I've recently moved into a 20-yo ranch home with a generous crawl
space (more like an unfinished basement). After I moved our massive
entertainment center into the living room I've noticed that the floor
around the ent. ctr. has become flexible enough to where any adult can
walk near the it and the entire ent. cntr. shakes. From below I can
see the floor joists flexing downward slightly when my petite wife
walks in the area. There are metal braces installed between the
joists, but they don't seem to help in this regard.
So to conteract this I have nailed two 8' 2x4s to double the floor
joists under this area, which may have helped a tiny bit, but not
much. I have considered adding a series of vertical 2x4s or 4x4s
under the joists that serve as load-bearing pillars under the joists,
but I don't want this to look like I've cobbled together some
amaturish solution to the problem. To be more specific, I don't want
a potential buyer to see the posts and think that the floor is weak in
that area, because I don't think it is weak. It's just holding a big
load in a high traffic area.
Any advice on how to fix this without creating some sort of Rube
Goldberg would be greatly appreciated!! :)
I would use temporary jacks to re-align the existing joists, and then
generously nail some 2 x 8 or 2 x 10 joists (whichever fits) onto them.
The additional joists should be long enough to rest on a sill or vertical
support at both ends.
As for adding posts, there is no shame in using permanent jackposts if the
crawlspace is not used for anything but storage. I'd rather buy a house
with those than one with a sagging structure and cracking walls. Besides,
if you use metal jackposts, then if you ever move the entertainment centre
you can just take them down.
"For it is only of the new one grows tired. Of the old one never tires."
-- Kierkegaard, _Repetition_
James Owens, Ottawa, Canada
What he said, but before you go to that expense, make sure the cross braces
between the joists (the 'X' things) are in place, and nailed on bottom end.
Makes a difference sometimes. If you dont have any, add some. I think they
still sell the metal ones that can be added from below after floor is
I would want a real footer of poured concrete. Cinderblock sitting on
the ground is not my idea of a solid foundation and without a solid
foundation, you will not get support for long. Remember to have an
adjustable jack, it may need a little adjustment after a while.
Is that the only part of the floor which does that, or do you just
notice it more because a door or something else on the entertainment
center rattles when she walks by?
I don't see why just adding weight to one part of the structure should
make it become more flexible. Have you tried looking at other joists
down there with a similar unsupported span to see if they "give" a
little too when wifey walks on top of them?
I ask that because the doors on the "highboy" dresser in the second
floor master bedroom of our home rattle a little when I walk past it.
That's the only indication I get that the floor isn't totally rigid.
The highboy's doors have spring catches with a little bit of free play
in them and I guess the piece is so close to being level that gravity
doesn't have much effect on the doors, so just a little bit of shake
makes them "talk".
Someday I'm gonna screw a couple of magnetic catches in that piece of
furniture to stop the rattle. (Course I've been thinking about doing
that for at least 20 years now.)
My name is Jeff Wisnia and I approved this message....
My wife has a collection of decorative glass dinnerware in the center
that rattles big time. When I walk through the area in question I can
feel the floor joists sag a little. This didn't happen when we didn't
have the ent. center there. I've been walking through the area for
three months and not noticed a problem until we moved that thing in.
There's no other area that has anything as massive as the ent. center,
so we don't know if it is a problem in other areas.
It doesn't take much to get the glass chattering in the cabinets, but
I'm less concerned about that than the sagging joists I notice when I
walk across the area and the sagging I saw from the crawlspace when my
wife was walking over it. We're not big people so it's not a
bodywieght problem. The ent. center is solid wood with a large TV in
it and two solid wood and glass display cabinets on either side. It
is about 7' tall and 5' wide. Our previous home sat on a slab, so
we've never had this problem before.
Thanks for the reply!
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