Deteriorated joist ends in stone pockets


Old 11-16-12, 08:06 PM
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Deteriorated joist ends in stone pockets

Hello, I hope I'm posting this in the best category. I live in a 1750s farmhouse with 3x8 joists in stone pockets holding up the 2nd story floors. I just discovered that the ends of three joists are no longer sitting in the pockets because the ends have deteriorated, probably due to water damage in that area a long time ago when this wall was exterior (it is now an interior wall next to an addition).

I could install posts and a header to support the bad joists but I'd rather not cover up the exposed stone wall in my living room. I would prefer to extend the joists somehow, perhaps with a steel angle irons bolted to the solid part of the joist and extending into the pocket?

Has anyone done anything like this?
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Old 11-17-12, 08:58 AM
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I've never done it, but I suspect lengthening the joists with properly-attached steel angles (today's angles are just steel, as true iron angle hasn't been rolled for close to 100 years) would restore their carrying capacity. You'd want to make sure to carefully lift/raise the existing joists enough to enable the angles' leg thickness to fit into each pocket. The other option would be to trim enough material off the bottom of each joist where the angles will be fitted, such that the overall depth of the joists is the same as original. I'd use angles at least 3' long and with legs at least 3/8" thick, attaching them with horizontal through-bolts and continuous backside 3/8" retainer plates, creating a "squeezing" effect. You could create a rustic look to match the stone wall by sandblasting all of the steel first, and even treating it with mild nitric or other acid to give it an instant reddish-brown appearance.
Old 11-17-12, 07:59 PM
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I'd probably have an engineer and a building inspector sign off on it first, but I think I'd do something similar to what you and BridgeMan45 suggest, but I'd probably have some pieces custom made and welded together. Angle irons extended with 2 pieces of flat stock to make the vertical legs taller, welded into a |_| shape whose length would be long enough to sit in the pocket and protrude beyond the wall by enough to take, say 6 bolts, or whatever the engineer says will be enough to transfer the load to the solid portion of the beam. And yes, treated to prevent rust and corrosion.
Old 11-26-12, 05:01 PM
Join Date: Nov 2012
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Please keep the wood. You could extend the floor joists with wooden Dutchman repairs. Combining spliced wood timbers with a structural epoxy(keeping the epoxy non-visible), would be a kinder approach then introducing metal and bolts to a historical structure.
Just always keep in mind that once you make an alteration to a structure, it is difficult to undo it. If the joists are still attached and somewhat engaged and not completely falling down, then they could be stronger and in better shape than thought - consolidation may be as effective and less expensive.

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