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Question DetailsAsked on 1/3/2017

how does one find a contractor who does house leveling

my hard wood floors are sloping in my approx. 1200 sq. ft. house toward the middle of the house that I would like leveled. I know nothing about construction so cannot give more details.

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2 Answers


Likely you have intermediate columns under the floor joists in the center of the house that are settling or rotting or being insect eaten or such, or may not have been fastened correctly and are tilting or came loose and moved with floor motion above. It is also possible that you have either (mostly in pre-60's houses) a lot of small wood postys set in a grid under the flooring (less likely since you evidently have only a center-sag), or full-span floor joists or beams (more common in newer homes with plywood/timber I beams or LVL beams) and they were not properly designed for creep (sagging) under load (this is VERY common) or are sagging for some other reason.

A very large percentage of houses have floor joists that span half (or for large homes a third) of the narrow dimension of the house, sitting on or connected to central beam(s) that run along the long dimension of the house. This central line of beams is commonly supported by pipe columns or, especially if over a crawlspace rather than a full basement commonly wood posts on (hopefully) concrete pads or piers, or sometimes (though usually only with full basements) structural steel columns. These can deteriorate or setle with time, causing floor sag.

Assuming this is a minor sag - maybe an inch or two lower in the center, normally not a serious structural problem, and a General Contractor with good framing and remodel experience can replace them or shim them up as needed. if serious sagging or the floor joists are cracking or such and need reinforcing or replacement, and in some areas even if just replacing existing posts or columns, a Structural Engineer will have to assess teh situation and design a fix - for typically an additional $500-1000 depending on the situation. Technically, under the law in most states, ANY replacement or structural repair requires an engineer's design and signoff, but it is very common for replacement or truing up and refastening of small posts (with appropriate temporary support while changing the post out or putting a new foundation for it in place, say) to be done without an engineer's input - it is a judgement call on your part and depends largely on your confidence in the contractor to be able to do it right. This is NOT a place to use a beginner or maybe a framing carpenter who does not have remediation experience.

Another Search the List category that does this type of work, especially if significant support repairs or foundation repair are needed, is - wait for it - Foundation Repair.

The actual repair or shimming up can run anywhere from typically about $500 minimum to probably usually not over $1000-1500 for your size house - assuming you do not have serious rot or insect damage that mandates replacing joists or beams, which would commonly drive the cost into the thousands. If there is significatn cracking or rot or such, assessing the extent of damage and what needs to be replaced versus maybe repaired is where a Structural Engineer is definitely needed.

Note that a "slab-on" or "built-up" or "plated-over" repair is commonly cheaper than replacing a damaged section - but also risks future buyers balking at buying, especially if more than one beam or joist is involved or it is significant. Generally, if doing that type of repair rather than just shimming up or replacing defective elements, it is a very good idea to have a design AND a post-repair signoff from a structural engineer thAt you can provide to buyers and their home inspectors as proof that the repair was done right. Also, any repairs should be done neatly and professional-looking and consistent, even if that means doing a bit extra or running repair pieces a bit longer so it "looks right", not like some kid with a hammer and nails did it. Can make a big difference come resale time.

Good Luck

Answered 3 years ago by LCD



This is Erick in Member Care. Thanks for your interest in Angie's List!

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Answered 3 years ago by Member Services

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