Damaged Joist


I have a damaged joist, it supports the 2nd floor of my house. My husband severely notched it to get a piece of furniture up the stairs. He tried to repair it by bolting in another piece of wood, but now it also has a crack in the same area, and Im afraid it will get worse. Also, he cut out a much smaller piece of the same joist in the bathroom (near where the joist meets the wall), on the bottom of the joist, so he could put a pipe in. Im worried about all of this. I'd like to bring in someone to fix it. Who do I call? Carpenter? General Contractor? Is this really expensive to repair?
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hotwheels514 wrote:

Needs to be "sistered" with as long a board as possible.
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Father Haskell wrote:

Hotwheels,
Not sure if you know what "sistered" means here so I just wanted to make sure. When a major joist cracks or sags it can be put back in the original position and then a longer board/joist can be attached to it giving it the original support strength. What's new today is that you can use a metal piece (much thinner) then the original joist with the same strength. The "sistered" board must be the same width or stronger to give it the needed strength for support or else you'll get another crack or failure.
J
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Uhm, why would you cut through a JOIST to move furniture? It's a little known fact that they tend to hold up your house...
You NEVER want to notch a joist. You can drill holes in them, near the center of the width, without losing much strength. But if you notch them they lose the majority of their strength. For example, a 2x10" with a 4" notch would only have the spanning capacity of a 2x6" board...
Not sure how to tell you to fix it without knowing more about your situation. Is the entire joist exposed? If so, you can "sister" a new one next to it (but you'll have to move that pipe). If not, you'll need to talk to a general contractor, or structural engineer, or at least post some pictures that we can look at.
Is the crack in the new board from stress, or from bad installation practices (like split from the nails?) If it's a stress crack I'd forget posting on the internet and call someone NOW...
-Tim
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call structural engineer, contractor might see dollar signs and run up bill....
i have a friend who removed a load bearing wall, he said i will support it from above later.....
people do the saddest things
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wrote:

Might I make a suggestion for next time? Please don't buy furniture that requires you to partially disassemble your house to fit it inside (unless it's a tub and you're remodelling anyway).. Get a different piece of furniture -- it's much cheaper..
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I wonder if they gave any thought to whether they might want to move to a new house someday, and how interesting it'll be when they explain to the new buyer that the furniture is included, forever, like a bullet in the head. :-)
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JoeSpareBedroom wrote:

After sistering a joist to the damaged one, run 1/2" inch bolts tying the two joists together, and really get them tight. Don't just sister with screws or nails, as it won't do much. Space the bolts ever 1.5" or so. After that, it should be fine. I'm not an engineer, but I wouldn't call one for such a small problem. That would be pretty costly.
If you can't get a long joist in there (I'd go at least 3 foot on either side of the crack), get yourself a nice 1/4" steel plate and sister with that. The plate will need to be the width of the joist and maybe only 2' long. Throw some 1/2" bolts thorugh that, and tighten it down. You'll be good after that
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Yeah, he's not an engineer. But you'll be good. Trust him. Engineers are expensive you know. And if he's wrong and your house falls down, or develops a much more major structural failure, well, at least you didn't pay an expensive engineer!
-Tim
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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

well thought out.
cheers ABob
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Maybe, but I wonder about whacking a crippled beam that hard, even if the impact is indirect via the outside pieces. Or maybe it doesn't matter. I don't know...
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JoeSpareBedroom wrote:

In order for "sister" beam / joist work work properly, one need to relieve the load on the damaged member during ths sister member installaion.
Other wise the only way the sister will take load is for the
1) the system receives additional load 2) the damaged bmember to suffer additonal stifness loss
as to "whacking" the damaged member....I was assuming nail gun installation or pilot drill & drive screws
metal plates are also a good method of restoring stiffness but I suggest aluminum over steel...much easier to work with.
cheers Bob
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BobK207 wrote:

Oh Damn, sorry. I meant 1.5' not 1.5". 1.5" bolt pattern is insane. No I'm not an engineer, but my brother IS a structural Engineer in Montana. He designed the rafters in my garage that I rebuilt that span 25' with no post. When I purchased my house, it came with a huge 25' x 30' garage. The roof and rafters were all rotted due to neglect. The top chords were all rotted, but the bottom chords were fine. I wanted a rafter design that would suppport a lot of weight for a future workshop on the 2nd floor.
We ripped out the rotted wood, sistered 2x6's to the existing 2x6" bottom chords and used 1/2" bolt rod every 1.5'. We staggered the bolts throughout the legnth of the joist. One 1" from the top, one 1" from the bottom. After that, we installed the top two chords of the rafters, and used three cross braces to tie the top chords to the bottom chords, an then a brace between the top chords to keep them from sagging. All the braces were tied in with 1/2" bolt rod. The rafters were spaced 24" OC. Cost me about $70 per rafter to rebuild. Much cheaper and stronger than trusses. I have no posts on the first floor supporting the second floor. And a 16' wide room on the second floor.
Let me tell you, this is STRONG. So Strong that 4 rafters easily supported the cab of my salvage title 2004 F-150 truck when I put a new frame on it. They actually supported the weight of the whole truck for awhile, because we struggled to get the cab off. The joists didn't move. We jacked up the truck, attached the cab to the rafters and lowered the truck while we worked to get the cab offf. If anyone wants pictures of this, let me know.
So I do know a little something about how to fix your problem. Yes, I'm not an Engineer, but I have done a lot of construction, and most of all, I have common sense. Common sense will tell you that you don't need to hire an engineer to fix your one problem with one joist.
BTW..My wife and I will just finish roofing in a 25' x 32' three floor addition this week that we started this spring. We dug it out, poured the footers, poured the basement floor, framed the 2 floors above it, framed the attic with 4 dormers, framed the roof, ripped half of our exiting roof off and rebuilt it to tie into the additon. All the work was done by ourselves and very little help from friends. The only thing we didn't do was the block wall foundation, but I did reinforce it with rebar and concrete. We also didn't lay the shingles, because I hate that work and its hunting season. Now I'm struggling to get that job done right by the sub. I estimate that we saved about 40k+ doing the work ourselves. And I KNOW its done right. If you want pictures of this, let me know. We're breaking for the winter, and will pick it back up in the spring. We plan on doing the rest of the work here on out.
Back to your problem, a 6' sistered joist with 1/2" bolt rod spaced every 1.5' should be way overkill to fix your problem and you'll have a stronger joist than before. Better way overkill than underkill. Just make sure your joist isn't sagging now due to the damage. If it is, jack it back up in place. It would take you about 1 hr and $15 to fix.
1 - 6' - 2x6, 7 - 4"x 1/2" bolts with washers and nuts.
Now if you want to pay $500 to hire an Engineer that will design you a cheaper, less labor intensive solution using nails and glue...go for it. Then if you want to hire a professional framer to properly install your designed solution for another $500 do it. Actually, let me know and I'll get your my brother's information, and mine. I could use a couple bucks to pay for this addition. ha
I believe standard framing nails have a sheer stregnth of 500lbs so they should work with a decent nailing pattern. If it were me, I'd use bolt rod because I KNOW that works.
Also, one bad floor joist is not going to make your house fall down??? I have noticed that people on message boards tend to over-react to any small problem that gets posted on them. Then people spend way more money fixing or building something than they should.
Its not a big deal, but you do want to fix it right. And stop cutting into your joists? BTW. How do you plan on getting that furniture out of your house? ha ha
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Well, common sense SHOULD tell you that anyone who is inclined to cut their joists, particularly a critical one right over a stairway, to move FURNITURE of all things, isn't likely to do a proper fix on their own, no matter how much advice they're given on how to do it right. Having the advice come from a non-professional, from a distance, who hasn't even seen the issue themselves, only compounds the problem.
It might cost a few hundred dollars to bring in a pro to do a proper fix. Isn't that money well spent in knowing the problem is solved?
-Tim
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Don't you think it's better to encourage cracks in the surrounding walls, and then come up with bizarre explanations when you need to sell the place? "It was a freak earthquake!"
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Well, ring or spiral-shank nails are fine. You probably shouldn't use common nails in this application. I was under the impression that the normal nailing schedule for this would be every 8", along the top and bottom edges.

What the hell for? Just find anyone who's ever done any work as a carpenter, and have them look at it. If they tell you that the problem isn't as simple as it looks, *THEN* call an engineer.
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Goedjn wrote:

I agree, you didn't notch your IBeam, you notched one floor joist. Simple fix.
Speaking of which, I saw a basement one time that had 2-3" notches in the middle of each floor joist in running down the legnth of the basement so they could install a gas pipe. WOW!!
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To the OP, get your husband to stand directly under the floor joist in question and observe it while you and the rest of your family are upstairs, directly overhead, jumping up and down.
--
No dumb questions, just dumb answers.

Larry Wasserman - Baltimore, Maryland - snipped-for-privacy@charm.net
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hotwheels514 wrote:

You need to attach a "sister" board, which it sounds like he already did, badly. I had to do this to a joist in my garage where the builder installed a defective truss.
Put a jack under the weak joist to take some weight off of it. Glue another board to the side of the joist with construction adhesive and bolt it together tightly with carriage bolts. The sister board should extend several feet on each side of the damage. If you have a nail gun, shoot some 16d nails into it to help keep it from moving. If the joist is cracked (like mine was) I would also put a steel mending plate on the other side right over the crack. When it's all bolted together tightly, you can remove the jack.
Best regards, Bob
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