I live in Chicago and have an uneven floor and do not know what to
do. It seems like it's really only one area, right in the middle of
the house. Underneath the floor is where the main house I beam is
located. If you follow the beam, the floor is fine where the beam
starts and ends. But it's only in the middle of the house where the
floor is uneven.
I was wondering, is this a problem? In order to get this fixed,
would the house need to be jacked up? If so, approximately how much
would I be looking at in getting this fixed?
Thank you in advance for any help!
Impossible to diagnose without seeing it. It could be that the house
has settled for some reason, but is now stable and not going to get any
worse. Or it could be that there is no proper support for the beam,
the beam is too small, etc. You say the beam is fine at both ends.
What's supporting the rest of the span? Is the beam sagging and by
how much? You say it's an I beam? Steel?
Best approach is probably to get a good home inspector in to go over
the whole house and give you some advice. Then, if necessary, a
Well, if the beam has deflected sufficiently that the floor sag is
noticeable, I'd say that's "a problem". How big depends on how much
and, to a lesser degree perhaps, how long it took.
Probably the best approach would be to get an engineering
evaluation/report if the house is older. If it is a newer house, you
might have some reason to go back to the builder, but I'm guessing that
isn't the case.
What one can do for recourse is dependent on many things including
whether there is a basement or only a crawl space, if the basement is
finished or not if there is one, etc., etc.
It sounds as though the original beam was undersized for the span (or a
larger point load was added after the design like placing a huge
commercial double-wide refrigerator there in a kitchen remodel). The
cheapest route probably would be to add a support post in the middle
under the beam, but even that requires there be sufficient bearing
surface under it to take the load (which wouldn't be just a poured
basement floor, for example).
With a properly sized pier added, it's possible that over a period of
time the beam could then be raised back to its proper position.
Raising it a fraction of an inch at a time and letting the structure
relax to the new position over a period of months could well prevent
major upheavel in other areas that would probably occur if the whole
thing were raised at one time.
HTH, but I think you need an expert to evaluate the situation...
Thank you for all the responses. It sounds to me as if it gets worse
or if it is really a problem, call somebody in to take a look at it.
I'm pretty sure that the previous owners had a waterbed on the side of
the house that is un-even, so that might be what happened. But, it is
an older house (about 65 years old), and I know that these things
happen. But as for the i-beam, yes, it is a steel one that runs the
length of the house and has two steel columns/poles to support it in
Thank you again for all the responses!
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