Sinking Kitchen

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Posted by: from Calgary
8/17/2012 at 8:22:00 PM

My kitchen was an addition to our home some years ago. It has sunk about 1 1/2". We have been postponing getting it fixed because we are not sure of who to contact or how to fix it.

Some advice would be appreciated.

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Date/Time8/17/2012 at 10:08:48 PM

You need to get it lifted from under the joists and that requires a good experienced contractor that knows the building codes and knows how to raise and level it properly.

Depending on what your foundation is for the add on and what the span of the joists are you may need footing pads put in to support it in the right places to take the load correctly.

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John from Accu-Struct in Belleville
Date/Time8/17/2012 at 10:35:48 PM

First of all where is it sinking is it in the Center or along the outside edge? What type of foundation is holding up your addition is it a a poured foundation, poured footings or sona tubes with post and beam. What type of joist do you have 2x6,8 or 10?

There could be many reasons why the kitchen is begining to sink. For instance if the contractor who built the addition didn't install a poured footing proper, the footing could be giving away in the location where it's beginning to sink. If there is insufficient drainage surrounding the addition chances are water erosion could be the cause of sinkage.

Your best bet is to contact a qualified contractor to assess the situation and give you an idea of what is required to repair.

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Date/Time8/17/2012 at 10:37:46 PM

Hi Guys

David has made some good points, you may also need to get a structural engineer involved.

Kind regards

Julian Evans

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Patrick Or Brenda in Calgary
Date/Time8/18/2012 at 5:33:06 PM

Thank you all for your time in responding to my issue.

To answer the questions:

1. What is the foundation: It appears to be a concrete foundation wall. I am unable to see what is actually done without cutting a hole into our kitchen floor. They did not extend the existing foundation wall so only the addition is sinking towards the outside edge.

2. What type of joists: It is difficult to see under the floor since no crawl space was provided, but from what I can see they appear to be 2x8 or so. I took some pictures of what is underneath the kitchen. I can only post one attachment though.

Sinking Kitchen
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Spencer from All Home Repair in St Thomas
Date/Time8/19/2012 at 9:35:35 AM

Just to add on to what has already been said, be prepared for some cracked drywall when you have the structure lifted.

Good luck


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Date/Time8/20/2012 at 10:45:22 AM

Hi Patrick and Brenda;

All of the advice that you have been given is a necessity.

From the picture, it looks like everything has been done accordinging to the code area that you are in. However, your question of a foundation is a good one. What you can see is the foundation wall, but the problem seems to be with the footing. That is a concrete "pad" underneath the foundation wall. It runs the entire length of the wall and under most codes is a minimum of 16 inches wide by 6 inches thick and runs under the entire length of the foundation wall. It should have had 2 rows of rebar suspended in it to give the foundation good support. This should have been placed on virgin soil, of if the ground underneath the footing was soft, then it should have been compacted with a material suitable for packing. Your footing has to be below frost level, so that it cannot heave. From what I see, improper prep was done prior to the building of the structure.

Hopefully, it has settled as much as it is going to. Make sure that you get someone who has experience with this type of issue and check their references out thoroughly.


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Date/Time8/20/2012 at 11:47:14 AM

Patrick, Brenda,

As was mentioned by one of your other responsders, it is likely the strip footing was not founded on competent soils.

We are a piling conctractor in Calgary, and have done work similar to this numerous times. Depending on the circumstance, we would propose a pile and beam support system. The alternative: re-excavating and pouring new footing at proper depth on proper soils is quite intrusive and foten ends up costing more. Our clients prefer our approach as it is less invasive, provides a superior foundation, and allows for level adjsutments both immediately and in the future.


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Patrick Or Brenda in Calgary
Date/Time8/21/2012 at 7:53:26 PM

Thank you everyone. Very helpful information.

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