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Question DetailsAsked on 8/18/2015

Is it possible to re level a floor without jacking up the foundation?

I have an old house with sloped floors. The foundation has been repaired by previous owners and has been determined to be safe by a structural engineer, however, the floors were not leveled when this repair was done. Cosmetically I would like flat floors! Is it possible to do this by leveling the subfloor and installing new flooring??

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1 Answer


Yes. Pity they did not relevel the house at the same time - probably would have involved same contractor.

1) if just middle of house/floor sag due to sagging floor joists, can be temporarily jacked up and then joists permanently reinforced to eliminate sag, or permanently jacked up (with posts or jacks in crawlspace/basement).

2) if side-to-side slope across entire house, can usually jack up one side and basically "shim up" the entire framing system between framing and foundation with treated wood or grout as applicable for type of construction. Rarely, jacking/grout injecting entire foundation and grouting or using underpinning piles to raise it to a new level, but this is usually fairly extreme just ot relevel floors.

3) if localized (not entire house) subfloor surface can be levelled up to an inch or occasionallymore with levelling compound, then new flooring put down.

4) a newer, rarely seen methodology but likely to gain favor, is a method where a foam subfloor liner is put in (almost like a shoe insert) and then laser-controlled trimmed by machine to a smooth level surface, which is then the surface a new subfloor sheet (typically 1/2" plywood) is put down on, then the final flooring - though evidently some sheet or snap or glue-joint flooring can be put down on it directly. Neat system though of course puts a lot of highly combustible material in your subfloor if you are real fire leery.

Whatever you do, likely to have at least nominal drywall cracking to repair, and there is always the possibility of a cracked window or pipe or two.

The structural engineer is likely your best person to advise you on what can be done economically and what is not feasible with your budget, and what type of contractor to use. Might be a house mover (for whole-house relevelling) or a Carpenter-Framing (for floor joist jacking) or a General Contractor for a more substantial house framing movement, or possibly just a Flooring contractor for individual room subflooring levelling compound and reflooring.

Answered 5 years ago by LCD

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