Thanks for the replies. I got someone out here today to do an estimate, and
he wouldnt give me an estimate cause he said my husband could fix it
himself. He suggested putting a 2*8 (the same size as the joist) the whole
3-4 ft span of the joist between the staircase walls, to use wood glue and
bolt it in. He said it only needed to be done on one side. I forgot to
mention the crack, I don't know if he saw it. The crack is not all the way
through the joist. He said the joist 'isnt as bad as I think it is' because
the damaged part is between 2 walls supporting it, and the walls are only a
few feet apart. He said he would be worried if the walls were farther
apart. He also said the bathroom notch is nothing. I would like to have
one more builder come out to look at it anyway. What do you guys think?
The suggestion is worth following.
Rather than bolts, I'd consider nails and construction glue.
The load will be sent down through the walls to - eventually - the
I'd check the "load path" to make sure that you know how the extra load
is carried to the earth.
Glue yes (secondarily, to distribute the load,
if any) but I would not use nails on any joist
with both a cutout and a crack in it. Screws,
lag bolts, etc. can be tightened just right and
cause less vibration during insertion.
This is called "sistering" and is the standard way
of reinforcing a damaged joist. If your husband can
cut wood to fit (say 3/4 plywood on each side) and
drill holes large enough for secure bolts (say 3/8 inch)
he can sister the joist himself.
Thanks. Yes, he did say use screws and bolts. Is there a particular kind?
Now really the problem is how do I access the 'good' part of the joist to
screw the new wood into? There are wood boards (I dont know what they're
called) that go diagonally up the whole staircase that are in the way.
They hold up some other boards and also the drywall was screwed into them.
Unfortunately, some of that stuff may have to come down to get proper access
if it's not already available -- this is where the price starts going up
I'm afraid.. However, you could have a handyman come by to fix the damage
afterwards (e.g. replacing drywall, etc).
You don't really need glue, as it really doesn't add much stregnth when
using bolts. Use 1/2" bolts or bolt rod spaced every 1.5' and stagger
them. Make sure the holes are as tight as possible. Put One bolt at
the top, one at the bottom, etc. No closer than 1" to the edge.
I'd go at least 3 feet to each side of the problem area. Crank them
down tight, and you're good to go. I'd use 2x lumber, not OSB or
Tim Fischer wrote:
Thanks everyone. Tony-it is a joist. And yes, only the one joist was
damaged. My husband sistered it (on both sides) to the best of his ability
and it definitely looks a lot better. Don't worry, we didn't use nails. On
the one side we did go a couple feet beyond the damaged area, but on the
other side it was not possible to go beyond the damaged part because of
the walls. On that side there was less than 2 inches of 'good' wood to
bolt the new wood onto. I have no idea how many joists support the 2nd
floor, so I was worried about it. I'm hoping everything is ok now.
Are you really saying that you 'notched' the joist down to a 2" width?? And
you're hoping a couple boards 'sistered' to the damaged area will make up
I hope I'm hearing you wrong. If so, I really beg you to bring in a
structural person (not a handyman). Maybe your city inspector will come
out, or at least recommend someone...
Tim- I think you are hearing me wrong. The joist was notched 2 inches away
from the wall. So there was a space 2 inches long for us to bolt the new
sister to on one end. I didn't have a handyman look at it, I had a builder
look at it.
I think I figured it out. I think you can see the pictures by going to
The first pic is as you are walking down the stairs. The second pic is
kind of looking up at the sistered joist as you are walking up the stairs.
Made a joist 'sandwich' by bolting all 3 pieces together. You can see in
the middle on the left the piece of the original joist that was cut out.
It has two little nails in it, just a piece of 'filler wood'.
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