leveling floors

i purchased a turn of the century home at an auction. This home has a lot of potential but the house has setled (i’m sure it is done because of the age and it is on a crawl space not basement)
my question is how do i go about leveling the floors?

i had this problem at a three unit once and we jacked the house up at various spots in the basement.
It looked better but not great.
This isn’t even an option in this home because of what is underneath (slab or crawl—i’m not sure)
if anyone has experience w/ this please let me know.

it seems to me that I could just get some self leveling concrete and try it that way-- at least for the first floor.
wendy ::slight_smile:

Why don’t you call in a professional and get a bid. By doing this, you will find out what needs to be done and how much it might cost. You don’t need to hire him (or you could) and will get a wealth of knowledge.

Foundations and settling can be a huge problem that is really noticeable to people. So get it fixed correctly.

Just wondering, why don’t you know if it’s a slab or crawl space??

Good luck

We bought it at auction and got it for literally a steal. I’ve done fixer uppers before and like to do as much work as I can myself. I actually enjoy the work but sometimes I’m in a time crunch and need to hire out especially for bigger jobs like flooring, roofs, and siding.
I realize how nieve I look by not knowing slab or crawl but we had such a short time to go through it after auction and we live over two hrs. away.
We had it winterized (I’m in Michigan) That way I don’t feel preasure to start rehab before the cold sets in.
We still don’t know exactly what we’re going to do w/ it yet.
In retrospect I should have stuck to an auction closer to home.
I think I’ll take your advice and ask an expert what they would do.
Thank you

If it’s a slab, the slab may be broken. This happened to a lot of properties in Louisiana. There is a lot of clay in the soil and during abnormally dry seasons, the soil will retract and the slab can no longer support the weight of the house and the weight will cause the slab to actually snap. This can be remediated by foundation specialists. I recommend having it looked at by a specialist.


Wow, I’ve never heard of that happening to a slab. Usually when the pad is excavated - it is compacted to a specification of pressure and compaction so that it will not settle at all. We build with slabs here pretty much exclusively and don’t have that problem. Interesting.

Clay is a whole different animal and almost defies compaction but it will contact when it dries out.


In your original post you said it had a crawl space and also that it did not. It might not be the foundation but rotten sagging beams. I have seen this more than foundation issues. When repairing an issue like this it causes more problems. If its a slab then I have no clue.

The one poster said he’d never heard of houses setteling.
I am in Michigan and most houses settle at least a little.

Anyway, I think I’d better make the drive to look at it again and see if it is in fact a slab or crawl. either way I’ll probably call in a professional for an opinion.

If it is the floor boards it seems that might be easier to repair?

It is not so bad that it would hinder anyone from renting it in the area that it is in. I am just fantasizing about bringing it back to its original splendor, however because this is a rental neighborhood it may not be practical.
We might just rehab it as best we can and rent w/ option.

Thanks to all who responded.

Hi Wendy - I think that was me - but what I said was I never heard of a slab snapping like Keith mentioned. We build basically on granite soil so settling isn’t much of a problem. And that’s why we build lots of slabs here because the settling is very little - and digging basements is very difficult.

Houses settle - Yes - but foundations don’t usually “snap” like Mike! LOL

And any house with lots of “settling” cracks should be looked into as well.

Is this a fantastic deal ??? If so - check it out … if not, maybe look for something that may not be a can of worms for you.

Good luck! :slight_smile:

Thanks for your reply. Yes that would be a huge bummer if a foundation snapped.
There are quite a few settleing cracks in the walls (plaster) but I they arn’t to bad and I thought that I could use that knock down technique. I like the looks of that anyway.
Yes it is a can of worms but I love a challenge and it was such a cheep can !!! lol ;D
I’ve been going to our states tax auctions and this is the second property I’ve picked up. The prices have been so great that I try to look at foreclosures and such but they seem like such a waste of money.
If anyone is interested they should check with their states treasury department to see if their state holds these type of auctions. I believe Michigan was the first but it is so sucessful that many states are planning to follow suite.
This particular property cost me about $3800. and the sev values it at 24,000. but the arv is about 49,000-55,000.
I highly suggest this type of purchasing!! Plus it’s fun to go to auction!

Hi - You’re welcome.

I can’t believe there are houses still availabe for sale at FCV of $55,000. We haven’t had a house in that price range for over 10 years or more now.

Good luck and keep us posted on your rehab.

The REI that I bought cost me $48,200…


forgive me for sounding dumb, what is rei? is it bank owned?

REI = Real Estate Investment

Commonly used to differentiate between investment properties and property purchased for personal use. In this case, we bought it to hold as a rental but it came out so good that we flipped it three days after we finished it for $75K.


one additional thing to consider and/or have an expert make some guess/determination as to whether your movement in the floors/foundation is active or something that happened in the past and is now stable. The former (active, on-going movement) being bad, the latter being somethng that may indicate that its is better to do nothing.

It’s hard finding a mobile home for less than $50k here. :frowning:

I’m in Michigan the ground doesn’t do a whole lot of ongoing moving? that would be a mess.
Michigans’ economy is soooo bad right now that many homes are being foreclosed on.
The properties at these particular auction go for the minumum bid being the delinquent property taxes.
You can get some great deals because even in Michigan investors are getting gun shy.
If everyone moves out of state to find work (which they are doing in the hords) then even if I get a great price on a fixer upper---- I might not be able to rent it out.

Michigan is trouble.
I keep telling myself buy low and sell high…hopefully our economy is a temporary thing.
If not … there goes my retirement :cry:

Wow, sorry to hear that. I know the car companies are laying off - and I was saying the exact thing to a friend of mine that even if you get a great deal there - you need a buyer and people may not be moving in.

What do you think you’ll need to get Mich. back on track? (that might be a very loaded question LOL)

hopefully new leadership…oops I didn’t say that!

We need to focus on the small businesses because we make up most of the employment opportunities. Whoever our new leader may be needs to focus on keeping the small guy in business.

Residents in our state also need to look with in themselves and ask what they can do to help themselves instead of expecting others to help (support) them.
Everyone needs a helping hand sometime, but there is somthing to be said for helping oneself.

We have what I believe to be one of the most beautiful states, maybe we should focus on tourism.

I have been fortunate but I have been self employed for most of my adult years and while at times it can be scary I know that I am in control.

This is all jmho

Sorry guys I got of track :-*