Reinforcing old house flooring (2X4 from 1930s)

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Old 07-03-13, 09:22 AM
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Reinforcing old house flooring (2X4 from 1930s)

Hey everyone, I just bought an older (beautiful) one story house built in 1932. The entire inside has been gutted and updated, but the original frame and flooring remains. (In fact, the house originally was a one room cabin but was added on to possibly within 10-20 years of being built).

The flooring is all 2X4 beams with a small metal support rod in the middle of the basement. NOTHING is wrong with the wood, no rot, no mold, no cracks, nothing. It is in perfect condition (I do not know what kind of wood, however. I can post pictures if needed).

What the issues is, is that when walking on the floor, it sags and creaks, and is unlevel in some places. I have neither the time nor budget to have the flooring completely removed and replaced especially when there is nothing wrong with it other than being OLD.

Does anyone have a guide on doing something basic like this? I want to replace the support pole in the basement and my husband was thinking he could place beams between the gaps (and joists?) to make the floor more sturdy. But, neither one of us are very handy with anything when it comes to household repairs. Has anyone had any experience with this? Any help would be greatly appreciated!! (Sorry if this is in the wrong place)
 
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Old 07-03-13, 09:30 AM
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Welcome to the forums!

Are you saying that the floor joists are 2x4s? or the flooring itself?

Pics from the basement showing the floor structure would be helpful - http://www.doityourself.com/forum/el...-pictures.html
 
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Old 07-03-13, 09:37 AM
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Thanks for the fast reply and welcome! I believe everything are 2X4s, but I could be mistaken. I will upload pictures as soon as I can...thanks again!
 
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Old 07-04-13, 05:53 AM
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Here are some pictures...wasn't sure what all to take so I just took a bunch haha Excuse the mess in the basement, its old and covered with spiders and dirt lol








This is the support pole





And I'm not sure if you can see but the floor slants here
 
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Old 07-04-13, 06:28 AM
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I often see this when someone had an old porch, enclosed it and calls it a day. The porch had a slope for water to run off.
Depending on your spans, those old 2X could be up to 1/2 the width or more then they should have been.
That single pole is useless.
About the best you can do now is sister 2 X 6's to the sides of what you have and add footings and a double up beam running down the middle of the span.
 
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Old 07-04-13, 08:41 AM
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I agree. But, I don't think I would bother with sistering the lumber. A good post and beam set up could take up the slack needed to correct the sagging. You may have to do some slight, slow jacking before you put the posts in place. Dig at least 12" x 12" x 12" holes for footings for your posts.
 
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Old 07-04-13, 10:38 AM
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What is the distance between the 2x joists?

As the others had mentioned, the rods are of no use for support. I bet if you could stand directly on it, it would bow with your weight (not saying your heavy or anything...).
The slope will need to be measured and addressed, probably along the lines of what Larry suggested. The measuring is an easy DIY. Rent, buy or borrow a laser level (believe that is what they are universally known as).
 
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Old 07-04-13, 12:36 PM
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Well, my husband and I are relatively "light." The floor just creaks in certain spots, but when my brother (very...very heavy) took a walk through the house the floor was bowing around him. He jumped up and down and it was almost like a trampoline but no matter how much I or anyone else in my family try, we cannot recreate it. Thanks for the advice, all. My father did something similar with an older house they used to have (same story as mine) but we're going to need to do all the heavy work since the basement has only about 5 feet of standing room at the most. My poor dad is a bit too old to get down and work like he could 20 years ago.
 
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Old 07-04-13, 12:58 PM
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The problem is more of a deflection problem and not a strength problem (too many people blindly follow span tables that are determined by strength and not usability/function).

Posts to cut the spans in half will decrease the deflection (and feel) by about 75%.

Dick
 
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