If you’ve ever had a pebble in your shoe or some sand in your shorts, you know that small things can have a huge impact on how we move, think and feel. The same is true in home building, home repairs and renovations. Many times when our customers call us for simple repairs around the house, we find that the large problem we’ve been asked to correct is due to something very small that has grown into a larger, more expensive issue over time.
Take for instance a recent customer who was installing new hardwood flooring throughout their home. When our customer began working in the master bedroom, they found that their beautiful new hardwood flooring materials wouldn’t lay flat, creating loose, sloppy joints and a springy feel beneath their feet. The issue we uncovered was related to the wooden decking and sub-floor that was installed during the home construction process.
When a home is being built, there are certain steps which must be done in the proper sequence. We call this the order of operations. Each step in the construction process builds upon the previous work which has been completed. And when the different contractors involved in the building process don’t communicate or are not managed by a construction manager or experienced and licensed builder, small things can eventually lead to big problems.
In this case, we found two small issues that were creating big headaches for our homeowners as they tried to install new hardwood flooring.
- Joists were not uniform in size (lumber sizes often vary slightly -but nothing like this!)
- The sub-floor remained open and exposed to the elements during construction
Dimensional lumber, the lumber used for construction, is supposed to be consistently sized so it can be used interchangeably throughout the home building process. Sometimes though, an odd-sized board or two will make it through to the construction site. These boards tend to be close enough in size that they can still be used, but not always. That was the case here. There was one 2″ x 10″ floor joist (1.5″ x 9.25″ actual size) which actually measured nearly a half-inch taller than the rest of the floor joists. An odd sized floor joist isn’t that big of an issue. A board like that can be used inconspicuously in an out of the way placement. However, this odd-sized board was used right in the middle of the master suite floor, which created a large hump in the middle of the floor.
And then we discovered that the sub-floor was left exposed to the elements for an extended period of time during the construction process. And if that wasn’t enough, it appeared that a load of building materials had sat in one spot on the sub-floor during this time as well, causing puddling and pools of water to sit stagnantly on the same area with the odd-sized floor joist. The combination of the hump in the floor and the weight of the building materials sitting in a pool of water had warped the sub-floor and created a large depression on one side of the master suite floor.
Bad news. But not so bad that we couldn’t fix it!
We considered several options for repairing and leveling the sub-floor for the new hardwood floor installation:
- Remove and replace the entire sub-floor and decking in the master bedroom ($$$$)
- Plane down the tall floor joist to match the rest of the sub-structure ($$$)
- Repair the inconsistencies in the decking with flexible floor leveling compound ($$)
After consulting with the homeowner, considering their budget, and timeline, the decision was made to repair the sub-floor with a flexible floor leveling compound. The floor leveling compound we chose was strong enough to level the floor, stabilize the inconsistencies, accept the nails and hardware needed to install the new hardwood floors, and it was flexible enough to move and adjust with the home as it ages and settles.
Our homes are often our single most important investment. And like most investments, they need constant care and attention to thrive and serve us well into the future.
Home repair and renovations around the house can sometimes be tricky, but they don’t need to be difficult or expensive. Working with a reliable, experienced builder can save you time, money, headaches and a lot of aggravation along the way. Our valued customers have come to appreciate our extensive experience and hard-earned wisdom, and you should too.
We’ll come out and take a look at all those little, nagging home repairs that you’ve been putting off, saving up for, or just aren’t sure what to do about. We truly enjoy working on your home. Our handyman services add value to your life by giving you the peace of mind of knowing that whatever we do will be done right the first time.
From the smallest of repairs, renovations, and home remodeling projects, to brand new custom builds: Plumb and level just works better, looks better, and lasts longer. It’s the small things that make all the difference. Let us make a difference for you.
Take the time to do it right.
We do! 👍