Improperly Notched Floor Joist?

Hello all,
I have continued with the education modules and had the opportunity to inspect a friend’s home that is going on the market. This is my second mock inspection. Home was built in 1929. I observed the floor joist notched under the first floor bathroom as seen in pictures. I reviewed old forum posts about floor joist notching as well as the NACHI education materials. I couldn’t find anything that would permit this kind of notch. In my mock inspection I noted it and called out for further evaluation and repair. FWIW no sagging was observed in floor above this joist.

My narrative was:
“Floor joist below first floor bathroom observed to be notched improperly and in such a way as to significantly weaken the joist. I recommend that a qualified contractor evaluate and repair as necessary.”

Am I missing the possibility that this notch was accounted for structurally in some other way? There is one piece of blocking installed as seen in pictures. And the notch is only about a foot off of the end of the joist which is supported by concrete foundation.

I appreciate any feedback and insight as I continue learning. (I also called out the water stain on plywood in background of second photo that is under bathroom sink)

Screenshot 2023-03-07 7.16.59 PM
Screenshot 2023-03-07 7.15.22 PM

No, Matthew, I don’t see anything but a cobbled mess at the notch.


The old cast was in that space. Almost 100 years ago. It’s probably OK.

First, I think it is a good narrative.

There is more than one issue going on there then just the notch. There is obvious moisture damage, over notching, etc. and the subfloor is not adequately supported. The list could go on.

I would lump several issues together and recommend the whole area under the bathroom be repaired.

1 Like

Thanks Mike and Brian. I have some other questions from this house but am still researching what I found. Good learning experience.

That’s because a prior owner shimmed the joists and replaced the subfloor with plywood, which wasn’t commercially available for subfloors until the late 1930’s.

It’s worth reinforcing.

1 Like