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 Cutting a floor joist?
Author: zzxx (NC)

I am in the middle of demoing a 5'x8' bathroom in a 1952 home. I am converting a bath to a shower stall and will have to move the drain. I get to the removal of the tub drain and to my dismay the floor joist was cut completely to accommodate the drain. No structural support was added and as a result the floor is not level. I have since shored up the sunken floor joist by adding headers from the parallel joists. It is beyond me how a new home can possibly be done this way and pass inspection. I am curious how often do the pros on this site come across this type of shoddy work?

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 Re: Cutting a floor joist?
Author: Scott the Plumber (PA)

Every day. That's how things were done in the oldy-times. Nowadays, plumbers have to know as much about building codes as plumbing codes when dealing with structures and supports.

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 Re: Cutting a floor joist?
Author: sum (FL)

About ten years ago I hired someone to remodel a bathroom, and they had to convert a bath tub to a shower. In order to remove the cast iron tub, we had to open up the wall. When we removed the sheetrock, we found out the studs were already cut along the outline of the tub. Someone had to cut the studs to slide the tub into the bath after framing was done during original construction. That's three studs cut and just "hanging" from the top plate. Then two feet over, the about four studs were cut at a higher location, to accommodate a vent pipe, a recessed medicine cabinet, and two recessed scone electrical boxes, then come the door frame to the bathroom.

So basically a wall that is about 12' wide across, had one single stud that runs between the bottom and top plates, everything else has been cut off the bottom or the top in some way, except for the door framing.

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 Re: Cutting a floor joist?
Author: zzxx (NC)

I also experienced this on a bathroom water closet (toilet) flange at a friends home, built in 1988, two years ago. The floor joist was completely severed to accommodate the drain. Unbelievable!!! Has anyone encountered this on newer homes of the 1990's and 2000's?

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 Re: Cutting a floor joist?
Author: CHayn (IL)

it completely depends on where you are and who the builder and tradesmen were and who the inspector, if any, were. In Northern Illinois there are counties with no inspectors other than the county health department. If no one calls a State Inspector than nothing, other than a well or a septic will get inspected. There are definitely way too many "quick and dirty" homes out there from every decade. I am sure it is this way throughout the country.
There are also a lot of good quality builders and tradesmen out there. I like to think that we are in the majority but we all come across horror stories. Watch Holmes on Homes sometime on HGTV!

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 Re: Cutting a floor joist?
Author: hj (AZ)

quote; Watch Holmes on Homes sometime on HGTV!

I don't know where he finds his catastrophes, but sometimes I think they are so bad that he creates them before the show starts so he can display his genius.

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 Re: Cutting a floor joist?
Author: Scott the Plumber (PA)

Yes, hj, I have to admit that the drama is a bit too much but also the show helps to validate the need for registered plumbers, builders and importance of inspections to keep everybody honest. The homes do seem to be screened for the effect on viewers.

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 Re: Cutting a floor joist?
Author: CHayn (IL)

There is drama to that show, yes. But if I am going to waste some time watching TV I would rather watch something like that than American Idol or Oprah!

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 Re: Cutting a floor joist?
Author: jeremymcnelson (CA)

i completely agree with sum (FL). i had the same experience from tub to shower room. i will get another remodeling and plumbing agency this week to do some for my kitchen. thanks for this posts, it reminded me of a good strategy for my remodeling. :D



Edited 1 times.

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 Re: Cutting a floor joist?
Author: hj (AZ)

Holmes has NEVER found any competent contractor, regardless of what he is doing in the house. It seems EVERYTHING has to be torn out and redone his way.

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 Re: Cutting a floor joist?
Author: RRW (IL)

You are not looking at the big picture, he probably looks at 100 requests to find one worthy of a show. So don't be offended. If he could not find bad cases he would not be on TV.

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 Re: Cutting a floor joist?
Author: waukeshaplumbing (WI)

i work on 1900's houses on the Milwaukee lake front all the time...huge 3 story mansions...wow they are horribly cut up...the last one i did had steel I-beams running both ways every few feet on the 2nd floor, so i didnt mind cutting any of the joists.

they didnt drill nice holes, they cut 1/2 the joists away in the old days....trying to remodel these houses with designers is really difficult..you dont want to make the issues worse, but they always want the 2nd floor toilet on the otherside of the room and dont want to open up any 1st floor walls or ceiling.



Edited 1 times.

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 Re: Cutting a floor joist?
Author: LemonPlumber (FL)

Nope.it is not done the old way any more.steel support may have been a better option for your beam repair.Cut the top or bottom of a support now and feel the inspection fee's mount!

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