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Movement in timber floors when walking

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  1. #1
    Apprentice (new member)
    Join Date
    Feb 2004

    Unhappy Movement in timber floors when walking

    I am buying a home (approx 7-10 years old) that has a lot of movement in the timber flooring. Kitchen has tiles laid and polished floor boards in the eating area. By way of an example, when you walk on the floor glasses or items in cabinets can be heard to move/rattle. I am concerned that there may be structural issues regarding the way the flooring has been laid or movement in the joists etc. House is not on a slab floor. Can anyone share with me what I should be asking / doing before I commit to buying. I am unsure what to do next apart from having a builder advise me. Thanks

  2. #2
    The typo kign Gumby's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Melbourne - Outer East Foothills


    You should buy 'subject to a satisfactory building inspection' which you get done immediately after having your offer accepted. You get an independant architecht or builder to go over it for you and point out the problems you have already noticed.

    Sounds to me that it's not a very good building job and if the floors are a problem then you can bet there would be other issues too.

    (advice given from Victoria, I don't know what state you are in and real estate sales laws are state bas3ed so they differ quite considerably)

  3. #3
    Obsessive Sawdust Junkie
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Melbourne S.E Burbs


    I'd be really reluctant to buy a house that was only 7-10 years old and already has significant movement in the floor. If it was 20+ years old I'd say that the house needed re-stumping owing to rotted timber stumps, but at a young age of 7-10 the movement could be the start of a downward spiral.....

    Have a look at this page :


    They offer pre-purchase inspections that can help with the kind of issues you're dealing with. I think you need to get some good qualified information on the condition of the house, then make a purchase decision by thinking with your head and not with your heart.

    Good Luck,


  4. #4
    2K Club Member seriph1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Kilmore, near Melbourne, Australia


    This may be nothing to worry about - even the best floors have some movement in them due to the dimension of the florbaords/particleboard and distance between joists (which is usually 450mm) Moevment is especially noticeable in exactly the situation you are referring to - ie: clinking glassware in cabinets.

    As the house is stump and bearer construction, it should be easy enough to ckeck and report on..... there are agreed movement-tolerances for floors - even when within these tolerances, glasses clink...... every home I have lived in has been 80yrs plus and supposedly well-built ...... all have movement enough to do what you described.

    Just get a building report, as mentioned.....if you let folks know where you are, they may be able to refer you on.
    Kilmore (Melbourne-ish)

    ....catchy phrase here

  5. #5
    Apprentice (new member) mikey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004

    Default floorboards


    Our house also has some movement after having been restumped around 10years ago (on concrete stumps) - suggestion of settling in the soil related to drought conditions.

    If you are getting an architect report, make sure you point out the areas you really want them to concentrate on - even if it's an archicentre report - often you will get extra advice or insight than if you just leave them to discover it.


  6. #6
    1K Club Member journeyman Mick's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Kuranda, paradise, North Qld


    The TRADAC manual notes that a floor built with bearers and/or joists at their maximum allowable span will exhibit "bounce". This is structurally ok but can be annoying. I would reccomend getting a pre-purchase inspection even if the house appears to have no problems. In Qld people doing inspections must be licensed and have professional indemnity insurance. Don't know where you are but look for an inspector that has some form of accreditation and insurance, that way you've got some comeback if something turns out to be wrong.


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