I bought my 30 year old house one year ago. The previous owners had installed all new tile, carpet, throughout, and it appears they made these floor installations to cover up all the problems. Starting in June last year, the floor has begun creaking, popping, and snapping. My house is built on a crawl space, and I’ve been underneath the house, and found one joist that needs to be replaced or sistered by another joist, because this joist was a home for carpenter ants and the joist is now sagging at the mud sill. I’ve seen that the rim joist underneath the kitchen area has had another joist put in alongside the rim joist, because there is damage to the original. I also noticed that underneath a bathroom, there was repairs done. (I still need to crawl around the entire area in the crawl space, to get a better idea of damage.)
The joists span 12 feet, and the sub-floor looks to be plywood. When I walk down the hallway in the morning and throughout the house, the plywood seems to be cracking underneath, I can hear the joists popping where they meet the mudsill, and in the kitchen, the cabinets snap and pop along the wall. I cringe as I walk around the house, thinking about the damage my feet must be doing!
I planned to (one day!) re-do the kitchen, but now, here is my question: What is the best way for me to fix the flooring? Should I tear out all flooring all the way down to the joists, replace or sister bad joists, replace the mud-sills, replace rim joists? I have two articles from previous Fine Homebuilding magazines that tell me how to replace mud-sills, so I don’t think I’ll have a problem there, and the rim joist also should not be a problem. I just don’t know how extensive I ought to tear the house apart. Can you all please give me your thoughts?
Thanks so much. Brian.