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How to Repair Uneven Staircase in Old Home

  • Transcript

    LESLIE: Heading to Minnesota where Deb is having some issues with an unlevel floor. What’s going on?

    DEB: We’re in a house that the main part of the house was built in the 1930s. And that’s our problem right now, although the rest of the house has got issues, too. It’s a little over 3,000 square feet and we tried to sell it. Can’t sell it, so we’re staying but we don’t – there’s only two people living in this big of a house.

    So we want to block off the upstairs and just live on the main floor. We were going to change the stairs and enclose them. Right now they’re open stairways. But when we started doing that, the floor behind it is probably real close to an inch-and-a-half dip.

    TOM: And why is it important to you that you try to take this dip out of the floor? Because, generally, when dips form over many, many years, everything gets – kind of gets settled in that space and it’s not always a good idea. In fact, it’s rarely a good idea to try to pick it back up unless it’s an active structural problem, which I doubt this is.

    DEB: We want to replace the steps going upstairs. And we can’t do that because the steps that are there right now are actually twisting from the dip.

    TOM: Well, that’s not a problem. It’s easier to build a set of steps that fits the existing floor structure then it is to try to fix the floor structure. You can easily make a set of steps that has a stringer that’s longer on one side than the other. Very often, when stairs are made sometimes, especially custom stairs, they leave the stringers running long and the carpenters cut them on site so they fit perfectly in the home. But I don’t think it’s necessary to try to rebuild your floor just to fix the stairs.

    OK, Deb? Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.

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