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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
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    WI
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    Default Uneven floors and baseboards-foundation or sill issues?

    Hi,
    I hope this is the correct area to list this issue.
    I'm looking to buy an old wood framed foursquare,built around 1910. I've been through it a few times now,and the price is right. It is a foreclosed property,so of coarse it is sold "as is",so I need to do my homework here.
    I've lived in older homes my whole life so I know uneven floors are common. This house has me puzzled though. The main beam in the basement (I believe an 8x8")sags in the center,but not too bad. I'd guess about 3" drop from sill to center of beam. Now if I go to the center of the house on the 1st floor all the floors slant away from the middle of the house (where the chimney is). On the second floor,in the middle of the house, the floors slant even more than the 1st floor. On top of this the baseboard trim and door jambs on the 1st floor are pulled away from the wood floors in the center of the house.
    So beam in basement sags in the middle of the house,floors are HIGH in the middle of the house,trim/jambs even higher yet.
    How can this be? Can it be fixed? Does it NEED to be fixed? I could live with it if it is stable,but I don't want to invest in a house with issues that are a red flag and will get worse.
    Thanks for any help.

    I tried to post pics,but my post count is too low. I can E-mail them if needed I guess.
    Last edited by 67drake; 03-21-2013 at 05:19 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
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    1,213

    Default Re: Uneven floors and baseboards-foundation or sill issues?

    I would be checking the sills very closely. Any sages in the center beam can be easily corrected. Rotted sills takes a whole lot more to repair.

    John

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Tennessee
    Posts
    1,748

    Default Re: Uneven floors and baseboards-foundation or sill issues?

    The way you describe this, the chimney doesn't go all the way to the basement. Are you saying the base of the chimney sits on the first floor?

  4. #4
    Join Date
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    WI
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    Default Re: Uneven floors and baseboards-foundation or sill issues?

    The chimney goes all the way to the basement. Sorry I guess that is confusing the way I wrote it,I just meant the area around the chimney is where the pitched floors and trim are.
    Last edited by 67drake; 03-05-2013 at 07:10 PM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Tennessee
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    Default Re: Uneven floors and baseboards-foundation or sill issues?

    Where is this beam in relation to the chimney? Are the basement walls vertical, I mean perfectly vertical?
    Last edited by keith3267; 03-06-2013 at 12:10 AM.

  6. #6
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    WI
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    Default Re: Uneven floors and baseboards-foundation or sill issues?

    Quote Originally Posted by keith3267 View Post
    Where is this beam in relation to the chimney? Are the basement walls vertical, I mean perfectly vertical?
    The beam actually runs right next to the chimney. The walls LOOK vertical,but it's not like I had a level with me anyway. I'm not sure what the walls are made out of. They are brick shaped stone,but about twice as large,and roughly cut. I'd have to put a long strait board against the wall and take a level to the board I guess.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    WI
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    112

    Default Re: Uneven floors and baseboards-foundation or sill issues?

    Come on guys, only 1 idea so far? I've seen you get in 7 page long debates about pinholes in copper pipes! LOL
    Just an update,kind of. I have since put an offer in on this house contingent on a home inspection AND an engineer checking out the place. I figured the more info and understanding I have going into the engineers inspection,the better off I'll be.
    Any other ideas than the sills rotting? I still don't understand how the baseboard can have this gap to the floor if the floor is pitched UP already,and the support beam just below the floor is sagging?
    Thanks for any help.
    Last edited by 67drake; 03-21-2013 at 05:23 AM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Northern Virginia
    Posts
    1,180

    Default Re: Uneven floors and baseboards-foundation or sill issues?

    Hi,
    It's not unusual to see the framing hanging from the central chimney mass, as the exterior foundation walls subside (usually on 200 year old houses with fieldstone foundations and gutter/drainage/sill issues) but the chimney stays at the same global height as built. It's not common to see this on a much younger house.
    The beam looks like junk with the visible break between two timbers of the outside lamination. The only solution is to establish why the outer foundation/walls have dropped and stop it and then you could correct it by jacking and shimming the sill back up to the chimney height. This is best done when gutted, because the interior walls are going to be reformed to straight, not sagged.
    The second floor being worse can be partially answered by the additional shrinkage of the second floor framing (as added to the shrinkage of the first floor deck; it's cumulative as you go up, the chimney stands pat)
    Maybe it's as simple as your house being built with fresh-cut, green timber, of some species known for dramatic shrinkage upon drying. Fresh cut is only good for Xmas trees and flowers.
    Casey
    Remove not the ancient landmark, which your fathers have set.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    WI
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    112

    Default Re: Uneven floors and baseboards-foundation or sill issues?

    Thanks for the info.
    Do you think a 1 time flood could have hurt the foundation,or caused most of the damage? Like I mentioned, the water was just up to the house,but no higher. This happened back in 08'.

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