This is my first post to this group and I really hope that someone can
help me out.
Our house is a bungalow built in 1962. In 1964 an addition was added
to the end of the house. Evidently the ground wasn't compacted and
over the years it has sunk. The sinking is most noticeable in the
dining room part of the living/dining room, where the drop is about 1
3/4 inches over 6 feet going West and about the same over 16 feet going
It isn't feasible to try jacking up the house so we seem to be left
with leveling it and this is where my questions start.
I have read about gypsum concrete as being cheaper and easier to work
with than leveling compound. Can we use gypsum concrete for a leveling
compound on wood?
Is it a good idea to build up the deeper areas with OSB, Tar Paper or
Should we do the leveling in zones?
Should we try to feather the leveling compound where it is thinnest or
is it better to cut out some of the sinking subfloor so that the
thinnest leveling compound is a minimum of 1/4 thickness?
Having written all of thes questions it occurs to me that they could
all be completely stupid. If they are would someone please suggest the
best way to go about solving this problem?
It would help to know the construction of the house.
It would help to know why " it isn't feasible" to jack up the house.
What kind of floor finish do you have that can be covered with gypsum?
The original house was a one story frame construction,
rectangular bungalow, built on a crawl space. A Small 15 x 5 addition
was built on one side to extend the master bedroom and another addition
about 25 x 14 was built onto one end.
I bought the house from my mother who purchased it in 1964 and had the
additions done. For about the last thirty years she had the same
handyman work for her and it was his opinion that the house was a bit
fragile and structural changes should not be undertaken. Having seen
some of the cracks in the concrete foundation wall at the non sinking
end of the house I have agreed with him. This is the first reason for
not wanting to jack up the sagging end. The second reason is that just
prior to selling it to us, my mother had it re-roofed and I understand
that jacking a house up can cause roof problems. The third reason for
not jacking it up is that we have been told that the jacking up process
could cost about $10,000+. We are hesitant to put that much money into
the house because the next owner will undoubtedly bulldoze the home so
they can (to quote a real estate agent) put a house on here that fits
with the view and property value.
Actually overnight I have thought that since I am going about this in a
kind of selective way, it might bebest to pull out the subfloor and
build up the joists so that they are "level" or at least flat and less
sloped, put the subfloor back and carry on from their with carpet.
We think carpet is better than laminate, etc. because it has some
insulating value and is probably more user friendly to our feet on cold
mornings. Of course it is also cheaper and faster to install.
Thanks for your interest.
It sounds like you may be getting ready to sell.
If that is so and taking your realtor's comments into account,
leveling may be too much work.
I think you could jack the frame without too much trouble.
We have a three story house.
We removed some siding & scabed blocks to the side of studs.
Placed double 2 by braces at an angle and drove the down end toward the
house with sledges.
This lifted the frame enough to remove a bottom plate and insert a new
This approach should allow you to place shims or concrete below the
bottom plate to level.
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