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Sophie1
Square Rooms

We just recently purchased a house that was built in the 1970's. We have been doing updating/installing flooring etc and we have noticed that the rooms aren't square. My question is: Is this necessarily a bad thing or are a lot of house built out of square? Thanks in advance!

A. Spruce
Re: Square Rooms

You will never find a home that is square, plumb, level, or anywhere near "perfect", because there is no such thing as a perfect building material or method to make them so.

Sophie1
Re: Square Rooms
A. Spruce wrote:

You will never find a home that is square, plumb, level, or anywhere near "perfect", because there is no such thing as a perfect building material or method to make them so.

Thank you! That's just what I wanted to hear! :)

dj1
Re: Square Rooms

I once found a house that was plumbed, leveled and square, but it was sold.

In the morning I realized that I was dreaming.

Sophie1
Re: Square Rooms
dj1 wrote:

I once found a house that was plumbed, leveled and square, but it was sold.

In the morning I realized that I was dreaming.

That is funny. :-)

Fencepost
Re: Square Rooms

I bought a house that was built in 1936 and has been remodeled a few times over the years. The main floor wasn't level or plumb. So I leveled it out. Now the upstairs isn't level or plumb. :confused:

Realize that houses settle over time. This is especially true for older houses, which often were built on soft soil without bearing on more solid soil such as rock or clay. Even for those houses built on firm soil, there can still be settling. Without driving piling to solid rock, there will be settling, and that solution is more expensive than most people are willing to pay. Prior to the invention of sheet goods (plywood, OSB, sheetrock) it was common for walls to rack (turn from rectangles to parallelograms) because they lacked shear strength, unless the builder installed proper diagonal bracing.

When remodeling, it's always best if you can first restore conditions to what they were the last time the structure was built or remodeled. That means you should probably make sure the floor is level and the walls are square before you install any new materials.

Mastercarpentry
Re: Square Rooms
Fencepost wrote:

When remodeling, it's always best if you can first restore conditions to what they were the last time the structure was built or remodeled. That means you should probably make sure the floor is level and the walls are square before you install any new materials.

I once was called to look at a house which was at least 2-3" 'racked' out of plumb to help with re-plumbing it. The owner had already re-sheeted three sides with OSB when he called me, not mentioning this work until I arrived. When I told him it would all have to come off to move the framing behind it he was crestfallen, but not as much as when I quoted my price to make it right :rolleyes: I didn't want nor did I get that job ;)

I've built many houses which were within 1/16" of plumb everywhere, level within 1/8" at any two corner points checked, as flat as the lumber would allow, and within 1/8" measured diagonally for squareness if the foundation was right. How long they stayed that way is beyond my control, I didn't do the foundations or footings. The perfect house will never be built because the world isn't perfect, but it's still a good goal to aim for so you can get as close as possible :cool:

Phil

Fencepost
Re: Square Rooms
Mastercarpentry wrote:

I've built many houses which were within 1/16" of plumb everywhere, level within 1/8" at any two corner points checked, as flat as the lumber would allow, and within 1/8" measured diagonally for squareness if the foundation was right. How long they stayed that way is beyond my control, I didn't do the foundations or footings. The perfect house will never be built because the world isn't perfect, but it's still a good goal to aim for so you can get as close as possible :cool:

I have a saying: "If it ain't square, it's because I eyeballed it, and my eyeballs ain't square."

A. Spruce
Re: Square Rooms
Fencepost wrote:

I have a saying: "If it ain't square, it's because I eyeballed it, and my eyeballs ain't square."

I have a similar saying: "it looks great from my driveway!" ;):p

HoustonRemodeler
Re: Square Rooms

Framers are building houses, not cabinets.

The house next door to me was framed in 3 days, without the use of a level or framing square by anyone on the 25 man crew. They had tape measures and speed squares. I doubt they ever heard of the Pythagorean Theorem. But hey, its just your average $800K home

Fencepost
Re: Square Rooms
HoustonRemodeler wrote:

The house next door to me was framed in 3 days, without the use of a level or framing square by anyone on the 25 man crew. They had tape measures and speed squares. I doubt they ever heard of the Pythagorean Theorem. But hey, its just your average $800K home

It took them that long? When I worked for a plumbing outfit, one of the builders we worked for had framing crews that could go from bare foundation to roof sheathing in less than 8 hours. Granted, these were homes were 1000-2000 square feet, the builder only had 4 plans, and they sold an average of 2 per day at the time, so they could pretty much build them in their sleep.

At one point, they could go from lumber drop to move-in in 35 days.

One of the crews was so consistent we could cut most of our pipes without measuring the walls. Our crew of three people could do the rough-plumbing for one of the plans in just under three hours from arriving at the job site to packing up the truck and moving on to the next job. Sometimes we threatened to start drilling the lumber pack when the framing crew wasn't finished when we rolled up to the job. :cool: Oh, and we had very few callbacks.

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