Sagging joist

Originally Posted By: jane molina
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I saw this 1964 house raised foundation , concrete pad, wood post.

The kitchen sagged along with the liv room. I went underneath to crawl space

and the only thing I saw was that they added piers in that area. The rest

underneath looked good , no , moisture , cracked joist ect… but I did notice

that where it sagged in the kitchen it seemed like all the piers in that area went from big on one end to smaller pairs on leading to where it sagged.

like I said all looked good and sound . is this how they built some of them because the owner [ my friend ] said all the houses on t=his block do that

and he had it checked out and they told him it was fine for the age . what do you think?, how do you write this up without scaring him . he don’t seem to concerned about it.


Originally Posted By: psisler
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Hi Jane,

Do you happen to have any pictures of the situation? Out here, when this situation arises we normally call in a structural engineer to evaluate the item in question. It does not matter how old the structure is for it to be safe and habitable. If there is a problem with support it should be addressed by professional sources. I see this all the time out here in CA in the sierras with alot of Victorians and the like with bowing floor structure. It can be a major problem down the road.


Originally Posted By: rfarruggia
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Jane, a lot of qustions here, so many possibilities. There is nothing wrong with asking, but I doubt anyone can say anything helpfull without pictures.

Just because other houses on the block have a similar problem, dosent make the issue you encountered acceptable (or as my Mom used to say "If your friends all jumped off the Brooklyn Bridge, it still not O.K. for you to do it also").

If the owner "had it checked out and they told him it was fine", well, who are "they"? Will "they" put it in writing? Are "they" a qualified third party?

And as for writing it up without scaring them...well, what may or may not scare them should not be an issue. Write up what you see and know. If you donty know and cannot get an answer to in a reasonable amount of time, there is no shame in recommending further evaluation be a qualified specialist. (plumber, P.E., sparky, etc.). You cannot amend your report or compromise your integrity because you think your client might find something scary. Sometimes they should be scared.

Originally Posted By: dbowers
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Jane -

So many questions we need answered to make an intelligent statement.

What size floor joists; what type and grade; how far do they span (10' - 12' - 16' or ??); what is the distance from center to center of the joists; what type of subflooring is used; how much sag or slope is present; what is the girder / beam type and size; what size are the footings or pier pads; what dimmensions are the piers or supports for the girder / beam??

Does your friend own the house or is he buying it (makes a difference for your liability).

A certain amount of deflection is allowed - without SOME of the above info you can't make an intelligent statement. If you don't feel comfortable with making that decision - call in an expert (contractor or PE).

Dan Bowers, CRI