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About 3 months ago we had some basement repairs done that included correcting a dip in the center of the house with 3 support columns that raised the house back to level (jacked up by 1.5 inches).

Last week we heard a loud crack from the garage and discovered that 3 sistered ceiling joists that are between the house and garage have gone from being tightly screwed together to being separated by about an inch. The one nearest the house is pulling towards the house and the other two remain mostly straight. Also the joist hanger that connects the house joists to these sistered beams has fully pulled out on one side. I'm trying to determine if this is just a minor part of the house readjusting or a an issue that needs addressing quickly. A structural engineer who we originally consulted declined to visit the house as he said it didn't sound like a major issue, but I remain concerned and would welcome suggestions from others who have had their houses raised.

House on left, so joist hanger that popped is connected to the joist skewed towards the house. enter image description here

House on left, garage right. enter image description here

Reverse angle (house on right), the other end of the joists are not moving apart as much enter image description here

House on left closer to the wall where there's minor cracking at the wall. enter image description here

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  • Where are you located? Are you in a seismically active area or high wind area? Can you show both ends of the sistered joists? – Lee Sam Mar 28 at 20:30
  • the joist hanger that connects the house joists to these sistered beams has fully pulled out on one side This worries me more than everything else. A joist unsupported at one end might as well not be there. – A. I. Breveleri Mar 28 at 20:52
  • @Lee Sam. Thanks for the reply. Michigan. So winds recently no more than 40 mph. Maybe a bit of frost-quake but nothing major. I'm suspecting the house has moved 1.5 inches but the garage didn't follow, so at some point the two have just started to pull apart. Adding a couple more pics now (I hope). @A I Breveleri. No kidding. I think the bang we heard may have been the joist hanger popping out. I'm hoping that its not load bearing and just connects the house and garage together for framing, but I'm disappointed the structural engineer didn't want to take a look. – MacATDBB Mar 28 at 21:22
  • Think as long as none of the wood itself is showing cracks, it is probably on minor side. One joist hanger should be replaced, if there are more then might not be as minor problem. Check over other joist hangers and joint plates on rafters or see if any other separations happening. Lifting part of floor 1.5 inches will cause stress somewhere else. – crip659 Mar 28 at 21:47
  • Thanks @crip659. – MacATDBB Mar 29 at 0:46
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Your roof seems going through some movement, the reason, or the reasons, can't be pinpointed through a few pictures. You shall go back to the original consultant engineer, who I assume was overseeing and responsible for the jacking operation occurred a short while ago. The structure may not under immediate threat of collapsing, but it is prudent to find out why (including potential hidden problems), and make proper decision from there, on whether immediate repair is required, or not.

I would insist the engineer to have a visit, or issue a statement that there is no "big problem". I think he would respond differently then :) Send him the invitation in writing too.

If the engineer still refuses to visit, have a second opinion from another qualified engineer. I'll report the conduct to his licensing board, or local building official, if any problems is being identified.

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  • Would ask engineer if he could come and check when not busy(might have major project going), instead of saying come now, or have him suggest another engineer to see, if he can't come sooner. – crip659 Mar 28 at 22:20
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    Not my style towards a person brush off his/her responsibility without provide a reasonable arrangement at first place. "I've other engagement at moment, can I come..., or my assistant can go have a look, or keep an eye on the change/development for a few days...", anything but "it's not a major issue...". Sure it is not a major issue that is critical enough to cause immediately harm, but how could he determine it is a major or minor in the next second without inspection? Unless he knew this type thing will occur, resulting from carrying out the recommended correction action from him. – r13 Mar 28 at 23:10
  • @MacADTBB I suspect this has something to do with the jacking, because by lifting the floor up in the middle, it create compressive stress on the joist been raised, and pulling force on the beams to its ends. The former is more likely (though not necessarily the case), if the jacking force is not evenly distributed to all pieces of the built-up joist. To cause a solid, properly nailed, wood piece to pop out (bowed), the force is not something to be ignored, or taken lightly. Good luck. – r13 Mar 29 at 2:38

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