Is it possible to lower/raise floor joists?

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Posted by: from Oakville
7/3/2012 at 12:25:28 PM

I own an early-80's multi-level split with about 5 different levels. Inside the front door is basically a 8x6' landing leading to four steps (30 inches up) which brings you to the "main" floor (kitchen/dining/powder room). As you travel through the main floor towards the back of the house, you come to a set of three steps taking you down (about 24 inches) to the living room, and beside them a set of seven steps taking you up to the family room.

If it is possible, and within financial reason, I was considering raising the front landing by a foot and lowering the main floor by a foot, as part of a major renovation. This would solve a number of issues for us (higher cielings, better flow through the house, fewer steps, etc...). My basement ceilings are about 8 foot+ and I'm not concerned about losing height down there.

Is it possible to re-jig the floors as I've indicated? If so, what basically would be involved in doing it?


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Gaby from Amg Renovation in Hearst
Date/Time7/3/2012 at 1:42:40 PM

Hi, everything is possible but for a price. you would have to lower your foundation grove also because that's the support of your floor and your roof, (Basement wall) its allot easier to raise than going down but still a very big project because all your main level has to go and start a new one but you still need temporary support for your roof and allot of them.

If you really don't have to do it I would say to leave it like this because you are playing with allot of trouble here, if you go with it please ask for references and pics to the contractor and call those references to see the results, but again I would leave it like it is.


Certified Carpenter

Certified Inspector.

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Date/Time7/3/2012 at 5:10:11 PM

Sounds better and cheaper just to flaten the house and rebuilt, or sell it and buy something that you will like.

I could see huge bills in doing this. Then you end up with a basement that is a foot shorter, Only this that's going to happen with this Reno, is after you pay 10s to 100s of thousand, end result is the house is worth less then it was before. Easyer to build it right the first time from the ground up.

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Date/Time7/3/2012 at 6:16:10 PM

Let's look at this one piece at a time:

Demolition: lots of it.

Framing: new floor structure, also may need to reinforce exterior walls because lateral support is being removed.

Heating, plumbing: all the heating and plumbing below the floor needs to be removed and reinstalled.

Electrical: raise the switches by the front door, lower the plugs and switches on the main level.

Stairs: new staircase and railing

Exterior: raise front door, fix brick around the front door

Front porch: add two steps? Or completely redo?

Insulation, vapor barrier: repair where removed/damaged

Drywall: many of the walls on the main floor

Trimwork, flooring, painting, kitchen reinstallation.

As was mentioned in a previous reply, anything is possible. It will be expensive, and have little return on investment. But if you're already planning a major reno it may be worth the additional cost.

Lou Orazem


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