We recently bought a detached bungalow and found that the main floor is made of brick. Two layers of vinyl are over top of it.
We've had two contractors in, both being surprised at this floor. One wants to rip it all out, but it looks like the walls are actually sitting on top of the brick. Therefore taking it out will be problematic, messy and expensive.
Another contractor thinks leveling it will be fine if it is re-inforced from the basement.
Any thoughts on what will be structurally feasible?
It's only a 2 bedroom, main floor and basement. No second story at this point.
In my experience as a contractor, I would recommend spending the money to get an engineers assessment before proceeding with guess work by either contractor. it would eliminate what is cheaper or more expensive and get you the correct answer on how to deal with this situation.
RE Brick Floors
I recommend you look at city hall for plans. If the house is over twenty years, it is likely there are no plans.
Find yourself a structural designer that can work with you on the "overal plan" and prepare a set of plans based on the review of the floor joist, framing and roof truss as well as the foundation. It is likely you will require an engineer to sign off on this project. This is the only way to ensure your household insurance is valid...reinforcing the floor to todays code sounds like the right thing to do but the foundation and spans have to meet BCBC and without a complete set of drawings confirming load and span, it is unlikely a professional will do the work.
If you do not have a site plan, and plan to add another level, you will require one including tree location and grades and a structural engineer to sign off at city hall.
Contractors are great for interior/exterior replacement/reno but without plans and permit, you may be putting yourselves and your home insurance at risk.
You didn't say what exactly you have in mind with your house/floor. That's the big question. Do you have any structural issues like cracks etc. Or do you just want to have a nice and maybe tiled floor?
In case you are thinking of a tiled floor, there are different way's to do it properly without touching the structure. So are you able to give us a bit more input? ☺
3D-Tile-Design - Bertram Tasch
Thanks for the replies!
We are hoping to level the floor and put in engineered hardwood throughout. There are no structural issues after the inspection, its a solid brick bungalow.
Well it looks like you have lots of answer to chose from. Here is my thoughts.
If the floor hasbin in there for several years that is a good sign it was dun right. If the floor joist are set at 12" and are 2x10 at is another good sign. I cant see how it would be a big deal to remove it however. If the brick does go under the wall just remove every 2 ft and replace with 2x4 and then go back and take out the rest and replace with 2x4.
Good luck, sounds like a fun project.
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