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How can I fix a leaning staircase?

Answered by Brett Kulina ~ June 16, 2014 ~ No Comments » | Respond to this question

My staircase is leaning at a dangerous angle. It is an old home with a crawl space instead of a basement. What can cause this and what is approximate cost of the fix? Can this be DIY? Help!

-Bill

Brett Kulina

Well, Bill, before you can estimate the cost and the difficulty of this needed home repair you will first have to get to the root cause of the problem. You should arrange for an experienced carpenter, or possibly even a structural engineer, to thoroughly inspect your home's staircase and help determine how serious this problem might be. Oftentimes, structural issues like this are indicative of bigger problems, such as a slumping foundation and/or failing floor system.

Because your home has a crawl space instead of a basement, accessing and inspecting the floor joists and their supporting girders might be difficult. Although most newer homes have a roomy 36-inches of headroom in their crawlspace, many older homes just have an unwelcoming few inches of dark and dirty headroom. Whomever you hire to conduct the structural inspection of your home will be appreciative if the crawlspace access-way is already clean and well lit before they show up at your door with their tool bags. Most importantly you will need to ensure that they have access directly under your home's staircase, as this is the area that is most suspect in my mind and should be inspected carefully.

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