suggests, I am a word person and not a numbers person, hehehe.)