Cantilevered support - Two direction floor

Any thoughts? 1957 construction.
The floor joists here goes in two directions: east west as pictured, supported by this center.
Just past this beam the joist direction is north south, supported by the concrete pier in the center:

The foundation otherwise is a ring: you’re looking at all the center supports above.

The floor is wonky upstairs, and yes there are termites.

Did you ever figure out the “Jenga” supports on that main beam?

I’d write that up, it also looks like the beam is sagging, could be an optical illusion though.

If the floor is “wonky” you have a performance problem so this should be pretty easy. Sloped floors, unorthodox framing methods, termite activity.


That’s what is giving me pause. Not because it’s OK, it’s not. But because I can’t imagine the builders in 1957 did it that way and so far nothing more horrible has taken place. So it is really a problem?

The apparent bowing of the beams is real: I’ll be taking my laser back in order to measure the deflection on Wednesday. It looks greater in the photo.

And I’ll count bolts, because that’s what we do in Califor-Ni-Eh.


I hope that this is a vent!



But somewhere a PE will say that it is OK.

It’s branching going up (in cast iron), so I doubt it. Likely it’s a collector from more than one floor.

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The cantilevered “Jenga” support is structurally unsound. And, yes, that beam is sagging (perhaps overloaded). I am thinking someone - that was not a structural engineer or architect - seriously messed with the foundation in order to add a large extension onto the house. Call out the wonky floors, sagging beam, and inadequate pier support (footing) and anything else you find (test for termite damage / soundness of the wood with a pick) - and recommend that they get a structural engineer to evaluate.

I never make two trips. Carry the laser with me in the truck (sans batteries). Be interested in how you document (photograph) laser results.


The sanitary tee is not allowed then. Only for a vent when it is on its “back”.

Turns out this building has a twin, right next door. Same floorplan, same construction date. The twin has it’s original 1957 windows and appears better maintained.
I’m going to try to wheedle my way into the twin building’s basement and see.
The floorplan is identical: both twin buildings are 19 units built in 1957.

This inspection was large enough it was scheduled over two days, due to the pest guy’s needs. So I get a second crack. And no, I don’t owe the pest guy anything ;-). And officially I’m not responsible for the pest report, but we share observations back and forth.

Funny :+1: :+1:


Update: my report killed the deal (so I don’t get to follow up later and see how it worked out).

Deal killer. :wink:

They’ll be back when they sign another contract.

Here’s my simple tell tale. I’ve since started putting blue painters tape along the edge so the laser shows up better (photographs better). This property had some serious floor movement.


The most critical issue I see is the lack of adequate ventilation. The density of the wood staining looks like condensation. Jenga beam is concerning but easily fixed

The Jenga support is one of many such.
The beam’s color is because it’s an old concrete form board, apparently reused for this application.

The red is rising damp (capillary) and green is condensation accumulation on the joists that collects, concentrate and runs down. There are moisture issues here. This is a critical issue that warrants another site visit, throw a moisture meter on the woods and a hygrometer to check crawlspace vs exterior humidity. Extra credit if you want to grab dew pt and surface temp to show its happening in real time.

Seen it many many times in my neck of the woods. Cantilevered floors. Nothing irregular.
Issues. Projections/Overhangs are prone to drafts and cool spots.
Sagging sloping floors.