I don’t think I mentioned this before…I know I took some pictures though. A few weekends ago, I added a bunch of lights in the basement. I rewired the whole thing for a total of 8 high efficiency 100w (equivalent) fluorescent light bulbs. They only use 23 watts each. Now, the whole basement glows like a Christmas tree when I turn the lights on. Nice! I like being able to see the dark corners.
Anyway, here is the reason for this post. The other day, I was upstairs walking in the dining room. We recently added a little shelf/table thing against the wall. When I walked near it, it shook. I started softly bouncing on the floor and the shelve shook more. Also, there was a slight dip in the floor in that area. I could tell that I had a slightly bouncy joist. “Hmmmm”, I thought. “How the heck am I going to fix this bouncy joist…that sags as well?” I knew the answer, but as usual, I looked all over online. I found the typical solutions; add cross braces, sister the joist with a new one or add a post. Well, let me just tell you that adding cross braces doesn’t do a damn thing. You should add them when you build the house. They offer a slightly stiffer solution, but did nothing in this case. I added four of them between three joists (really tight) and it may have added a little more bounce. Hard to believe, I know. Also, the sagging was there more than ever. This was two weekends ago. (I am not sure that “sagging” would be the correct term…more like a slightly warped joist.)
Last weekend came and I said to myself, “I am going to tear this sucker apart. I am going to take down all the insulation, cross braces and wires and sister up two joists. That will stiffen it up.” Well, I went downstairs, took one look at the joists and had a flashback. I remember sistering up about 20 joists right after we moved in to find that they did absolutely nothing. Perhaps if you have a really old cabin in the woods or something, sistering joists would help, but not in this case. I wanted a hard, stiff floor that I could jump on. I like to party.
This weekend came and I was on a mission. Yesterday, I used an extra piece of 6×6 that I had laying around and my 20 ton bottle jack. I jacked up the one joist that I thought was the culprit. I put some good pressure on it and walked upstairs. Well, low and behold, I could walk on that area of the room and go nuts. Stiff as a board…to say. I knew that a 6×6 would look just look like some wacko fix down in the basement. I am really trying to keep this place from looking like it was pieced together. Having that happen is way too easy when you are trying to run a clean ship like this. I needed an excuse to put a board there. I called Tim next door over and we both agreed that a two foot wide wall wouldn’t be a bad idea. I could hang stuff off of it and all that.
So here is what I did. Sorry for the dust spots in the photo…I just swept up the floor. While the joist was jacked up, I cut a 2×6 nice and tight. I hammered that sucka right in there. Then, I put the rest of the puzzle together. I let the jack down and there we have it…perfect. I tested it out upstairs and everything feels great. Now, all I need to do is to get some 3/4″ plywood to box it in and I am good. I’ll get a few hooks or something and hang a few things off of it to make it look like I put it there on purpose.
I think that was pretty damn creative. The moral of the story is, when you have a bouncy floor or a sagging joist, you gotta use a post. Don’t try to get around it, just do it. I’m outta here.
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- dip in an upstairs floor
- youtube videos of how to lift sagging ceiling joists in basement