When we finally turned our attention to the downstairs bath, which connected Kelly's, and our son, Rusty's, rooms, we found yet another surprise. Underneath the seven
layers of flooring—some of it "leveled" with old asphalt roof shingles—were rotted joists. John ended up having to raise the whole house using a 30-ton hydraulic jack. Over time, some of the home's footings had settled deeper into the ground, leaving badly sloped and sagging floors.
Jacking up the house sounded simple enough, until we heard the baseboards in Kelly's bedroom pulling away from the walls. Turns out any time you raise a house as little as three-quarters of an inch you have to wait a week to allow the structure to adjust. We slowed down, raising it just that much at intervals over three weeks.
The downstairs bath did have a claw-foot tub, though its enamel was chipped—and it was missing one claw. We used it as a planter before a match was found for its missing leg.