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Level Floor Requirements

Discussion in 'Residential Foundation Codes' started by willy41, Mar 29, 2016.

  1. willy41

    willy41 Member

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    Searching the web looking for information on what constitutes a level floor is frustrating, because in most contexts, "level" is being interpreted as 'ground level' 'mezzanine level', etc.

    On this site, I did find a definition of level as being no more that a 1:50 slope, or 2%. But to me, that means if my house is 50 feet wide, one end could be 1 foot higher than the other?

    A house for sale in my neighborhood is advertised as a fixer, with "settling issues throughout." So I'm curious as to how "level" the repaired floors would need to be. I'm familiar with using a hose with sight glasses on both ends with markings to determine the relative difference in elevation between two points.

    Thanks in advance for your insights.

    -glen
     
  2. cda

    cda Sawhorse

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    Welcome

    Which state are you in??
     
  3. cda

    cda Sawhorse

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    If your area has soil problems, would suggest hiring a residential structural person to evaluate the foundation.

    Are you also asking about foundation repair company work ???
     
  4. JBI

    JBI Sawhorse

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    Glen, Welcome to the forum. 'Level' for a home floor is much less than a 2% slope. 2% is appropriate for a cross slope on a sidewalk or H/C Access aisle. cda makes valid points, soils are the first suspect where a building has suffered noticeable settling. More details, including approximate location, would be helpful...
     
  5. Mark K

    Mark K Platinum Member

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    First talk to a geotechnical engineer to understand why the settlement and what needs to be done to prevent further settlement.

    I do not believe that code addresses this question thus the question is what slope will you or a potential buyer, if you chose to sell it, find acceptable.
     
  6. mark handler

    mark handler Sawhorse

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    Most sources that I have come across including the American Concrete Institute use the number 1/4" per ten feet.
     
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  7. Mark K

    Mark K Platinum Member

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    The ACI 1/4" criteria is concerned with the variation in the plane of the floor and not whether the floor was all at the same elevation. The 1/4" number referred to was the variation measured when a 10 foot straight edge was laid on the floor. ACI has moved to other more sophisticated criteria.

    Trying to apply the ACI floor flatness criteria to a wood floor would be a frustrating exercise.

    There are construction tolerances for concrete and steel construction for new construction. These do not apply to wood construction and while they might be considered ideals are not required for wood construction. Be pragmatic.

    I am assuming that the ADA criteria for cross slopes does not apply to your project.

    An engineer could help you determine whether the settlement has resulted in any structural damage to the superstructure.
     
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  8. JBI

    JBI Sawhorse

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    Mark K - Safe to say that a 5% slope would be excessive for a wood floor in a home though?
     
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  9. ADAguy

    ADAguy Sawhorse

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    5% would appear funny if you had an aquarium to look at.
     
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  10. Builder Bob

    Builder Bob Sawhorse

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    Look at your state construction defect regulations - they usually have some guidelines for what is acceptable. check with the residential board for your state.
     
  11. ADAguy

    ADAguy Sawhorse

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    Try this: National Wood Flooring Association, a defect performance standard.

    Part III

    Subfloor Flatness and Integrity



    A. Wood subfloors must be flat, clean, dry, structurally sound, free of squeaks and free of protruding fasteners.

    1. For installations using mechanical fasteners of 1½” and longer, the subfloor should be flat to within ¼” in 10 feet or 3/16” in 6 feet radius.

    2. For glue-down installations and installations using mechanical fasteners of less than 1½”, the subfloor should be flat to within 3/16” in 10 feet or 1/8” in 6 feet radius.



    B. If peaks or valleys in the subfloor exceed the tolerances specified above, sand down the high spots and fill the low spots with a leveling compound or other material approved for use under wood flooring. However, it is the builder’s or general contractor’s responsibility to provide the wood-flooring contractor with a subfloor that is within the tolerances listed above.
     
  12. tmurray

    tmurray Sawhorse

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    "Settling issues throughout" = built on unsuitable soil and underpinning is required.

    Unless you are looking to invest serious cash into the fixer upper, I would stay away.
     
  13. ADAguy

    ADAguy Sawhorse

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    So Willy 41, have we satisfied your curiosity?
     

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