1. Visiting from the US? Why not try DIYnot.US instead? Click here to continue to DIYnot.US.
    Dismiss Notice

Uneven Floors across entire house!

Discussion in 'Floors, Stairs and Lofts' started by itsmattyjayy, 12 Feb 2019.

  1. itsmattyjayy

    itsmattyjayy

    Joined:
    12 Feb 2019
    Messages:
    6
    Thanks Received:
    0
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    Hi all, I've just stumbled across this forum and am hoping someone will be able to shed light on the issue in my home.

    Whilst buying my house, we noticed the floors seemed uneven. I paid for a full structural report via the bank and asked specifically for this to be inspected.

    When I called up, I was told the floors were all fine, but they sounded quite clueless when I did ask, almost as if they were blagging.

    The issue is the entire house feels as if it's sloped. The other day I ripped out the carpet and pulled up some floorboard in one of the rooms, and I'm now not sure if the joists are causing the slope.

    My concern is it's not isolated to a single room, it's basically the entire house, upstairs and downstairs. It also seems as if the directions of the slopes vary, as the kitchen slopes in a different direction to the lounge.

    I'll attach some pictures later when I can get back under the floorboards, which may help visualise the issues.
     
  2. KenGMac

    KenGMac

    Joined:
    24 Aug 2010
    Messages:
    2,273
    Thanks Received:
    385
    Location:
    Ayrshire
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    Matthew James, good evening.

    What age is the property?
    Are all the floors suspended timber on joists?
    Was the property vacant for some time prior to your purchase?
    If you have a hard copy of the Survey report what does it say?
    Try the football test? place a ball on what you consider to be a "high" area and see if it rolls, or use a long spirit level

    Ken
     
  3. itsmattyjayy

    itsmattyjayy

    Joined:
    12 Feb 2019
    Messages:
    6
    Thanks Received:
    0
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    Good evening Ken,

    The property I think is around 80 years old, I'll check the paper work and clarify.

    I'm not sure what you mean, sorry my building knowledge isn't vast by any means, the joists are timber, but I've only seen one room upstairs thus far, in the kitchen the floor is concrete (under the tiling) but I'm not sure what's below the concrete or if it is just concrete.

    The property was vacant for little more than a month.

    I have a digital copy on my emails I'll also clarify what's written.

    I just tried the ball test, albeit the ball is slightly deflated, it stays prone, I've not got a long spirit but using a long straight box with a spirit on top shows a 2/3° deficit.

    MJ
     
  4. itsmattyjayy

    itsmattyjayy

    Joined:
    12 Feb 2019
    Messages:
    6
    Thanks Received:
    0
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    Here you can see, the top of the door frame is very slanted towards the right.
     

    Attached Files:

  5. JobAndKnock

    JobAndKnock

    Joined:
    30 Sep 2011
    Messages:
    3,329
    Thanks Received:
    644
    Location:
    Lancashire
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    Have you checked the levels with a 6ft spirit level? Are you sure that it's not just sag (which happens in all old houses)?
     
  6. foxhole

    foxhole

    Joined:
    14 Mar 2006
    Messages:
    14,082
    Thanks Received:
    1,510
    Location:
    Kent
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    A slant on a door frame is just that , does not indicate unlevel floor .
     
    • Like Like x 1
  7. oldbutnotdead

    oldbutnotdead

    Joined:
    11 Jan 2013
    Messages:
    2,082
    Thanks Received:
    358
    Location:
    Durham
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    3 degrees is quite a lot when you stretch it across a room- 50 mm/metre. The suspended timbers may well have gone baggy with age (so dip into the middle of the room), the whole house may have moved a bit over the years & might have had a good nudge from Adolf's bombers. Have you tried a plumb line by doorframes or in the corners (spirit levels aren't that useful for vertical)

    For the floors you need a long straight edge, 3m or more, a good piece of floorboard or skirting is favourite. While the house is empty & ideally when there are no carpets down lay it in various places and look for gaps and high spots.

    If there aren't any (or not many) then again use your straight edge with the level on top and some shims (plastic ones for fitting double glazing are perfect, they have the thickness stamped on them). Set the straight edge so it is showing the greatest out of level, then shim the low end until the bubble is in the middle. Repeat a few times, record the results

    And then decide what, if anything, you want to do about it. Provided the joists are in good nick (no woodworm or rot evidence, check carefully where they enter the walls), sloping floors are an irritant rather than a disaster. Rectifying them can be a pain, since you'll probably wreck the T & G floorboards when you lift them.
     
  8. itsmattyjayy

    itsmattyjayy

    Joined:
    12 Feb 2019
    Messages:
    6
    Thanks Received:
    0
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    Hi, the slant on the frame is proportional to that of the floor, and much easier to be seen.
     
  9. foxhole

    foxhole

    Joined:
    14 Mar 2006
    Messages:
    14,082
    Thanks Received:
    1,510
    Location:
    Kent
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    Would suggest it was built that way.
     
  10. JobAndKnock

    JobAndKnock

    Joined:
    30 Sep 2011
    Messages:
    3,329
    Thanks Received:
    644
    Location:
    Lancashire
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    I'm with Foxhole. Door frames are zero indication of the state/levelness of the floors. They can indicate movement or settlement, but to verify the floors you need either a long level or a laser level and a block. With either it will take me about 5 to 10 minutes to ascertain how far out the floors in a given room are (but a lot longer to figure out what I want to do.....)
     
  11. itsmattyjayy

    itsmattyjayy

    Joined:
    12 Feb 2019
    Messages:
    6
    Thanks Received:
    0
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    Good afternoon,

    I'd like to think it was just an uneven doorframe, much cheaper of a fix!

    Here are a few photos of the floor (excuse the mess!)

    MJ
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: 16 Feb 2019
  12. oldbutnotdead

    oldbutnotdead

    Joined:
    11 Jan 2013
    Messages:
    2,082
    Thanks Received:
    358
    Location:
    Durham
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    Well you've def got some out of level issues there. How vertical are the walls?- if they have similar leans then be worried, if not then your house was built by a madman but is likely to be standing long after we're all gone.
     
  13. itsmattyjayy

    itsmattyjayy

    Joined:
    12 Feb 2019
    Messages:
    6
    Thanks Received:
    0
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    Hello oldbutnotdead,

    Just checked the upstairs walls, they're all vertical(ish). They're within the level region albeit some are on the line, but the previous owner was a constructor I think (self employed) and did a lot of the work it seems, and I'm certain he was a cowboy as we've found so much shoddy work! But it wouldn't surprise me if the uneven walls are poor plastering, which I can rectify by stripping them and applying new studs and plasterboards.

    It's the floor I'm worried about, one you can feel it when walking barefoot or with socks, but also for future investment i.e reselling/renting.

    With shoes on we never noticed when viewing the property, and the structural survey we paid for mentions the floor as being fine.

    Recon I could pursue the surveyors as this is a clear unevenness, with carpets on/off, so surely shouldn't have been missed?

    MJ
     
  14. oldbutnotdead

    oldbutnotdead

    Joined:
    11 Jan 2013
    Messages:
    2,082
    Thanks Received:
    358
    Location:
    Durham
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    Don't worry about stud walls, they're usually not structural. Get your plumb line or level out on the outside walls- inside and out and on any internal brick walls. If they're plastered, drill some test holes top and bottom, see how thick the plaster is.

    As for sueing the surveyor, good luck with that. If the brick walls are massively out of vertical then maybe, apart from that uneven floors aren't a structural problem if they're solid and rot free.
     
  15. JobAndKnock

    JobAndKnock

    Joined:
    30 Sep 2011
    Messages:
    3,329
    Thanks Received:
    644
    Location:
    Lancashire
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    Look at the structure - widish floor boards, lath and plaster ceilings, etc That makes the house Victorian or Edwardian in all probability (AFAIK they stopped using lath and plaster on domestics somewhere in the late 1920s/early 1930s), so there could be an amount of settlement in the building. TBH I've never worked on a building of that age where the floors were level or the walls plumb. Just done some work in an old mill office this week - the walls ran out of plumb by about 30mm over 8ft and the floors were equally bad (drooped 25 to 30mm towards the middle of the 6.5 metre wide room - enough to be able to sense it when walking across the room). Built 1860 to 1870 as far as I could ascertain. Unfortunately checking a floor with a 2ft level isn't conclusive proof of anything, I'm afraid, as even a protruding nail head can push your level reading out by a mile as can a low/high spot or a single low joist - it needs to be checked with a 6ft level (or even a 2ft level strapped onto a straight piece of planed 3 x 2in softwood) or better yet a laser level and a marking block as only that will indicate bowing or inclination of the floors properly. I agree it's out, but the question in my mind is whether or not it's just a low/high area and the rest is OK-ish. Victorian floors are rarely level in my experience
     
    Last edited: 17 Feb 2019
  16. DIYnot Local

    DIYnot Local

    Joined:
    3 Sep 2019
    Country:
    United Kingdom

    If you need to find a tradesperson to get your job done, please try our local search below, or if you are doing it yourself you can find suppliers local to you.

    Select the supplier or trade you require, enter your location to begin your search.


    Are you a trade or supplier? You can create your listing free at DIYnot Local

     
Loading...

Share This Page