My husband and I just bought a home that was built in 1931. Before purchasing the home it was noted that the house had settled over the years. It really wasn't noticeable except in the entry way of the dinning room, sagged toward the center of the home. When the inspector came he said this was common for the age of the home, plus a support beam was added to the basement. It past inspection from a highly acclaimed inspector in our area and didn't find it concerning. But after living in the home for a month now I have noticed the main staircase slants toward the sag and the baseboard is separating from the plaster where it's slanting towards. I'm not overly concerned about but in the future I would like to work on the staircase b/c this very creaky! May question is what could have caused this and should I be concerned?
Re: Slanting Staircase
Howdy, you are concerned to ask about it. So yest have a contractor inspect to see if the suppport post needs adjustment or if the supports for the stairs have settled and need some bracing.( installig adjustible 15,000lbs pole jacks allow future adjustment if more settling. It is hard to see settling even with a level. Consider having a leveled string line run across from foundation wall to wall and then check for deflection of the framing above the string line. This is a great way to find and then address need for additional support of the flooring members. Structural enginers are a good source for inspection and recommendations too.
Another issue is to keep water away from the foundation as this only increases settling. If you have down spouts make sure the drain away from the foundation 8' and check the grading soils should slope away 1/4" per foot or more. Make sure any sprinklers spray away from the foundation.
Re: Slanting Staircase
A lot of your choices is going to depend on how much money you want to spend correcting the problem. If the foundation has settled there are companies the can jack and stabilize the foundation. They do this by driving screw rods into the ground beside the foundation all the way down to bed rock. The attaching a lift plate to the screw rod and jacking the foundation. Another method is to jack up the house and leveling it and installing shims to keep it level. Another is by installing the jack posts as Tim suggested.