Joist repairs with steel plates

I have a joist that sits over a wall in my basement. Basically, it separates the shop area from the garage and is a load bearing wall between the kitchen and the other side of the house. The builder (in 1982), notched the joists too much, which I will be tackling this weekend. The other issue I am running into though is the way that they routed an HVAC duct. They ended up cutting probably 5" notch out of the joist over this wall and it is probably 5" long. It has caused that entire joist to split. The notch is about 1.5 feet from the edge of the joist, which spans 12 feet.

The floor surprisingly does not sag much, but I’d like to fix this so I have no further issues considering I’d like to be in this house a long time.


  1. Cut a joist to match the current one (I would round the notch, not make square cuts) and sister the joist.
  2. Install steel plate

Which solution would you recommend and if the recommendation is steel plate, can someone direct me to a document that discusses basic steel plate installation instructions. Would I need the steel to span the entire length of the joist?

Any help greatly appreciated! Adding pictures soon.

Couldn’t get the images to upload, so here are links to my photobucket:

If it’s any help, but Tom Silva covered this not too long ago on Ask This Old House. You can find episodes on you tube.

He used a piece of angle iron anyhow.


The issue I am running into is this joists runs directly over a wall, so access will be difficult. There is also the door frame (as seen in picture). This joist runs along (parallel) to the stairwell that leads to the first floor.

Question: I’ve looked into angle iron or flitch beams. Would these be possible solutions? If so, is it necessary for the steel to be the same height as the joist? Or could I use a piece of angle iron or flitch beam that is the thickness of what is left of the joist (roughly 4-5") and run it the span of the beam? If I used the flitch beam solution, I would still need to sister another joist to that side.

Just trying to determine a game plan. Thanks in advance!

Here is another solution I have considered and I am wondering what your thoughts are on this:

Use a tee bar (like this:

I could then wedge this tee bar underneath the cracked joist. It would be resting on the ledger off the outside wall of the house. I could also set another joist on the other side of this tee. What I am not sure about is how to fasten the tee (or angle iron for that matter, unless I used a vertical dimension of 4") to the other side where there is the 2x ledger.

You may not want to hear this, but I suggest you contact a qualified contractor or structural company to design and do the repairs. This is not really a DIY project. You say you want to live there along time. Amortize the repair over the years you will live there and a proper repair is cheap on an annual basis.