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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    dc
    Posts
    2

    Default Repairing Notced Floor Joists

    Apparently during the installation of the plumbing in my row house the plumbers notched many of the floor joists. The Row house is about 45 ft. long and 19 ft wide; the joists in question support the back half of the first floor. The joists are 2x10's and are notched about 3 inches wide and 3 inches deep from the bottom. The notches are in the middle of the span. A couple are also notched a second time closer to the wall, 3-4 ft. from it, as well for a separate pipe. One joist also has a pretty significant split in it because the notch was made next to a couple of knots and it cracked along that line. I have access to them via the crawl space under the house which is small, but the plumbers have deepened it significantly to gain access to the pipes (that's another issue).

    My question is are there any ways to repair these without tearing out the floor and replacing them? A contractor suggested sandwiching them between 2 2x10's for several feet on either side of the notch. He also suggested pouring cement footers, installing vertical support beams, and installing horizontal support beams around the notches for support.

    My goal is to repair to a point where the floor is structurally sound and I can actually sell the house down the road.

    Any insight would be great.

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Capistrano Beach, CA
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    1,459

    Default

    Hello steven gilleland,

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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Lansdale, PA
    Posts
    876

    Default Re: Repairing Notced Floor Joists

    Quote Originally Posted by steven gilleland View Post
    Apparently during the installation of the plumbing in my row house the plumbers notched many of the floor joists. The Row house is about 45 ft. long and 19 ft wide; the joists in question support the back half of the first floor. The joists are 2x10's and are notched about 3 inches wide and 3 inches deep from the bottom. The notches are in the middle of the span. A couple are also notched a second time closer to the wall, 3-4 ft. from it, as well for a separate pipe. One joist also has a pretty significant split in it because the notch was made next to a couple of knots and it cracked along that line. I have access to them via the crawl space under the house which is small, but the plumbers have deepened it significantly to gain access to the pipes (that's another issue).

    My question is are there any ways to repair these without tearing out the floor and replacing them? A contractor suggested sandwiching them between 2 2x10's for several feet on either side of the notch. He also suggested pouring cement footers, installing vertical support beams, and installing horizontal support beams around the notches for support.



    My goal is to repair to a point where the floor is structurally sound and I can actually sell the house down the road.

    Any insight would be great.
    My first advice as a structural engineer, is do not take structural advice from your plumber. Repairing improperly notched joists, which these are, can be done, but it is not simple. First, can the pipes be moved? If not, I'm not sure how you are adding the additional 2x10s. When pipes can be moved then the process of reinforcing joist with new joists (usually called sister joists) can be done, but the length and nailing should be specified by an engineer. If that cannot be done then more complicated repairs using steel are possible. The option of new footings is also used, but the size and soil condition must be considered. You cannot simply place a little concrete on loose soil and expect it to provide support. If you do not have documentation that the repair was properly performed a buyer may ask for it. I get called in many times after expensive work was performed wrong and then a buyer or contractor wants me to say its ok.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Caledon, Ontario
    Posts
    5,005

    Default Re: Repairing Notced Floor Joists

    Steven

    Have you considered seeking damages from the plumber for the repairs?


  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    dc
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Repairing Notced Floor Joists

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymond Wand View Post
    Steven

    Have you considered seeking damages from the plumber for the repairs?
    The plumbing work was done when the house was renovated by the owners before the people I bought it from.


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
    Posts
    2,445

    Default Re: Repairing Notced Floor Joists

    Notching in the middle third of the span is a no no, no matter how much was cut.
    An engineer can determine the best course of action to take. I would find an engineer to look at it and design a repair.


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