how do you protect yourself from cut floor joints?

27 Replies

We recently bought a house, after getting two foundation bids, a stinker with cut floor joints.  This added another 10k to the rehab and killed the deal for us.  

How do you guys protect yourselves from this?  

We talked to an inspector.  Getting an inspection wouldnt have saved us as they say "we can only inspect what we can see".  

Originally posted by @Jassem A. :

You could look at not paying 10k to fix it. How long did it take to repair?

 That's what I was thinking. Sandwich the cut joist on either side and move on?

@Jason Hirko

Yeah whatever works or do a lighter rehab and don't open up the ceilings/subfloors/walls if not totally necessary. Anytime you do, there's additional cost and surprises especially if there are required inspections. Many contractors are used to doing full gut rehab but it's rarely worth the time, money or energy when you can create a similar looking result with some new flooring, tile, paint, fixtures, trim, or decorations.

i dont understand, if we dont fix it it wont pass inspection and it wont sell, correct?

the cost went from a standard 10k fix, to 20k, killing the deal after we bought it.  now we are trying to sell to other rehabbers and eat our loss early.  The other rehabbers are seeing the foundation issue and wont touch it either.  

How is a floor joist costing $10,000? I had a house with 3 joists needing replacement and did them in a few hours for a few hundred dollars. Any floor joist should be replaceable assuming you have it uncovered (if you can see it, I assume it is uncovered).

@Steven Mitchell , I bought a house with floor joists cut halfway to make room for heating ducts to go to the garage. We ended up jacking up the floor with a couple of jack posts. Our joists were cut directly above a doorway leading to a storage space, and we were able to put the jacks on either side of the door, inside the storage space so they were out of sight. Not hidden in a sneaky way, just out of sight. 

Originally posted by @Steven Mitchell :

@Mark Gallagher cut floor joints

 I think the problem is everyone here (myself included) has given you advice on replacing just floor joists. (Jack it up and then replace them or nail a board on either side to support it if you can't replace). It's not a huge issue if the floor is out. However, I don't know what cut floor joints means, so maybe it is a serious problem that costs $10k? Maybe you can explain or post some pictures

I'm from Texas and don't know what he is talking about either.

Considering that some-one is trying to gouge $20k for a foundation, this is either a HUGE house or he's being taken for a ride.

The floor joints are ALL cut and then a piece of plywood was placed in front of each joint. When the foundation crew went to raise the foundation at the piers, he realized that the floors were rising up but the house was not. So of course he began to fix it, but it became apparent that the joints had been cut because the house was heavy and the cement running around the house was crumbling - something my inspector said he would have 50/50 caught - basically he would have only caught the cut joints had he seen them (and neither did either of the foundation teams). Both companies assert they could have only discovered the crumbling concrete once it was broken open. Steven is asking - how do we protect our selves in the future from the exact same happenings? 

Confusing confusing I'm curious. I think you are talking about floor joists? What is the context behind this question? Define cut, so they are literally cut in half? I assume it is a basement or crawl? If so how would you not see or feel floor joists that are this bad? 10k to fix a few floor joists seems crazy high...we must be missing something here.

So many questions...a picture would help.

@Dianne Phelps So are you saying that all the joists were cut short and didn't connect to the joist band that runs around the outside of the house? instead they just connected it with plywood. So when the try to raise the joists the band on the outside of the house does not go up with it? If that is the case I could see why that is an expensive fix if the entire house was built like that.

So confused like everyone else here, I can understand it having cost attached to fix,but if it is the joists that have been cut for some strange reason and they are now not carrying there specified load onto the bearers, you should be able to laminate new joists along side of said cut joists ie: nailing new timber to carry the load to the bearers and picking up the load. This would still cost in labour and materials but should not be anywhere near 10-20k? I have built hundreds of homes with timber subfloors and am still kinda confused as to whats happening here? hope you get it sorted and it does not cost what you are being quoted. good luck 

here in the NE older houses will sometimes have joists that are not attached to the rim Joist or the sill plate. The plate and rim will be attached to each other and then the joists are set and the subfloor is used to hold the joists on edge. The joists sit on the sill and gravity does the rest but in order to jack the house you need to brace with temp beams and jack as far out on the joists as possible. I have seen a handful like this and didn't mind the one where I had to replace sill plates. There is nothing dangerous about it and if you were getting creaking/popping from expansion and contraction being different between the sill and the floor joist a 2x4 or strip of plywood secured to both would fix it. I have been told that it was done during the suburban boom in pop up developments when totally dry lumber was at a shortage. The would use green timbers and not tie them in so that everything could shrink at its own rate. I guess that makes a bit of sense but take it with a grain of salt.