Q: I have a floor that has a broken joist under the house. The floor has caved in. How much will it cost to fix? The floor is wood.
Brad J., Cullman, Alabama
A: You definitely want to contact a general contractor or handyman to learn the scope of the work and get a cost estimate. The joist is vital to your flooring system, as it supports the weight of the building and provides stability.
The repair cost depends on the location of the joist and how easy — or difficult — it is to access. The cause of a broken floor joist could be a defect in the wood, a naturally occurring split or the weight of a heavy object.
REPAIRING A FLOOR JOIST
Most of the time, the repair is straightforward. A contractor will locate the broken joist and reinforce it by attaching a second joist next to it with structural screws and glue. The repair typically costs $250 to $300.
If the joist is easy to access, but plumbing or electrical wires impede the repair, a contractor might reinforce the broken area with plywood. This, however, could require removing pipes and putting them back, thus increasing labor costs. A labor-intensive repair could cost $500 or more.
WEIGHED DOWN SUBFLOOR
If the floor joist broke due to the weight of a heavy object, such as a bathtub, your contractor probably will have a structural engineer take a look before making a repair to avoid a recurring problem.
When hiring for your floor joist repair, search for companies that have positive reviews on a trusted consumer site and can provide proof of appropriate licensing, insurance and bonding.
Staff writer Oseye Boyd contributed to this report.
Angie Hicks compiles the best advice from the most highly rated service pros on Angieslist.com to answer your questions. Ask Angie your question at email@example.com.
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