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how hard (and expensive) is it to level a warped floor

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how hard (and expensive) is it to level a warped floor

Old 08-23-04, 11:43 AM
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how hard (and expensive) is it to level a warped floor

a friend and i are looking to go in together on some investment properties. One we have looked at a few times is a 3 story 5 unit house that is in downtown baltimore (mt. vernon) and is over 100 years old.

the 3 units on the first 2 floors are rented out and the 3rd floor is empty and in need of a complete renovation. I am pretty good at estimating costs but the one thing i'm unsure of is the floors. I'm not sure if it's from the house settling or prev water damage but the floors are not level, in one unit it's not too bad but one would definitely need to be fixed. I'm curious to what is involved in re-leveling a floor and a approx cost (per sq ft.) if anyone here had a clue.

Thanks
Old 08-23-04, 11:55 AM
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The floor is unlevel as a result of the supports, or is it just the subfloor?

If it is the whole floor and it is on an upper floor, it will be very expensive, and probably prohibitively so, to fix.
Old 08-23-04, 11:56 AM
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Is it an amount that can be fixed by sanding, or is it more than that? You can rent a sander and sand small surface irregularities pretty cheap. More than that is probably a bunch of money.
Old 08-23-04, 12:06 PM
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We need to know how it got warped. If it's like most home repairs, it not expensive at all if you can do it yourself, but prohibitively so if you pay someone to do it.

And if it's warped because someone didn't know how to use a belt sander properly figure on replacing it.
Old 08-23-04, 12:13 PM
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i think it's mostly due to the house settling with age. Even where the wall meets the ceiling we could see a slight bow. The house was built in the 1890's.

I don't think it can be fixed with sanding as it's more like going from one side of the room to another there is a decline. But the one that is bad there are areas where sanding may help.

The house is going for 300K with comps in the 375-425K range.

It has very high ceilings so building up from the original floor could be an option (albeit expensive i bet)
Old 08-23-04, 12:16 PM
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warped was a bad word to use, unlevel more describes it.
Old 08-23-04, 12:22 PM
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is it warped because of water damage?
Old 08-23-04, 12:25 PM
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Originally posted by dick_grayson
is it warped because of water damage?
the one that is bad looks like possible water damage (along with it being unlevel) but i can't see anything in the ceiling that looks like it's recent so it may had a roof problem that was fixed in the past.
Old 08-23-04, 12:41 PM
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Really, the only way to do it is to raise the beams to level the home. This is not terrible if we are talking about a one level home, but doing it for other levels is very hard, because the lower levels probably do not have the same warp in the same places.

I would say that you have to decide if it is a good buy the way it is. Building up the floor sounds like a bad idea. I've never heard of it done on anything except a concrete slab.
Old 08-23-04, 01:13 PM
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just add another sheet of 3/4 plywood over the floor. then run shims under the plywood to raise it up. if its off by a considerable amount then add an extra 1/4 plywood under the part that is too low. Then sand the seam to make it flush.


Another option is to use ceramic tile for your floor covering. You float up the part that is not level.

Is it really bad?? I just redid my floors and the sub-floor was a little uneven. i knid of wish I fixed it, but again its not that bad and only noticibe by me.

Last edited by ANDREMIKE; 08-23-04 at 01:17 PM.
Old 08-23-04, 01:25 PM
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Originally posted by schlitz100
the one that is bad looks like possible water damage (along with it being unlevel) but i can't see anything in the ceiling that looks like it's recent so it may had a roof problem that was fixed in the past.
I was already thinking that there was some water damage wgere they repaired the source (roof, pipe, etc.) but didn't repair the floors and ceilings.
Old 08-23-04, 01:27 PM
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Originally posted by ANDREMIKE
just add another sheet of 3/4 plywood over the floor. then run shims under the plywood to raise it up. if its off by a considerable amount then add an extra 1/4 plywood under the part that is too low. Then sand the seam to make it flush.


Another option is to use ceramic tile for your floor covering. You float up the part that is not level.

Another idea is to level the floor with some leveling compound like JIF SET. When I do my tile floor I nail down a metal lath to the subfloor then pour the Jif Set over it. In the spots where it is too low then you can add more jif set to build it up.

Is it really bad?? I just redid my floors and the sub-floor was a little uneven. i knid of wish I fixed it, but again its not that bad and only noticibe by me.
Old 08-23-04, 06:38 PM
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i honestly can't say if it's bad enough that i need to redo it totally. I tend to remember things worse than they are. The 2nd time we looked at it the floor wasn't as bad as i remembered it from the first time. After ripping out the lineoleum and carpetting i'll get a better idea (if we get it.)
Old 08-23-04, 06:43 PM
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Originally posted by kvrdave
Really, the only way to do it is to raise the beams to level the home. This is not terrible if we are talking about a one level home,
yep
just fold up a piece of cardboard a few times and cram it under the low corner

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