Bought house a year ago. I can feel the wood upstairs has moved. Some areas sag bad, others the wood has lifted. The ceilings on first floor below have cracked and I can see the indentations all over. I’m scared walking along these areas upstairs but don’t know who to call. The house is 120 years old and I bought knowing some floors were slanted. It’s what I could afford and didn’t look too bad. But now It’s to the point where I fear ceiling will be collapsing. I called foundation repair company and they could lift one part of house up an inch for 4K. I asked how does that fix the floors and ceilings. He said it should over time. I need someone who really knows what is going on and how to fix. I’m not wealthy either, I make less than $20 an hour. I know wanting a home costs money, I just didn’t think I’d be SOL so soon. I’ll probably be paying for this for life but it is what it is. I just need to know who to call that would understand the issue and I’ll figure it out from there. Thanks enter image description hereenter image description here enter image description here enter image description here

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  • Would have a structural engineer come and take a look at it first and see if the problems are structural or more cosmetic. That will be the cheapest to do now and find exactly what needs doing.
    – crip659
    Commented May 14, 2022 at 18:34
  • I second @crip659. Slanted floors could be long standing and stable, or worsening. Sagging ceilings could just be old plaster coming loose. Which is dangerous and annoying but not structural. Find neighbors and contractors with experience maintaining similar homes in your neighborhood.
    – jay613
    Commented May 14, 2022 at 18:55
  • Thanks. I’ve googled that before and it’s always brought me to foundation repair sites so I was never really sure what I need. I sent out some emails specifically requesting structural engineers. And looking for sites that specify structural engineers. Let’s see what I get back. Thanks for the advice!
    – Denise
    Commented May 14, 2022 at 19:08
  • Your local building/housing/permit department should have a list or at least know of the local engineers. They have to work with them often and should know the good ones.
    – crip659
    Commented May 14, 2022 at 19:24
  • Do you have home insurance? If this has just occurred then don’t delay. Call your home insurance providers and have them send someone to take a look. Commented May 14, 2022 at 21:35

1 Answer 1


It depends what the house is built from & on what, but generally old houses move - what you need to establish is not how far it's moved already, but how fast it's going.

Without that information, you don't have an indicator as to what to do next.
Get a surveyor to set up some measuring tags, so you can test the movement.

  • +1 for keeping a journal for how much it’s moving. Maybe all that movement was in the past and it’s stopped moving.
    – Lee Sam
    Commented May 14, 2022 at 20:49

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