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Walls slant towards one side

We have a 1911 wood frame house, and recently we noticed that one of the outside walls (the whole length of the house) is slanted towards the outside. The floors seem level. It could be that the wall was like that when we bought the house 7 years ago, but we have just recently noticed.

What could it be?



Re: Walls slant towards one side

My guess would be that in a house of that vintage the sill is most likely rotting or rotted in the past. This could cause the wall to settle and cause the leaning that you are noticing.

Is it a problem? Well it could be if the problem continues to get worse and isn't addressed. If the sill had been replaced in the past it may have been made structurally sound but the wall was not fixed. If this is the case you probably don't have to worry as long as it isn't leaning to much. There are many an old house that have leaning and or bowed walls that have been made structurally sound but are a little out of whack. I believe this is known as character LOL.

Your best bet would be to check things out to see if you can spot any signs of rot, insect damage, water, etc. You can probably poke around the sill from the basement with an awl or screwdriver to see if anything is soft. If all looks good in the basement check the outside to see if you can find any soft wood. It is possible that the inside of the sill will be solid while the outside is rotted away causing the sill to roll under and the wall to settle. Hope this helps you out.


Re: Walls slant towards one side

in my opinion there's two possibilities.....#1 you have a major structural problem, #2 the house settled that way a very long timr ago and went unnoticed and it's probably not a concern.....my advice would be to have a good contractor look at it first. it could be a sill collapsing, it could be the collar ties in the attic, or lack of collar ties and when snow loads sit on the roof it can cause the roof to sink and spread the walls apart. that would be the worst case scenario but it appears to also be the most likely scenario. i've seen that happen in to a garage before but not a house. if it turns out to be a big issue from the contractors perspective, then call your insurance company and have them send out a structural engineer to look at it. are there any tell tale signs on the interior of the house in the areas where the walls are bowing out?

Re: Walls slant towards one side

Thanks for your replies! I will try finding a respectable contractor.

Our house is a three story building (2 + basement)and it seems to me that one whole wall is slanted, although the floors seem level.

The 6ft high bookshelf on the main floor is leaning against the wall on the bottom, but is over an inch off the wall on the top.

The same thing is happening on the second floor.

Thanks again,


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