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
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.
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.
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.
Sounds like no big deal to me -- and probably an easy fix if needed or
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
How old is the house?
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.
Is the sub-floor nailed to them, or did they move after the sub-floor
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.
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... :)
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
On Saturday, January 25, 2014 5:09:41 PM UTC-5, email@example.com wrote
y mind, that is a LOT of twist, and if I tried to straighten it, I would do
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
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
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?
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
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.
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
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.
> 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
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.
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