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Sagging second story floor


TrevorO's Avatar
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Join Date: Jul 2007
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08-07-07, 12:48 PM   #1  
Sagging second story floor

One side of my upstairs floors sag towards the middle of the house. When I started to renovate the living room on the first floor below, I found out that one of the previous owners cut an opening out of what appears to be a load bearing wall which looks like it caused the floor above to drop down. To fix this, they put shims in between the old studs and the new 4x6 beam across the top of the opening.

I want to raise the sagging part to as level as possible and put proper supports in between the 4x6 and the joists. Below the living room is a basement. I've done this before in a basement where the first floor was sagging but never where I didn't have concrete below.

Does anyone have any advice on how to tackle this? What size wood I need? I know I have to put wood beams across the underside of the upstairs joists. I am assuming I have to lay some sort of wood beams across the floor as well to spread the load from the jacks.

Thanks

 
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Jack the Contractor's Avatar
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08-11-07, 01:46 PM   #2  
I may be way off base here, and if I am thats ok. I have been off base before. But I am sitting here on the first floor of our 100 3 story house with a basement under it, and looking at a 12 foot opening I took out years ago and put in a beam. So I am imagining if I had your problem. The first thing I would do is open everything up. Take down about 4 feet of ceiling on each side of the 4 x 6 beam on the first floor, open up the beam, and probably open up the floor above it. That way you can see everything. I would then unfasten (pull out the nails) from the 4 x 6, and with blocking at each end of the beam and also in the middle before you jack up the beam. You might have to take out the shims first. I would use 20 ton hydraulic jacks and 2 or 3' long 6x6's for blocking. Now when jacked up, I would put in two posts, 5 x 6 just opposite your existing posts, and then put in a 5 x 6 beam on them, secure them under your floor joists. When everything is secure, I would then take down the existing header, and put in two lam beams. You will have to cut them to fit. Install them up under the new jacked up floor joists, secure, and then take down your temporary header and posts. There is alot more to it then this, but with your experience, you will figure it out quick. This is not an easy job, I would have someone help me. The real key to a job like this is to take your time and sit back and look and study and plan out each move.
Oh yes, before you start jacking up the beam, make sure you put plates of steel on top of each jack, or they will go right into the wood beam. I use 4" square plates 1/4" thick. You can have them cut at any welding shop. Good Luck

 
TrevorO's Avatar
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08-12-07, 12:24 PM   #3  
Thanks for the reply. Here are some pictures of the current state of the room and the opening.

http://img258.imageshack.us/my.php?image=forumpicture001pf0.jpg
http://img514.imageshack.us/my.php?image=forumpicture002qn4.jpg
http://img53.imageshack.us/my.php?image=forumpicture003fa4.jpg

I should have mentioned I am completely gutting this room (kitchen was just previously completed) so I've already opened everything up. After seeing the pictures does your advice still stick?

Am I maybe better off to just jack the ceiling up, remove all wood from the opening and start from scratch?

Thanks again

 
Jack the Contractor's Avatar
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08-12-07, 02:58 PM   #4  
Thanks for the pictures. They helped alot. I would still do what I was thinking, except I would put the temporary support beam clear across the whole room. Get it in real good and sturdy, then I would tear the whole thing out and start from sratch like you were thinking. A good project. Have a good day.

 
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