Leveling FLOORS in our 100 year old Farmhouse! Fixer upper (2023)


How to level floors in an old house! How we leveled our floors in our Farmhouse. Watch us take on the task of fixing all the low spots in our old fixer upper before we tackle the kitchen remodel.

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Well hello! Welcome to the channel! This week's project is going to be a tough one.

And without further ado.

Welcome to our 100 year old crawl, space.


You've ever been interested in buying a farmhouse or buying an older fixer, upper.

This will be a good video for you to watch!.

This project is going to involve leveling our house, out, leveling, the floor, joists out.

So we can move forward with future, projects, Involving the kitchen and a couple other areas inside the house.


If you notice this laser beam across my face, that's, one tool were gonna use to make it a lot easier and faster to level.

This house, out.

Now, lets crawl out of this crawlspace.

And we will go over this project in more detail.

We bought this place in 2017.

And when we purchased it, we were told it was built in 1947, however, after we moved in.

We had some longtime county residents tell us that the home was actually moved here in 1947.

And there are parts of the home that are almost 100 years.


Yeah, the front side of the house.

Our house is kind of like three boxes So.

You have the front box, middle box.

And the rear box.



Front house was actually a shotgun farmhouse that was moved here that was moved here from the back pasture.

And they moved it here in 1947 for utility access on the road when the power and utilities came through our road.

I, guess it was cheaper back then to move a little house on a new foundation.

Then it was to run power and water that far back so that's.

Why we're doing our project today,? Luckily, the foundation that they did when they moved.

It is still structurally sound.

It hasn't flexed or cracked or dipped or sagged or anything like that.

The only problem we have in this house is the center of the floors.

They weren't I guess, correctly, supported through the spans cause they're, sixteen, foot spans.

So alot of the um, there was one room in one part of the house that had a sixteen foot with floor, joist with no support at all or anything.

So I, drew up a little board to make this project.

So right here you can see, this is the original part of the house.

This red square., These, two brown squares are additions.

These were added on in the 70's.


This shotgun farmhouse right here was moved here in 47, and they did a new foundation like so where the red lines are.

And, then here are the floor joists running this way.

And this beam right here, is the one that needs to be replaced.

Is is actually a 2X4 as you'll see in the video, it's, a horizontal 2X4 that has no structural support so that's getting knocked out., And we're, actually bringing in a new beam and replacing this one right here on this side of the house.

The middle section of the house also has a 16 ft span on the floor, joists.


This beam right here.

Luckily, is a sistered 2X8.

So two 2X8's running the whole length of the house and is actually, lets see.

It has a support every 8 ft in it.


What we're going to do on this beam is bring in new supports and run them every 4 ft.


Now, every 4 ft will have a foundation support for that load, bearing beam.


Then we will jack it up as needed with bottle, jacks and get it level and then shim it out.


That is the project that we are doing today.


Next couple days, We have to get this done before we can do any major renovations in the kitchen just so that we have a good foundation base to start with.


We've been wanting to do this for awhile, were about to renovate the kitchen and do a couple other things and take out some walls and open it up.


This is one thing that we have to start with.


We have to get done.

Hopefully we'll, get it done within a week, And, you guys enjoy and lets get back under there and get after it.

Right? Let's, get back?? ....Yes....You have a friend coming over to help you right? Yeah.

Yeah, I'm gonna call a buddy.....Cool....Yeah alright.

Alright, I know, this is going to be hard to get a good view down here.

But I wanted to give you a close up and show you what we're doing This beam in the center of our house had a support every 8ft with a footing on it.

So over the years.

Each 8ft section has started to sag a little bit.

So what we're doing is were going back in and right in the middle of the 8ft.

So every 4ft there will be a support now.


We just put this center block in.

And we put some cribbing on top of here.


What we're doing with these bottle jacks, were just slowly jacking it up on each side.


This is where the laser beam comes into play.


You can see on my hand, right here.

It is a laser level.

So it goes vertical and horizontal., So I, have it set behind me? So it'll always keep a fixed level.

Red line on this beam.

I'm using a tape as you can see here, We just gained by jacking it up about a 1/2 inch.


It was an inch, out., So I'm going to stop there at 1/2 inch, I'm going to go through and shim the rest of the beams up And, get it kinda leveled.


What we did is I cut wedges out of 2X4's.

Once I, got it into position I wanted or close I.

Just nailed these wedges under here.

And there's already wedges throughout this whole beam on the supports from where this has been done before over the years.

So, very common on an old construction.

This is actually pretty decent looking for the year.

This house was built.


Let me give you a close up in here.


You can see You've got your jack.

And we've just got some cribbing on top and just wedged.

It out.

to take up the place that we've gained with jacking it.


So we finished with that side as you saw earlier we're, actually in the other side of the house under the crawl space, which luckily has a lot more room to work with This still isn't much.

But this is double what we had over on the other side., So, I still have my spider net, my hair net on.

So we don't want to run into anything unwanted down here.

But this side, we're going to replace this Horizontal, flat, 2X4.


This was the original part.

They moved here in the 40's.


They actually do have spacing every 4 ft.

But I think was added later, on, I think they had a 16ft span and had no bracing underneath it.

But for some reason they put these laying flat, which has no structural support, I, don't know why they room here to put them vertical as you can see.

But so what we're going to do is put some temporary cribbing up to take the weight off this, we're going to remove these 2X4's and move these shims and blocking and we're going to bring in our new beam through our crawl space, vent back here.


If you want to see something cool, see how the old cabin used to be right, there, See that old beam? But.

Welcome to underneath an old, farmhouse, people!, So, Fun!, No, I'm, just kidding.

We actually do enjoy it and I encourage everybody to get what they want and what they love and make it yours., But its been a pain in the butt, but I wouldn't trade, it.

So..were going to get working Alright.

So we got the old 2X4 that was the old support beam out of the way, its cut and taken off.

And we have a couple temporary supports up now about 12 inches to the right of the footings Where.

The new beam is going to go.

You can see one here., I mean, its nothing crazy, Theres.

One back there with the jack , used a bottle, jack, theres, one up front Im, just doing half of the house at a time.

So we're going to get this beam brought in here.

Now That might be a little bit of a wrestling match to get that thing.

In., But we'll, get it pulled in Through, our crawl space, vent right back there I've got to take the vent cover out and were going to slide the beam right through there and just go straight with it all the way to the back of the house.

And we've actually got two of them.

So we're going to get the first one in, which is going on the backside.

Which I'll do second, then were going to get this second on in which is going right here and I'll get this up on the blocks Get.

It all shimmed out get some of these blocks kinda leveled and more secured, and then start supporting it and leveling this section of the floor! Alright.

So we used three 2X6's all screwed together for this project for this beam two reasons.


The height restrictions in the crawlspace is so short, theres, really nothing else.

We could use, and also the access to get it in the crawlspace.

We had to go through one of our the ventilation holes and I think it was pretty much like 8inches.

So it would have been almost impossible to get anything Bigger through there, So.

This should, if you run numbers on three 2X6's, it should hold the weight perfectly, going vertical, and it should be double what we need for rating wise Alright.

We got the beams in! You, guys, wont believe what I found under here I found a helper!.......Marilla!! Hey!! What are you doing!??? Hey, Babe!!, Hey....Isn't.

This exciting!? ......So fun......Quit...this is like...date.



Do you feel?? .....Mad at you....Haha! Alright? Are you ready to get this beam? Under?? Yeah.


Do you sound so excited? Alright, if you're going to find a wife, if you're looking for one, find one that will get under your crawlspace with you! It, almost sounded like under covers with you....


Lets do this.

Alright, guys, sorry, if I'm so dirty, but that was awesome.

We just got this beam in.

And as you saw Marilla got under here and helped me with it, which was awesome.

So proud of her.

She was not wanting to do it, at all, but it would have been impossible for me to do it by myself So..

She actually helped out which was awesome, definitely proud of her.

But uh, yeah.

So look, there is the new beam.

We got it up into position and it actually with her help.

It was a lot easier..not.

A lot easier, but it wasn't too bad.


Now, thats its up We still have our footings every 4ft, which is perfect, So now were going to get the laser beam up.

And, get it on the beam, and then were just going to start jacking on each end, There shouldn't, be any bow on this beam at all.

So we should be able to get it almost level just from each end with the bottle jacks.

And then were just gonna come through every 4ft on the cinder blocks and shim it up where it needs to be and then that'll be finished.

So pretty pumped about that.


So laser is set.

You can see it on the beam here., It's, really sloped down cause we haven't jacked that side up yet.

So lets get down there and jack the other end of this beam up and see how off it is.


So we finally finished up, I've got the beam up there, I've got a support every 4 ft.

The laser level on there.

And we went from 1 inch of a slope down towards the center on the last support, right here with the jack and I got it raised up to where, I actually, Took away, 3/4 of an inch.

So now were down to about a 1/4 of an inch slope.

Which I will take that all day, on an old farmhouse.

That is not bad at all.

I, got it shimmed up, I'll show, you guys the final support and the beam and were going to get out of this crawlspace! You can see right there I got it shimmed out.

And this was the last beam right here.

So I had the ball jack and its loose right? There.

Still got to clean up, but you can see the laser right, there., Makes it so much easier, doing stuff like this.

But you can see the beam running all the way down.

It looks good! Alright....I believe its about 5, o'clock, right?, Lets, get out of here.


So that's, another project complete and a big check mark off.

The list.

We are definitely glad that one is behind us.

So now for future, plans...

Yes...the kitchen, renovation, which were super excited to share with ya'll coming up.

We're going to be taking out a few walls, putting in new cabinets and countertops..


It will be a complete, live in, Gut., Demo and kitchen.


Not, looking forward to that part, but...so we'll film it and should be some good videos.

And it should be fun, I'm gonna try and organize it and get it planned as best as I can.

So, its maybe a week or two out so...anyway...We.

Appreciate you guys watching Please like and subscribe as usual, don't, forget to hit the alert button.

So you get notified when we post videos, which I guess our schedule now is kind of every tuesday? We're trying to follow along with that.



Do you think Walter? Can? You say, Bye, bye?, ....Nope...Nothing!, Am, I, starting it?....Yes....I'm, starting it....So were...hold on one second..., I, wasn't, ready.....so.....just, stop it...


We built this place....we built this place....feels like we built it....almost....we bought this place..

Retake...Retake!, Go!, Right, now??, Yeah.....Ok.., Take, Three....


How do you fix uneven wood floors in an old house? ›

One of the best ways to fix the issue of uneven floor is to use floor patch product. It can be used in concrete subfloor or wooden subfloor. It is best for leveling floors that has dips, slanting issues, cracks and chipping problems.

Is it normal for old houses to have uneven floors? ›

Uneven or sloping floors are very common in older homes, and while it's often a sign of structural damage, it doesn't have to be a dealbreaker.

How much does it cost to level the floors in an old house? ›

Average Cost to Level the Floor in a House

On average, you are looking at about $3 – $5 per square foot. So, for a 100 square foot slab, it would generally cost between $300 and $500.

What is the best flooring for an old house with uneven floors? ›

The best flooring for uneven floors due to its attractiveness and durability is epoxy, which can also be designed to mimic a wide variety of appearances. Not only will epoxy finish out the floor, but it'll also even it out.

What is the cheapest way to level a floor? ›

If you want to raise the height of a floor, the cheapest and easiest way is to add a thick underlayment designed for the job. There are other options too like adding a framed wooden subfloor or floor leveling compound before installing new flooring.

Do uneven floors mean foundation problems? ›

Uneven floors in a house are usually a sign of a foundation problem, but not always. For example, if you live in a house with a crawl space foundation, uneven floors might be a sign the support posts in your crawl space have settled, or the screw jacks have deteriorated and rusted out.

How much uneven floor is acceptable? ›

Typically, floors that slope 1-1/2 inches or less in 20 feet is not a problem. Floors that sag 2 inches or more in 20 feet, though, are a cause for concern. Additional indicators of a significant problem include: Foundation cracks.

What are the consequences of uneven floor? ›

Uneven floors pose a serious risk of slips, trips, stumbles and falls. Our feet instinctively know to expect even and consistent flooring. Have you ever walked onto uneven flooring? It's a jarring experience, even if you don't fall down.

What do you put between uneven floors? ›

The most durable and attractive option for an uneven floor is often a pour on option, such as epoxy. Modern epoxy can be designed to mimic a variety of appearances, from hardwood to "galaxy" designs. Epoxy won't just finish out the floor: when properly installed, it will actually even out the floor.

How much does it cost to level a wood floor in an old house? ›

Homeowners can expect to pay between $2 and $30 per square foot of professional floor leveling, depending on the required approach.

Can you level a floor yourself? ›

Many people choose to level their floors themselves using a self-levelling compound (also known as a self-levelling screed), a product that can be picked up from most DIY warehouses or builders' merchants. They can be used over concrete, timber, plywood, ceramic floors and more.

How much does a 50 lb bag of self leveler cover? ›

Coverage: One 50 Lb. bag will cover approximately 40 Sq. Ft. at 1/8 In.

What flooring is best for old houses? ›

Good choices are linoleum, ceramic tile–both very common–and wood. Linoleum is inexpensive and provides an easy-to-clean surface and comes in countless designs. Ceramic tiles are even better. Also easy to maintain and available in a huge range, they offer superior durability, resisting most dents, dings and scratches.

How do you level old flooring? ›

Use an underlayment, floor leveler or floor patch product to fix low spots in a wood or concrete subfloor. An underlayment is a thin layer of material sandwiched between two other materials. It's used to help insulate, absorb sound and reduce wear on your floor. It can also serve as a vapor barrier.

Does underlayment help with uneven floors? ›

If you have an uneven sub surface, a underlay floor can potentially help level it out, but we don't recommend this at all. An uneven surface under a floor can cause boards to sink and shift, potentially cracking or splitting them. You can't double up on underlay.

What is the easiest floor leveling compound to use? ›

  1. Best Overall Self-Leveling Underlayment—Rapid Set CTS Concrete Leveler. ...
  2. Best Self-Leveling Concrete for a Concrete Floor—Quikrete High-Performance Cement FastSet Self-Leveling Floor Resurfacer for Ceramic Tiles. ...
  3. Best Self-Leveling Concrete for a Flat Surface—HENRY 565 FloorPro.
May 25, 2023

What to do if subfloor is not level? ›

The best option for slightly uneven subfloors is a direct stick installation (involving nails & glue) if this is a viable option. Floating flooring is not recommended for uneven floors as this increases risk of the planks moving or splitting apart.

How long does it take to level a floor? ›

This is approximately 1 to 2 days for the Normal Set product or 2 to 4 hours for the Fast Set product, depending on surrounding conditions. No special curing steps are required.

Does a floor need to be perfectly level? ›

No subfloor is perfectly level, but any signs of unevenness and high or low spots must be remedied. Please follow these requirements: Subfloor unevenness cannot be greater than 3/16 of an inch over a 10-foot span or 1/8 inch over a 6-foot span. Subfloors must not slope more than ½ inch per 6 feet (25 mm per 1.8 m)

How much does it cost to self level a floor? ›

A good rule of thumb to estimate is that a self leveling concrete floor will cost around $600-850 per 100 square feet.

How much does it cost to raise a floor level? ›

Your cost will range between $5 and $7 per square foot for the first three to four inches of concrete fill. Each additional inch of thickness will cost about $0.40 to $0.60 per square foot to reach the height you want to achieve.

Can you refinish 100 year old hardwood floors? ›

Almost all old floors can be salvaged and refinished by skilled contractors. Termite-damaged planks, insect-infested boards or delaminated strips can be replaced if there aren't too many.

What is the life expectancy of wood floors? ›

Solid hardwood flooring has been known to last up to 100 years, while the engineered version has a life of almost 50 years. Both options can be refinished throughout their lives, meaning your century-old floors can still look like new with proper care and maintenance.

How can you tell if a house has foundation issues? ›

Top 6 Signs of Foundation Problems
  • Diagonal Cracks on Interior Walls.
  • Exterior Stair Step Brick Cracks.
  • Doors Sticking or Not Latching.
  • Gapping or Separation of Exterior Trim.
  • Movement of Wood Trim/Built-Ins.
  • Evidence of Movement on Other Inside Fixtures.
Feb 26, 2021

When should you walk away from foundation problems? ›

You should walk away from foundation issues if the person selling the house refuses to lower the asking price to compensate for the necessary repairs. That means you'll need to have already had the home inspected by either a foundation repair contractor or a structural engineer.

How do you know if a floor is unstable? ›

Bouncy and Sagging Floor

Do your floors feel springy when walking on them? Floors that are in good shape should feel solid underfoot. If they're bouncy, it likely means there's an issue with the support for the floor. Some floors may also dip, sag or slope from one end to the other.

What is the rule of 3 flooring? ›

Maximum of Three ~ When considering how many different flooring materials to have in your home, this is a rule-of-thumb to remember: While standing in any one place in your home, it's best to not see more than three different flooring materials within your view. More than three, and it's too busy.

Will a sagging floor collapse? ›

Sagging floors are not only deformed and unappealing but they can be dangerous. They can collapse and cause injuries if they're not fixed quickly.

Can a floor collapse from too much weight? ›

Excessive Weight on a Floor

For example, a floor of an office building is generally designed to hold a lot more weight than a floor in a residential home. However, if load-bearing supports are not installed properly, this can cause a floor to collapse.

What is the best flooring for slightly uneven floor? ›

Vinyl and Laminate flooring:

Both vinyl and laminate floors are versatile and durable options that can be installed over slightly uneven surfaces. They are relatively inexpensive, easy to clean and maintain, and come in a wide range of patterns and colors so you don't have to sacrifice style for function.

What happens if you install vinyl plank on uneven floor? ›

You can install vinyl on many types of subfloor, including concrete and wood. But that floor must be flat for your installation to be a success. An uneven subfloor can lead to potential problems, such as planks having varying heights that will make the flooring unstable and wear down more quickly.

What happens if you install hardwood on uneven floor? ›

Before you start to install any kind of hardwood flooring you need to ensure that your subfloor is completely level. If it is not level, the planks of flooring will be put under stress when walked upon, and over time may move, crack, creak and become damaged.

How much can you jack up a sagging floor? ›

It's important not to jack your floor too fast. If you do, you can cause the wall above the area to crack. Instead, Jack your floor slowly. As a rule of thumb, you only want to raise your floor 1/8 of an inch a day.

Can you self level over a wooden floor? ›

Levelling compound can be used on a variety of substrates including concrete, screed, existing tiles, and timber floors. Ideal for using in areas where the floor dips or needs filling in. Due to the nature of self-levelling compound, excessive amounts of water are not needed.

How much should labor cost to install a wood floor? ›

Labor costs: Contractors customarily charge labor by the square foot, just as they charge for the flooring. Expect to pay $4 to $8 a square foot for labor to install a solid hardwood floor and $3 to $10 a square foot to install engineered wood, according to HomeAdvisor.

What do you put on floor before self-leveling? ›

Why do I need a primer for self-levelling compound? Most subfloors will benefit from the application of a floor primer to reduce the risk of surface imperfections, such as pinholing.

What is a cheaper alternative to self-leveling compound? ›

Sand Mix, Portland Cement & Gypsum-Based Compound are practical alternatives to the self-leveling compound. These options are cost-effective materials that are ideal for smoothening up your floor. At the same time, you can also try Drywall Compound and Foam.

How thick can you self level a floor? ›

QUIKRETE® Fast-Setting Self-Leveling Floor Resurfacer (No. 1249-51) can be installed from 1-1/2 inch (38 mm) thick to a feather edge, although a ¼ inch (6.3 mm) minimum thickness is required for heavy traffic areas.

Why is self-leveling so expensive? ›

Polymers are used in everything from leather to wood and from computers to paints and metal coverings. Self-leveling concrete is more expensive gallon-for-gallon because of the added cost required to create it. However, this versatile substance can often be used instead of demolishing damaged concrete and replacing it.

What is the maximum thickness of floor leveler? ›

CONCRETE LEVELER is designed for fast-track leveling applications and can be covered with finished flooring in 4 to 16 hours at 70°F (21°C), depending on the flooring type. This advanced underlayment can be applied up to 2" (5.1 cm) thick and up to 5" (12.7 cm) thick when extended with aggregate.

What is the max depth for floor leveler? ›

Most levelling compounds can only be applied up to 30-40mm and will need to be used in more than one application or with other materials required. However there are some exceptions on the market such as BAL Level Max which can be applied from 2 mm up to 80 mm in one application.

What do you put over an uneven subfloor? ›

The best option for slightly uneven subfloors is a direct stick installation (involving nails & glue) if this is a viable option. Floating flooring is not recommended for uneven floors as this increases risk of the planks moving or splitting apart.

How do you level a sloping concrete floor in an old house? ›

The easiest way is to use a self-leveling compound, also called liquid floor underlayment or floor resurfacer, within sections of level-cut rails. The material flows out like thick syrup, then hardens into a smooth, perfectly level surface, sometimes in less than an hour.

Can a sagging floor be fixed? ›

The solution to sagging floors, or the damaged sills and joist ends that contribute to them, often involves jacking. A common scenario is to install temporary jack posts and support beams, then permanent posts and beams over new footings.

How much floor sag is acceptable? ›

The degree to which your floor slopes or sags indicates whether or not you have reason for concern. Typically, floors that slope 1-1/2 inches or less in 20 feet is not a problem. Floors that sag 2 inches or more in 20 feet, though, are a cause for concern.

What should I put down before floor leveling? ›

Clean the Floor

The floor needs to be primed before adding the floor leveler and you'll want the primer to soak into the floor, not the dirt and dust sitting on top of it. Keep a marker or roll of tape in your pocket while you're vacuuming, and mark all the holes or cracks in the wood that will need to be sealed up.

Is there an easy way to level a floor? ›

The easiest way to level a floor involves using a self-leveling compound, which uses gravity to smooth out any dips in the subfloor. If you need to know how to level a floor without leveling compound to fix structural issues, it can be more difficult.

Can I level a floor myself? ›

Many people choose to level their floors themselves using a self-levelling compound (also known as a self-levelling screed), a product that can be picked up from most DIY warehouses or builders' merchants. They can be used over concrete, timber, plywood, ceramic floors and more.

How much does it cost to fix uneven subfloor? ›

What are the costs to fix sagging floors and subfloors? The typical costs for repairing sagging floors start at $1000 and can go up to $10,000, with the average rate being around $300 per square foot. But this can vary depending on the extent of the damage and materials needed to get the job done.

Can you put self-leveling compound on wood floors? ›

Self-Leveling Underlayment is an easy-to-use, cement-based underlayment that self-levels. Just mix it with water, pour and spread. The underlayment is excellent for smoothing and flattening interior surfaces before installing floor coverings. Use over concrete, wood, tile, terrazzo and cut back adhesive.

What is the best underlay for uneven floor? ›

Fibreboard Underlay

This is the best choice for both types of flooring. It works to smooth uneven floors, reduces noise, and acts as a thermal barrier. If the subfloor is uneven, fibreboard works to even dips and dents you can't level out.

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