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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Versailles, Kentucky
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    7

    Default Unlevel floor in living room.

    The floor in my living room (original yellow pine) is unlevel (about 1.5 inches)on the rear side because of the natural stone foundation crumbling over the years due to exposure from improper water drainage from the roof. Although the floor has been reinforced by a previous owner, the floor itself is solid but it still bothers me. To get a better idea of what Im talking about this part of the foundation cant be seen from the exterior of the house as its under the floor.

    Ive crawled under the house and viewed whats left of the foundation in the area and found crumbled stones and reinforcements. Also there is a bathroom, the backdoor, linen closet and bedroom all of which arent original parts of the house. The bathroom, linen closet, and backdoor were added not too long after the house was built as it has the same type of stone foundation. The bedroom was added in the late 70's early 80's as it certainly doesnt have the solidity of the rest of the house nor does it have natural stone foundation, it has concrete blocks (YUK)!

    Two questions:

    1) Can I have this repaired without it causing more damage to the walls and existing structure? Common sense tells me that If I jack up the floor everything above it would have to move also.

    2) Would I have to tear off the added portions of the house to have the floor leveled? I wanted to replace those rooms anyway evetually.

    The picture I provided isnt the best. From where Im standing its level but slowly starts to get lower as you get to the wall. As you can see the door casing isnt level either as it slopes to the left compared to the backdoor casing.



    ~LP
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Fayette County, Ohio
    Posts
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    Default Re: Unlevel floor in living room.

    From what you describe, it may be possible to jack up the house as is and repair the foundation, if there is enough room to work. However if you are going to tear off the addition anyway, it would be a lot more cost effective to do that and expose the foundation to work on it. Jacking the house slowly will minimize damage but plaster cracks are probable, add to the that there may have been some patching done as the house settled and it would be hard to predict how much damage will occur.
    Jack
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    1

    Question Re: Unlevel floor in living room.

    I have a similiar problem with my 1937 house. The problem has become worse because the plaster is starting to crack. Is this an issue that a do-it yourselfer can tackle?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Versailles, Kentucky
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: Unlevel floor in living room.

    Thanks for the quick reply and yes, there is some badly executed patch work done to that wall although most probably wouldnt notice. I notice every detail! Previous owners havent been kind to this house as a lot of things were obviously "completed" with low cost in mind. I dont have or make a substaintial amount of money but I do appreciate top notch quality/craftsmanship and when the times comes Ill be ready to pay for that kind of work.

    I figured it would be more cost effective to go ahead and have those rooms torn off and PROPERLY integrated back into the existing structure but I wanted some opinions of others for validation. Thanks again!



    ~LP

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Fayette County, Ohio
    Posts
    5,557

    Default Re: Unlevel floor in living room.

    Quote Originally Posted by rkp05 View Post
    I have a similiar problem with my 1937 house. The problem has become worse because the plaster is starting to crack. Is this an issue that a do-it yourselfer can tackle?
    With proper education and preparation it is doable by a competent DIY'er. The main thing is to have the proper jacks and lift slowly over several days or even weeks.
    Jack
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Wichita,KS
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: Unlevel floor in living room.

    I would be sure to examine all the foundation, all the way around the house. You may have a failing system, just worse on that one side.

    You can put a carrying beam a foot or two inside paraleel to the outside wall across the joists. The using screw jacks or even hydraulics, lift the house until it is level and there is room to remove and build a solid concrete foundation under the joists.
    After it has cured, the house will be lowered to the new foundation.

    It must be repaired, otherwise the whole wall can fall when the foundation finally fails. You must have a solid foundation [that meets current code] before you can rebuild and do the expansion you are planning.

    Plaster cracks are not that hard to fix, the house is settling now and certainly will crack no matter what you do.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Fayette County, Ohio
    Posts
    5,557

    Default Re: Unlevel floor in living room.

    I don't like the idea of using hydraulic jacks for this type of work. I have seen to many creep if left in place for any period of time. I would only use screw jacks.
    Jack
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    28

    Default Re: Unlevel floor in living room.

    Be mindful too that if you jack this up you could be creating some other issues that you didn't count on such as window and door gaps being effected. If there are windows and doors in these areas you would probably see signs of the doors being planed to fit, or them not closing correctly or opening correctly because of the settlement, an 1 1/2 doesn't sound like much, but in reality it can throw a whole lot of stuff off. Cabinets, toilets and sinks etc. Things that have been remodeled after the settlement occurred can be deeply effected and you could be creating a big issue.

    You might want to consider having the old foundation repaired and leaving well enough alone.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Versailles, Kentucky
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: Unlevel floor in living room.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Macklin View Post
    I would be sure to examine all the foundation, all the way around the house. You may have a failing system, just worse on that one side.

    You can put a carrying beam a foot or two inside paraleel to the outside wall across the joists. The using screw jacks or even hydraulics, lift the house until it is level and there is room to remove and build a solid concrete foundation under the joists.
    After it has cured, the house will be lowered to the new foundation.

    It must be repaired, otherwise the whole wall can fall when the foundation finally fails. You must have a solid foundation [that meets current code] before you can rebuild and do the expansion you are planning.

    Plaster cracks are not that hard to fix, the house is settling now and certainly will crack no matter what you do.
    The exterior foundation is fine, no issues. The part Im talking about is under that wall in the pic provided. Keep in mind thats an interior wall not an exterior wall. The foundation is under that wall and deteriorated because of improper water drainage which has been taken care of. You cant see that part of the foundation from the outside you have to go under the house.


    It solid and HAS been reinforced as its not going fall any further and its safe as the next room is ajoined to it. So it is safe. Eventually Id like to get that room behind the living room in the pic all torn off, get the floor leveled and have additional rooms added.




    ~Patrick
    Last edited by BUILTin1924; 12-27-2007 at 11:00 AM.

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