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3.9x2.4m 1st floor block wall built without adaquete support underneath

Discussion in 'Building' started by skhudy, 15 Feb 2019.

  1. skhudy

    skhudy

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    Sometimes i dont know if old buildings are a challange or just a major headache.

    Decided to strip and redecorate a room. 1st floor. Just taken skirting off and the wall moves as I pull it off. Strange it seems, studwork not secured to the floor. Only it's not a stud wall but a solid 4 inch wall, not sure brick or blocks. This separates the room from a bathroom in an adjoining flat (the wall would have been added after house was split, either 45 years ago when the house was turned to 3 flats or 25 years ago when it was turned into 2 flats (2 of them were joined together). It is not a wall from the original house, it's definitely an addition, no load bearing implications

    Going to the room downstairs and making a big inspection hole , it's a 7x2 joist spanning the 3.9m width underneath the wall.

    Taking a level to the ceiling, the joist under the wall unsurprisingly has dropped - not sure how to say by how much, but its no longer a flat ceiling

    So the wall upstairs, the floor has dropped fractionally, meaning the blocks in the middle of the wall are not sitting on anything hence the visible movement when removing the skirting, of even giving the wall a hard shove

    What are the options? It's probably 2 tons of weight where it shouldn't be. see pic. One is from room below showing position of joist / wall to a window opening (joist runs from window wall across) and the other in the room where you can make out the gap under the wall...

    Sister 2 7x2 joists to the one which is bowing whilst jacking it up?
    Take the wall down and rebuild as stud?
    Cry?
    All of the above?
     

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    Last edited: 16 Feb 2019
  2. Leofric

    Leofric

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    Anybody want to stick their neck out ? I would say it is a job for a structural engineer to inspect on site.
     
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  3. skhudy

    skhudy

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    The worst case scenario in my mind, as I stay in the adjoining flat... is the solid bathroom / room wall to come out, replace the bowed joist (maybe as 2 2x7) and rebuild as a lighter stud work.. but its going to obviously add a lot of work and be messy... and I guess need to build to right specs (fire protection between properties)
     
  4. skhudy

    skhudy

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    Don't know what Muppet decided to do this or how it got missed by building regs during conversion. One of the other walls upstairs has an rsj beneath it why couldn't they put another one in!
     
  5. Leofric

    Leofric

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    Building Regulations application required for structural alterations anyway so fire protection , sound insulation etc will need to be specified along with everything else bldg. regs related.
     
  6. 23vc

    23vc

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    Doesn’t sound too dissimilar to what I’ve got in my house and thousands of other 60s/70s places - what kind/thickness of blocks? When you say it’s sittng on a joist, is it not built off floorboards resting on joists? “Swaying” is normal if it’s not tied in properly around door frames/at ceiling level.
     
  7. skhudy

    skhudy

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    Yes sorry it's built off the floor boards not on the joist. It just concerns me that the solid wall has movement, and is it going to continue to drop. I believe it to be a 4 inch thick wall
     
  8. tony1851

    tony1851

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    If it separates the room from the bathroom of the adjoining flat, wouldn't you need the adjoining owners' agreement to work on it?

    Also, if you try to straighten the joist by jacking it up, you may cause more problems. Timber under heavy, long-term load is subject to 'creep' and assumes a deflected shape permanently. Trying to push it back to its' original position might cause lifting of the whole wall.
     
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  9. 23vc

    23vc

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    So they tend to be supported by the 2 joists either side below the wall. Not a great setup but probably not the complete disaster you first thought, and as I said, it’s common. As is a bit of a sag in the joists below it. Movement normally fixed by better fixings into studwork/joists at the top.
     
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  10. skhudy

    skhudy

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    Thanks for all replies. I own the whole place (or mostly the bank, partly mine lol) so having work done isn't a problem. So what they should have done when ever they put it in, was site the wall between 2 of the floor / ceiling joists..
    My plan after doing up this room was to redo the room below, part of which was to put in some studwork. I think all might not be as bad as i thought, as I can work around putting support somewhere beneath the middle of the upstairs wall? (Floors downstairs are solid concrete) and I don;t know untill the ceiling is down, lift the joist slightly, or add another joist in, so the wall upstairs is sitting firmly on the floorboards and not moving (with the supporting stud work beneath this)
     
    Last edited: 16 Feb 2019
  11. ^woody^

    ^woody^

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    First thoughts.

    I'd go for the "cry" option. Especially after looking at that large random hole in the front room ceiling.o_O

    I like the curtains though.(y)
     
  12. Leofric

    Leofric

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    o_O
    Blockwork walls should not be built off floorboards on timber joists , and when was ' swaying' of walls ever considered normal ? Walls should not sway !
     
  13. 23vc

    23vc

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    I didn’t say they should, I said they commonly are in 60s houses.
    If lateral support is removed from such walls (eg adjacent door jambs removed) they can move at the touch of a finger, which can be a bit alarming. Once fixed into surrounding timber again the wall is rock solid. For reasons of common sense, obviously no one builds them nowadays, but expect to see them regularly in houses of a certain era.
     
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  14. stuart45

    stuart45

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    I've built 2 and 3 inch block walls on upper timber floors(on a timber soleplate) up to the late 70's on some sites, so it will be a common feature.
     
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  15. noseall

    noseall

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    Thousands of partition block walls already exit in that capacity. Mine do at home.
     
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