Level Up

Lee is a real estate agent who hired PERCH to help sell a condo. A severely sloping floor in the foyer reduced the home’ resale value, and I came in to diagnose the problem and propose a repair.


When I visited for an evaluation, the floor sloped down to the left.

Climbing under the back deck to a dark basement crawlspace, I ran a level along the floor joists and support beams for assessment. I also set up a level string line so I could measure down from successive joists and determine how the elevation changed. Now I am a fan of simple explanations and solutions, but in this case I concluded the problem was twofold. Certain joists were sagging in the middle, and also one support beam was crushing the column that held it up.

To remedy the first problem, I suggested running a new beam under the joists at midspan and raising them with a pair of hydraulic jacks. I specified cranking the jacks no more than ¼ inch per 24 hours, a strategy that minimizes damage to the house’s interior finishes during the lift. As for the second problem, a metal angle plate bolted to beam and column would do the trick. Lee passed my findings on to the homeowner and the property manager, and they made a successful repair eliminating the floor slope.


Repair sketch.

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