Home>Discussions>HEALTH & SAFETY>Old house still settling or shifting?
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sephadex
Old house still settling or shifting?

So...I live in an old house , about 220 years old. We bought the house about a year and half ago and absolutely love it. For the most part, the house is in great shape, but I will say, nothing in the house is square or level. This wouldn't concern me in the least except I seem to notice from time to time that a door here or there doesn't seem to close as easily as it did before or might stick slightly in a new way. Is it possible, even after all this time that the house is still shifting? Is there any way to test it? I haven't noticed any new cracks in the plaster anywhere and the foundation is all fieldstone. I just want to make sure we're doing everything we can to make sure the house stays in good condition.

Thanks!

jled96
Re: Old house still settling or shifting?

The wood will expand and contract with changes in seasons/humidity. In the winter I have 1/8" gaps in all the knotty pine boards throughout my home, in the summer everything is tight together. If you don't see any cracks or shifting it is just seasonal changes, Don't you just love old houses! I wish we would last 220 years and still be livable! Good Luck!

sephadex
Re: Old house still settling or shifting?

Thanks for the quick response. That's what I figured, just wanted to get another opinion! Once in a while when I take the time to realize just how out of square everything is, and that the floors really all do slant away from the fireplaces, I start to get a little paranoid and need a little reassurance :p

jled96
Re: Old house still settling or shifting?

I tried to level some floors when I bought my house years ago, this made things look even worse, most contractor friends of mine told me to reinforce what was there and add additional supports where needed, and then just repair what you can, I don't think I have a level or square wall left in my house either, just keep and eye on things and you will know when something is out of the ordinary! Good Luck!

motoguy128
Re: Old house still settling or shifting?

Old houses... heck, half the doors stuck in our 1960's house. But that's because everything in that place was was cheap. I could put my bare foot through a door in that place. I'd break my foot on any door in our house, even through they are panel doors, not solid wood.

Sounds pretty normal to me. I took a hand plane and filed down a couple doors this summer and that did the trick.

jkirk
Re: Old house still settling or shifting?

with doors, they will typically stick in the summer as its the warm humid season. the door will expand and rub.. then come winter time when things are dry the door will shrink and not properly latch

the key thing to not do if your planing down a door in the summer is to take off the least amount of material possible so the door will actually latch come winter. you dont want it so loose that the bolt wont catch the striker plate

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