Metal floor joists in home to combat termites?

I have an older neighbor in a 100 year old townhouse-style house who gets termites every other year, which means I get termites every other year. I have damaged joists under my kitchen. I was told by a flaky contractor that we should get these replaced by metal joists to guard against future damage. I have, let's guess, 12 joists at about 20 feet or shorter length.
Has anyone done this. Can you discuss cost? Is it a sane idea? I'd like to decide whether or not to eliminate it as a possibility or hold it in the back of my mind.
thanks!
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Seems like it would be alot cheaper to just install termite shields. I don't know how far above grade your joists are, but metal joists are expensive and unnecessary for termite prevention. There are other methods that are more cost effective.
--
Robert Allison
Rimshot, Inc.
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Get rid of the termites they will eat everything else and probably are , you just cant see them
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Brilliant contribution: Just FANtasstic.
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and a correct one at that.
s

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On Thu, 10 Jan 2008 08:37:50 -0800 (PST), snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Forget the metal joists. You need regular inspections by an exterminator.
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Seems a lot eaiser to me to just treat for the termites. They don't come and go as you describe. Read up on termites, and call some termite experts in for estimates. You can replace the joists, but what about all the stuff the termites eat? They usually go after siding, the backside of sheetrock, plywood, etc. etc. Not just joists.
s

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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

What kind of termites? What kind of treatment was done? When? What area of country?
For starters, your neighbor having termites does not mean that your home is infested. If termite treatment was done, there should be some kind of contract or insurance for reinfestation/repair of damage.
As for metal joists, that seems like overkill, if you are sincerely considering such. That still leaves wall studs, roof rafters, etc. Have you researched termite prevention? Good idea, because there are a great deal of relatively simple measures to take to keep them out.........closing up plumbing openings and other gaps in outer surfaces, keeping tree limbs and landscaping off wood parts of structure, keeping wood painted and sound, checking for mud tubes inside and outside of foundations, keep roof sound and dry, maintaining at least 6" from soil to wood structural members.
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wrote:

Will people please read and respond to the situation of the OP. These are 100 year old ATTACHED houses. They may have as little as an 8" party wall (now I'm making an assumption) between them. He is concerned about the untreated termite situation in his neighbor's house because the joists in that house probably butt up against his joists making for easy termite passage. I agree that treatment and not metal joists is the best solution, but this situation is far more complicated that all the previous respondents have realized.
--
Peace,
BobJ



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clipped

stumped by the "every other year" bit.
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Norminn wrote:

From the OP: "...neighbor in a 100 year old townhouse-style house..."
What about the phrase "townhouse-style" makes you think it isn't attached and shared wall?
I would presume the every other year happens because the neighbor treats the symptoms after the infestation but hasn't done a thorough treatment to remove the colony and by the second year there's enough to again become a visible symptom...
The only real answer is to treat the whole complex thoroughly--anything else will be a continuation of the status quo.
I've not read the rest but if they're townhouses there may be some common deed restrictions/covenants that require cooperation in joint situations which could help force the issue. At this age, however, it would probably be relying upon a general city ordinance unless they were at some time fairly recently refurbished and resold as a redevelopment.
--
--




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dpb wrote:

Used to call old homes "townhouses" where I lived, and they weren't attached. Live and learn :o)
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For me, "townhouse-style" could mean simply a tall, narrow, multi-story structure, not necessarily attached. But then, I'm fussy about language and would infer attachment only if "-style" was removed from the adjective.
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KLS wrote:

Fussy about language on a usenet group? That's pretty futile isn't it? :)
I agree it surely isn't conclusive but I'd certainly not rule it out, particularly based on the symptoms and other descriptions. My reply was undoubtedly more strongly worded than really intended (that is as if it were really conclusive).
--



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Yes, and sad, too. :) But I do participate in other groups where we hash out language issues to overall satisfaction, so hope springs eternal!

Understandable. Hope the OP clarifies.
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dpb wrote:

" a usually single-family house of two or sometimes three stories that is usually connected to a similar house by a common sidewall;"
From the real estate dictionary at nationaltitlecompany.com: "TOWNHOUSE - Originally a house in a city as opposed to a country estate. More recently the term is applied to certain types of row houses, whether planned unit developments or condominiums."
Now, what's the difference between a French basement and an English basement? ;o)
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All good advice.
Wow, I really didn't explain myself very well.
Naturally I have an exterminator, I presumed that was obvious, I had termites!
I am getting 6 month termite inspections by an exterminator as part of a "subscription" plan.
I use the term "Townhouse-style" because I know that townhouses are more common in parts of the country. We have what is called a rowhouse here, but is larger than a Baltimore or Philadelphia rowhouse. It's big, it's old, and all the houses are attached together. They're brick, but of course the joists are wood.
My joists that are attached to the wall that I share with this older neighbor are hit by termites at the point where our houses meet. I have been hit 4 times in ten years, so not literally every other year, but it can seem like it.
Our exterminator put down a termite barrier, included drilling in our basement where the two houses meet, but cautioned that if termites hit my neighbors attic, let's say, the basement treatment may not matter so much. For instance, we were fully treated but we had a carpet beetle infestation in the attic. It's an old house, it's a battle.
The damaged joists were "sistered" with treated wood prior to us buying the house. this has lasted for 10 years, but I plan to replace the entire floor and subfloor in the kitchen but want to get cost estimates first of course.
It seems that everyone agrees that metal joists are overkill. The contractor who suggested them was, as I mentioned, flakey.
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bclipped

My guess would be that you never got rid of the termites. In addition to means of entry mentioned in earlier part of the thread, term's can reside in any cellulose material - furniture, paper, cardboard bosex, etc. Should be a way to treat the inside of that wall, but a big, fat beam with termites burrowed deep inside would be very tough to reach effectively.

was used for the barrier? That might be great but could be the wrong product for drywood termites. Do you have a local extension service with info about local varieties of termites (they aren't all one kind) and stats on what is effective to use against them?

extermination contract covers repairs for recurrent infestations. Just a thought.
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I certainly would not recommend metal framing as a retrofit just to combat termites. If you are replacing damaged frame members, then I would consider them and might even replace some non-damaged ones if the price were right. If I were building new or adding on in a termite area, I would likely go for metal framing.

--
Joseph Meehan

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