Just got an inspection on 123 year old house.

Home inspector noted: Moderate settlement. Further evaluation and preventative maintenance recommended. Joist are not properly attached to the band joist. The current condition noted requires further action to correct the problem. The inspector recommends these repairs be performed.

This joist is on a concrete block foundation. That wall has bulged out slightly.

Edit: The house is on a hill, so this part of the basement wall is above ground. That wall has bulged outward from the basement.

Edit: A friend suggested we use joist hangers and deck tension ties, but I'm wondering if that's a good idea or not.

Joist are not properly attached to the band joist

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    That's not slightly bulging out. That's bulging out so much that it's about to start dumping floor joists. Is the wall moving away from the empty side of the wall and toward the filled side? How old is the wall? Is there any chance of pulling it back and then using the floor joists to prevent the problem from recurring?
    – popham
    Oct 26, 2023 at 2:56
  • 1
    Deck tension ties crossed my mind for pulling everything tight, but I suspect that you've got an unreinforced masonry wall (just because the house is so old, not based on anything in the image). Is that wall much newer than the house? My intuition is that somebody who really knows their stuff ought to be there to kick the tires before proceeding. Best-case, he says to proceed and monitors the wall during small incremental movements. Why is the wall moving? Settlement? Unstable slope? Immobilizing the wall without addressing the root cause could result in stresses ramping up until failure.
    – popham
    Oct 26, 2023 at 6:57
  • Get jacks under that lot and fast. And move anything heavy from the floor above. Oct 26, 2023 at 10:30
  • Where is the sill plate? I was trying to see if the sill plate was anchored correctly and realized there isn't any sill plate at all.
    – Chuck
    Oct 26, 2023 at 21:34

1 Answer 1


Your rim board's purpose is to prevent the floor joist end from rotating. Imagine standing a couple of 2x12s on a flat surface with a sheet of plywood on top. Standing on this plywood the platform would feel very unstable. You would have to be cautious not to topple it by moving too quickly. If you nailed a rim board to both ends of the 2x12s, now that platform would feel perfectly stable (as long as the 2x12s were spaced apart by at least 16", say).

Your rim board is no longer stabilizing the floor joists adequately against tipping over along the joist ends. Instead of a rim board, you can install blocking between every joist right next to the rim board. From IRC R502.7,

Joists shall be supported laterally at the ends by full-depth solid blocking not less than 2 inches (51 mm) nominal in thickness; or by attachment to a full-depth header, band or rim joist, or to an adjoining stud or shall be otherwise provided with lateral support to prevent rotation.

And you've got a bearing problem where your joists sit on that wall. From IRC R502.6,

The ends of each joist, beam or girder shall have not less than 1-1/2 inches (38 mm) of bearing on wood or metal and not less than 3 inches (76 mm) on masonry or concrete...

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    @Mazura, what does sistering solve? What do joist hangers solve? If you're talking about the bearing problem, then a 2x4 ledger strip wedge anchored to the face of the concrete wall along its top would be my plan A. It would provide the 1-1/2" bearing, and toe nails down from the floor joists would stabilize the wall.
    – popham
    Oct 26, 2023 at 2:40
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    my home inspector also recommended joist hangers - but i'm not sure how I'd put one up when the bottom of the board is sitting on the foundation? Would I have to jack up the joist off the foundation? That seems risky.
    – Toni K.
    Oct 26, 2023 at 8:41
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    "And you've got a bearing problem" - For me this is the headline issue, not an afterthought.
    – MikeB
    Oct 26, 2023 at 14:22
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    @Aloysius Defenestrate, if you lift the structure, does the wall spring totally out from under the joists? Do you want the wall to move with the rim board? Do you want the wall to remain stationary as you move the rim board? My initial outline: Verify that the settlement issue is gone (clay soil or an unstable slope, for instance, could imply that it's an ongoing problem), verify that "concrete block foundation" isn't a partially grouted CMU wall, use a ledger board bolted to the face of the wall to brace the top of the wall against movement and get 1-1/2" bearing, now fix the rim board.
    – popham
    Oct 26, 2023 at 17:31
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    @popham i think it might be a CMU block. would that prevent us from putting up a ledger board? if so, what are my options?
    – Toni K.
    Oct 26, 2023 at 17:57

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