Handyman

Help! Our wood floors are starting to sag into our finished basement.

Updated: 2013-03-19T20:44:17Z

Tom Breshears

Special to the Star

Q Our ranch home has experienced settling, and the basement walls were piered 10 years ago. The basement walls haven’t moved since. Last fall, the supports to the main beam of the house started settling, causing our wood floors to drop. Our basement is finished. Help! — J. Liu, Fairway

A Unfortunately, the columns holding your beam will need to be raised up to level your floor. Depending on the type of finishes in your basement, you can probably get away with a minimum of disturbance to those finishes, but you will still end up with a lot of dust to contend with.

First, the finishes around the column will need to be removed to allow for access. Some columns have an adjustment screw on them.

If not, the concrete slab will have to be sawed and hammered out to expose the footing for the columns. This means removing any floor covering that is over the concrete. This is where most of the dust comes from. The existing column will need to be raised or a new column installed to the correct height.

This is not the type of project that unqualified people want to attempt on their own. A good contractor will know how to shore up the beam, how much to raise it and how to secure it in place. They will also be able to protect the finishes and do as little tear-out as possible.

Tom Breshears is a partner in Buffalo Constructors, a remodeling and restoration firm serving metropolitan Kansas City.

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