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E N G I N E E R S L L C
So you have a floor area in your home that just can’t be right. You can tell just by walking across it, and if you strike a level to it the difference becomes obvious. The problem is likely one of four things:
1) First, you could have a poorly constructed load path, meaning that you may have load bearing walls landing on areas where there is no direct foundational support, which can cause the floor to deflect excessively. This is often the case where a low point is near a wall.
2) Second, you could have localized settlement in a foundation element, causing the supported floor to settle too.
3) Third, you could have undersized framing, meaning the structural framing is not strong enough to support the load or it is spanning farther than the member is capable of, resulting in excessive deflection.
4) Lastly, you could have a failed structural support member (broken or cracked).
All of these sound troubling, but generally they are all quite easily corrected. One mistake homeowners often make is to call a contractor out to fix their problem without first consulting with a structural engineer to correctly identify both problem and solution. We have seen too many failed repairs, where the contractor did not understand the underlying load path, resulting in needless follow on repairs. Yes, a structural engineer does add some nominal cost to your repair, but in many cases they will save you that and more by proposing a more economical solution, as they have no financial incentive to maximize construction. Moreover, a structural engineer will see that the trouble is fixed right the first time and we know which framing contractors are honest, capable, and fair in their pricing. This knowledge alone often saves our clients several times our fee.