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How Do I Replace a Floor Joist in the Basement?

Replacing a rotted floor joist in your basement requires much the same time and attention as replacing a rotted floor joist in your crawl space. Doing so can help you better stabilize the floors in the rest of your home, but the task is still dangerous to undertake without professional guidance. 

With that in mind, you have two options available to you. You can either attempt to implement a DIY floor joist solution, or you can contact representatives with your local professional contractors and invest in third-party repairs. 

DIY Floor Joist Replacement 

If you want to try and remove rotted floor joists in your basement on your own, you’ll need to make sure you have a secure step ladder and the appropriate tools on hand to do so. Note that you might not only put yourself in danger by undertaking this task, but you also risk permanently damaging your floors and lowering the overall value of your home. 

If you make a mistake while replacing your basement’s floor joists, you may find yourself contending with bowing floors until you’re able to reach out to a professional. If the damage done is especially significant, then you may never have the opportunity to sell your home for its original value. Instead, you will have to compromise, thereby losing money where you originally intended to save it. 

Contacting the Professionals in Your Area 

Alternatively, as mentioned, you can reach out to the professional contractors in your area for help protecting your home from damage. A contracting team can walk through your basement with you and determine first where the rotted floor joists are, then how best to remove and replace them without putting the rest of your home at risk. 

The process requires the following steps: 

  • Shoring up your rotting floor. As with replacing floor joists in your crawl space, professionals will need to determine early on how best to shore up your floor. They can do so with help from a supportive plywood layer or the support or a two-by-four grid. These supports will hold up your floor while a professional replaces your rotted joints, but that does not mean that your floors will be safe to walk on until the repair process is complete. 
  • Removing and replacing the joist. To start removing joists, a professional must pry the rotted joists away from your subfloor. With those pieces out of the way, they can place a sturdier joist and secure it with carpenter’s glue, screws, or materials of their choosing.

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