Twisted Floor Joists

We are looking at buying a new house and the house is in GREAT condition, except there are two floor joists that are twisted. It looks as if no support blocks between the joists were installed on these two joists for some reason and as the house settled they twisted. There are approximately 100 joists and these are the only two that twisted. The floor above the joists feels solid. The wall above also shows no signs of abnormal settling. We plan on having a structural engineer take a look at it before purchase, but in the meantime we are uneasy and anxious.
The home inspector said you can normally deal with 33% offset/twist, but these were closer to 40%. He didn't think they were terrible, but advised the structural engineer's inspection.
What are your thoughts? We are in panic mode a little bit right now. We are set to close in 3 weeks and we LOVE the house and the neighborhood. We will be devastated if this falls through.
Can we just brace them to prevent further twisting? Do you have to jack and straighten them out? I know the engineer will better answer this, but just looking for some info to get us through the next week and start to prepare ourselves to walk away if necessary.
--
icb1977

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Saturday, January 25, 2014 1:22:00 PM UTC-5, icb1977 wrote:

I hope that's just an expression and the house didn't actually settle. I guess they all move some tiny amount, but you get my point. The house shouldn't be moving.
There are

If by new, you mean new construction, then tell the builder to fix it. You have the inspectors report that says they should be fixed. Builder's deal with this all the time and have crews that fix stuff that needs to be corrected.
And if it's not new construction, then presumably you're contract says the seller has to fix defects or you can walk. So, I'd talk to them, get a couple of contractors that are agreable to both parties and get estimates. Then either have it fixed and they pay for it, or else have them give you a credit to cover it at closing and you get the work done. With the latter approach, you have more control over the work, that it's done like it should be, etc. Another question is if they can be put back into place and braced, or if they warped, deformed, etc and need to be replaced.
As to the structural engineer, probably not a bad idea. If the foundation looks OK and hasn't moved, it's not cracking, the sillplate is OK, about the only other thing is what's above it? You want to make sure there isn't some load bearing wall above that's putting excessive load on it. You did say something about a wall above it.... If that wall is load bearing, wasn't accounted for properly, THAT could be a problem that's the cause and then the problem is more than just replacing 2 joists.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
icb1977 wrote:

Sounds like no big deal to me -- and probably an easy fix if needed or desired.
You already did the right thing by having a home inspection done and you plan on getting the opinion of a structural engineer.
A few photos would be great if you get a chance to do that and know how to post them (via http://tinypic.comor some similar free photo posting website).
How old is the house?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Sat, 25 Jan 2014 19:22:00 +0100, icb1977

In addition to what others have said, I'd recommend getting the advice of a contractor. This is something you're probably not going to do yourself. It would be good to know what it's going to cost to correct. The current owners should pay for it anyway.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

I would rely on the engineer before I would listen to advice from a Usenet group. The engineer has E & O insurance, if he is wrong, you are off the hook.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 1/25/2014 10:22 AM, icb1977 wrote:

was laid? If the sub-floor is nailed to them, you will cause more damage by trying to straighten them. In any case, they were probably green lumber when the house was built and twisted after being placed.
My opinion is to just block them where they are so they don't cause floor squeeks, or something like that later on in life.
Paul
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 1/25/2014 12:22 PM, icb1977 wrote:

I'd venture if as you describe it's essentially nothing. If the floor doesn't have either high or low spot of any significance what's to worry about? And, if even if it did have some local variation from just some lateral twist it would certainly be possible to remove it but more than likely there's no need whatsoever.
Can you use "mountain" and "molehill" in a sentence... :)
--


Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 01/25/2014 03:10 PM, dpb wrote:

I'd still have a professional inspect it even though it can probably be fixed easily enough.
It may be possible to get the price of the house lowered a bit though.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Sat, 25 Jan 2014 19:22:00 +0100, icb1977

what?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I think the OP meant 33 degrees from the normal vertical alignment. In my mind, that is a LOT of twist, and if I tried to straighten it, I would do s o very slowly a few(10 or less) degrees at a time and then wait a month or more to see if there is any noticeable effect on the floor/wall above. I w ould get an estimate of the cost from a contractor and use that as a negoti ating tool to get a good portion of that money credited at the time of clos ing.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Saturday, January 25, 2014 5:09:41 PM UTC-5, snipped-for-privacy@sbcglobal.net wrote :

so very slowly a few(10 or less) degrees at a time and then wait a month o r more to see if there is any noticeable effect on the floor/wall above. I would get an estimate of the cost from a contractor and use that as a nego tiating tool to get a good portion of that money credited at the time of cl osing.
He actually said 40 deg of twist/offset.. Some pics would be helpful. I'm not sure how it's being measured either. If it is from vertical, then I agree even 33 deg is a hell of a lot of twist. He said the inspector said you could deal with 33 deg? What does deal with it mean? It's OK?
And 40 is, well almost 45 :) And is this a joist that is still straight along it's run, but it just like keeled over? Or by twist does he mean that the joist is badly warped and not uniform?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
icb1977 wrote:

A picture is worth a thousand wrong guesses.
--
Bill
In Hamptonburgh, NY
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Sat, 25 Jan 2014 19:22:00 +0100, icb1977

You think that's bad? I have two neighbors who are twisted.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

As in "They ain't broke, but thet're badly bent"? Twisted, but straight??? Twisted but not crooked??
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

If you're not noticing any sagging or squeaking, I doubt the twisted joists would be an issue. Especially if the two twisted joists aren't next to each other.
You could cut some blocking to strengthen the floor and prevent further twisting, but it might be tricky to match the twist of the joist. You would probably cause more damage trying to straighten the joist.
If it's really an issue, you could simply add new "sister" joists next to the twisted joists.
Good luck,
Anthony Watson www.watsondiy.com www.mountainsoftware.com
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
The OP must need glasses, or someone to teach him/her about angles. That t wisting is probably in the range of 10 degrees at the most, looking at the photos. Previous suggestions on how to straighten the joists out are corre ct.
I am more concerned about what appears to be a patch in the subflooring tha t shows up near what appears to be the exterior end of the joist. The new- looking plywood is clearly a patch, and I wonder whay the subfloor needed p atching. Maybe moisture got in and rotted the original subfloor, and maybe that contributed to the twisting/warping. I would be more worried about t he patch than I would be worried about the twisting.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@sbcglobal.net;3188189 Wrote: > The OP must need glasses, or someone to teach him/her about angles. > That twisting is probably in the range of 10 degrees at the most, > looking at the photos. Previous suggestions on how to straighten the > joists out are correct.

> that shows up near what appears to be the exterior end of the joist. > The new-looking plywood is clearly a patch, and I wonder whay the > subfloor needed patching. Maybe moisture got in and rotted the original > subfloor, and maybe that contributed to the twisting/warping. I would > be more worried about the patch than I would be worried about the > twisting. When I said 33 that was what the home inspector said and I don't believe he was referring to the degree of the twist but rather how far off in distance the joist is in relation to the thickness of the wood. For example <33% of 2" is no concern. It was another poster that mentioned angles. I know that is definitely no greater than 20 degrees max from the 90 perpendicular.
The area is right under a sliding glass door so I thought maybe there was moisture problems. There are no watermarks on the joists or the surrounding subfloor. Or on the foundation walls or ground either.
--
icb1977


Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.