I have a two story house and some of the joists between the floors are sagging about an inch or two. When I walk around upstairs I can feel the level difference and downstairs you can slightly see the lines of one or two joists in the ceiling. These joists happen to be the ones our bed is on so I'm guessing that is the cause. There aren't any cracks or gaps anywhere. I'm not sure how concerned I should be, and if it's normal or needs to be fixed.

oh, the house is around 30 years old.

1 Answer 1


A properly sized floor joist should never deflect. Is your bed a water bed?. Joists are supposed to be sized to handle a minimum of 60 to 80 pounds per square foot, which is actually a lot, since loads are distributed across the entire span. If you are seeing ridges, cracks, or movement under load, you have a problem. I have seen joists wain, crack or even fracture at a fault in the wood grain. If this situation has gotten worse, or happened suddenly, I would seek a pro to take a look. Don't want to scare you, but this is not normal and warrants further investigation. This is not a job for an amateur.

  • 1
    Definitely get professional help.
    – ChrisF
    Feb 3, 2011 at 23:48
  • sagging is normal in old house, but any sagging that gotten worse, or happened over a short time (not many years) does need carefull investigating.
    – Walker
    Feb 4, 2011 at 9:39
  • 3
    30 years old isn't very old, actually pretty young as houses go. I'm a bit concerned, especially if this is a fairly new development. Feb 4, 2011 at 20:39
  • It's been a gradual change over the past few years. Most people don't notice it until I point it out to them, maybe i'm hyper paranoid :) Two adjacent joists are at slightly different levels. The joist itself isn't sagging, but the floor feels that way because of the difference in levels of adjacent joists. Thanks again for all the advice, I'll get someone to check it out either way.
    – ddonnell
    Feb 4, 2011 at 20:56

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