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sagging living room

The back side of our living room is sagging. The lr is typical front to back. The front is fine, but if you stand at the front of the room and look back, the back molding/ceiling sags in the middle. The master br directly above this room does the same. Below the lr is the basement and it does not appear to have the same problem.
We have called a couple of contractors in and neither instilled much confidence in their opinion. They both want to rip out the entire lr ceiling and replace joists, but neither seems sure of what it will take to fix the problem. It seems to me ( just using common sense and I have no expertise) that the lr would have to be slowly jacked up and the braced when it got level. We are resigned to the fact that the upstairs master bath will probably be wrecked when the ceramic tiles start popping.
Has anyone been through this?

Re: sagging living room

No contractor can give you an accurate estimate without tearing the ceiling off. This is the only way to see what is the cause of the sagging and to determine what to do. And, no contractor will repair the drywall or any other damage caused without pay.

It's all up to you to decide. You may even need an engineer to look at this. Good luck and please keep us posted.

Re: sagging living room

I have to agree with your assessment not to have confidence in the contractors you talked to.
Why would the ceiling need to be replaced to fix a floor problem? Unless I misunderstand what you're saying.
With out looking I can't say what needs to be done, but your idea makes a bit more sense. It's not necessary to correct solution though.
I would try to figure out what the problem is. Has the foundation settled, beam sagged, termite damage, some structural issue, etc. The basement slab wouldn't probably have the same issue as the framed house above.
Good luck.

Re: sagging living room

I'd start looking lower: foundation then upwards.

Re: sagging living room

What exactly is sagging? The floor, the ceiling, a wall? If a wall, is it an interior wall or exterior wall?

Re: sagging living room

It's the exterior back wall that is sagging. I know that the ceiling must come down (ap 26x13) since a patch job wouldn't look good. I checked the basement and the sill is fine and there doesn't appear to be any sagging. We also went up to the attic above our bedroom and that looks sound. My concern is that as much of a disruption that this is going to be, never mind the expense, I want to do it only once.
So if the ceiling is taken out and the joists are slowly jacked up to where they should be, how are they braced so they don't sag again? Also, will we have to do the same in the bedroom over our living room, or does lifting the lr lift the br as well?
I'm hoping that someone who has been through this can give me some insight.

Re: sagging living room
hman wrote:

So if the ceiling is taken out and the joists are slowly jacked up to where they should be, how are they braced so they don't sag again?

That is why Houston Remodeler is right about this. The ceiling/floor joists above are held up by the wall, so either the whole wall is sagging (likely), the joists are compressing (unlikely but possible if they got really wet on the end), or the studding or plates in the wall are disintegrating (very unlikely but termites or rot could do that). So if the whole wall is sagging then that is where the repair goes- get under it and put it back where it belongs!

You said that the wall's support underneath didn't appear to be sagging- how did you determine this? Simply sighting along it may not tell enough of the tale. Taut string lines need to be run and accurate measurements taken to know whether it is in it's proper place throughout. Any contractor who wants to start anywhere but at the bottom to figure out where this problem begins is not someone qualified to be dealing with this.

(Note the wording in the OP may not have made where and what the problem is clear enough so I'm not accusing anyone here of anything- given my perspective you'd suggest this too; your experience and skill is known and valued!)


Re: sagging living room

If the back wall is sagging, then the living room floor must also be sagging as well as the MBR floor above. The living room is 26 x 13, is the back wall a 13' wall or a 26' wall? Can you see your floor joists from the basement? If so, do they run front to back or side to side? If they run front to back, do you have large posts and a lateral beam running down the center of the house side to side?

Re: sagging living room

The ONLY way to correct this is to hire a Structural Engineer who has history with historic homes. They will measure, take corrective action, and there will probably be cracks in your plaster or drywall. THEN, you can hire a drywall spe******t to fix that.

Nothing against a General Contractor, but they don't know EVERYTHING.

We went through this several months ago and things went very well.

Re: sagging living room

I think the suggestion of a structural engineer is a good. I will look around for one.

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