Sagging, Rotted Floor Repair on a Budget...

Old 01-28-17, 01:52 PM
Amber Killmon's Avatar
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In Need of Suggestions for Sagging, Rotted Floor Repair on a Budget...

I'm by no means a handy person and honestly have no clue what's going on with my home. The house is 55 years old, built by my grandfather, who was a semi-functional alcoholic. If you saw the house you would understand the relevence... There is about 3 feet of crawl space underneath, but no way am I going under there ( I have some friends who would though).

My grandmother always called the house a bungalow but it's more like a box. There is one story and 5 rooms, 2 of which (living room and 1 bedroom) have no obvious problems. The main door leads into the kitchen/dining room area and as soon as you step in there's sagging floor. The area between the floor and the door base is separating and you can see the ground.

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To the right is the kitchen area where you can feel the boards under the laminate. Some higher than they should be, some lower, and some spots where it feels like nothing is there at all. The sink base has been in the house since it was built and is completely rotted out underneath - you can see the ground in many spots.

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The bathroom is the worst as it seems to be separating from the rest of the house. The doorway has a huge gap where you can see the ground and the floors and walls are separating. I'm crediting this damage 100% to my grandmother who, bless her soul, wasn't a neat freak (putting it mildly) and left standing water for days at a time (mainly from toilet backups).

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I'm also pretty sure there's no traditional subfloor iin the bathroom, just a few slats of rotted plywood (or is that the subfloor?)

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Aside from the entry the rest of the dining area seems solid, no sags. I'm pretty sure some joists need replacing but I'm not sure if it needs to be done throughout the entire house or just in the rooms with issues. The one positive (I think) on my side is the rooms are all fairly small.

bathroom - 7 x 5
dining room 8.5 x 12
kitchen 8.5 x 9

I've been reading up on DIY repairs but it all seems like Greek to me so I'm hoping someone can lay out, in lamen terms, what I need to do and the cheapest ways to do it (I'm on a tight budget after paying 13K in back taxes just to keep it in the family).

Last edited by Amber Killmon; 01-28-17 at 02:44 PM.
Old 01-28-17, 02:56 PM
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The first step is likely a complete inspection from the crawl space, by someone familiar with building and construction methods. You need to determine whether the framing and foundation was ever adequate, and what problems exist now. The ideal person would be a contractor that has built houses or done serious remodeling. Once you know the condition of the bones, it will be possible to figure out what to do about the flooring problems.
Old 01-28-17, 03:02 PM
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Welcome to the forums!

I suggest taking some pictures farther back so we can get the big picture. Super close ups of holes really don't tell the whole story.

Bad news is going in the crawl space is the only real way to see what is going on with the framing. Perhaps you can get your friends to takes some pictures but at some point work will need to happen down there to correct any issues there may be with the framing.
Old 01-28-17, 03:08 PM
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First, man/woman up and get under the house. 3' of crawl space is a luxury. That's where much of the work may have to happen. If there is no plastic on the ground the worst you'll find is some broken glass, uncomfortable bricks & rocks, camel back crickets and some slugs.

You may have to sister some floor joists and especially so under areas with water like the bathroom and kitchen. You'll likely have to replace flooring/sub flooring in the bathroom and maybe kitchen.

I've made a living off of houses like that so I can truly see the light at the end of the tunnel. Unfortunately much work usually needs to be down below in the crawl space.

Is there any evidence of termite damage?
I do reno work on houses like that all the time and the house can turn into a real jem.

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