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Eddie, Home Improvement Contractor
Category: Home Improvement
Satisfied Customers: 833
Experience:  owner of Island Pro-Craft
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When I was crawling under the house. I had noticed that two

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When I was crawling under the house. I had noticed that two adjacent floor joists had been completely cut through to make room for the plumbing. I assume it was the plumber. My house inspector I used when I bought the house didn't even mention it!!!
The way I look at it is; I'm missing two floor joists. I was going to try to slide 2 new floor joists up on the sill plates to give the floor more support. But between the cramped crawl space and small joist bay, there is not much room to maneuver. Can a new joist that is exactly the same length of the existing floor joist be squeezed up there? Even turning it diagonal does appear to give me enough room. Does it have to be shorter? And wouldn't that compromise joist strength? I read somewhere that It just need to be 1 1/2 inches on both sill plates for enough bearing strength. I would really rather have the joist touch the band joist on both sides. like the old ones
JA: Have you talked to a construction professional about the floor?
Customer: no
JA: Do you plan on doing the work yourself?
Customer: yes
JA: Anything else we should know to help you best?
Customer: that is about it

Welcome to Just Answer, my name is ***** ***** I will do my best to help you with your issue. If my initial response doesn’t answer your question then let me know and we can continue our conversation

It sounds like a much easier fix would be to install a small beam (4 x 4 or 4 x 6) under the cut joists and put a post in the middle of the beam. Trying to sister a new joist in under these conditions would be a nightmare.

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
I would have to pour a concrete footing for the post that would hold the beam. Our crawl space has no finished floor-but only earth (and rocky earth at that). Where I live, footings outside the house need to reach 10 feet under grade to avoid frost heaves. I realize the footing is under the house and shouldn't probably have to deal frost heaves, but it is an unheated crawl space and we are gone alot in the winter leaving the house termperature in the 50's. Either way, I would need to get concrete into the crawl space to pour the footing. It seems to me sistering the joist as an easier solution. Have you ever sistered a floor joist?

I've done a few in 40+ years in the business. Which is why I made the nightmare comment. Sistering a joist is difficult enough in a full basement with piping to deal with but in a crawl space I doubt I'd even try it. You don't need to pour concrete since the load here is very small and frost heaving wouldn't be an issue since I would expect the crawl space to be dry. You could just set the post on a 2" thick patio block. Another option would be to head off the joists (see attached pic). This what would normally be done when a joist is entirely cut out. This would still be difficult in a crawl space but still much easier that a sister.

This may be a little easier for you, given the location of it all........I had a customer with the same problem and she had a grand piano directly above two beams that were I had 2 2 foot x 8 inch x 1 1/2 inch steel plates made up and had them weld it into sort of a 'U' shape to go right under the beam......... and had them drill 8 or 10 1/2 inch bolt holes through.................I jacked up what I could and made a sandwich of the beams ........if you had to put a post on a block like Rick said, it would be easier to do can figure it like this at the least is not going to get any worse and it has been 8 years and my customer said it is holding fast



Customer: replied 3 months ago.
eddie,I'm still thinking about sistering the joist. Everything I've read including going through all the forums like fine homebuiding etc seem to say that sistering the joist is the most structurally sound fix. With framing in the cut floor joists with doubled trimmer joists and double headers as the second best. I probably should have disclosed to you and other expert where I live. I live in one of the most seismic areas in the United States in the state of Alaska; I usually feel about half a dozen house shakings a year! Most are fairly minor but a year half ago we did have a 7 on the rickter scale that shook up the house pretty good. Actually severed a few natural gas lines to some homes setting them ablaze. The only reason I mention all of this: I believe a beam would need two proper cement footings, good brackets to hold it into place under these conditions. It just seems to me to be hell of a lot of work doing all this in the crawl space. I just can't believe that sistering the joists wouldn't be easier than all that. Am I crazy? Is sistering a joist that big of a nightmare?

Again given the location it is going to be a task will have to get that length of timber in there .........if you can take a few photos it would help.......but Rick or I not being there it is a bit more difficult may have to expose the outside to get material and equipment in......something to consider

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Eddie, Home Improvement Contractor
Category: Home Improvement
Satisfied Customers: 833
Experience: owner of Island Pro-Craft
Eddie and other Home Improvement Specialists are ready to help you

Thank you for the positive rating............ I hope you were able to make an informed decision or better yet your problem was resolved..........if you need anything else home improvement wise....... construction…….decorating...... or any kind of repairs etc....... please look for me has been a pleasure