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I recently purchased a 2050 sq ft. house 1 story, built in 2000, in North Dallas. We had a general inspection done on it, and the disclosure didn't mention any foundation issues, also all the doors close right, and so do the windows, walking thru the house it is really hard to find a spot that actually feels uneven when walking, in fact there is only one in the hardwood floor. The floor is about 50% hardwood floor, 25% concrete and 15% tile and 10% carpet. On the room with carpet everything sits right everywhere, I imagine because the carpet softness makes everything level easily.

However I have noticed small pieces of furniture such as chairs, or anything where the legs are not too far apart for instance my nightstands are also not leveled by about 1/6 inch, often only sits right if you put in the "right" spot, otherwise the legs are not leveled by up to 8 milimeters (.31 inches in the worst case) often a lot less. And sometimes the chairs sit just right, this is not a problem with large furniture as I suppose the legs kinda level themselves out with the weight.

I was however wondering if this is something I should be concerned about, or if this is something relatively normal for a 2000 house, there are no slopes anywhere, it is mostly really small variations here and there, which can make a chair not sit right in some spots. Usually those spots are closer to the wall, but not always.

The house has rain-bird sprinklers around the foundation, and I make sure to water it but not excessively of course, also everything is sloped away from the foundation.

We saw several houses before buying this one, and this one is actually the one where the floors felt the most leveled, so I am guessing this is somewhat common in houses between 1990 and 2005 (the houses that we saw) that have settled a little bit, which is my understanding is also normal, as all houses settle after being built.

For reference I used to live in Mexico, in a pure concrete house like everyone else there, and uneven floors where never an issue, everything was always perfectly leveled.

Should I be concerned?, or should I be doing anything about this?

  • What type of hardwood floor? Also do the uneven spots only occur on the hardwood? Are they on the concrete as well? Is the hardwood / tile laid on top of the concrete? If the concrete itself was finished unevenly then everything on top of it would also be uneven. – Jason C Nov 18 '14 at 22:36
  • @JasonC it is mostly on the hardwood floor ans only certain areas, but it also happens on the concrete and tile. It makes sense that if it was finished uneven then everything on top would be uneven. It is real hardwood floor, about half inch tick it seems, I am also pretty sure it is the one that was with the house originlly, i.e it is 14 years, the concrete is stained concrete with designs, and was put after the house was done. Hopefully the subfloor is even underneath, but can't know for sure. I am not sure if the tile and hardwood floor was laid on top of the concrete (subfloor) – Oscar Gomez Nov 19 '14 at 3:24
  • A common fix is to fold up a match book cover and put it under the short leg. – Michael Karas Nov 19 '14 at 6:38
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I cannot see anything to cause alarm. It sounds like a quality of finish issue and not something that would be typical of a home inspection report.

Subject to the laws of physics and land use regulations, any construction project is possible if sufficient resources are devoted to its completion. Whether it makes personal or economic sense to reduce the planar deviation of the floor is something that each of us has to decide for ourselves.

  • What do you mean by quality of finish issue?, would the problem be on the subfloor or on the hardwood installation? – Oscar Gomez Nov 19 '14 at 3:33
  • @OscarGomez I would guess the subfloor since you observe it on the tile as well. It could also be some combination of both. – Jason C Nov 19 '14 at 4:46
  • Thanks, I think the variations are really small in most cases (or not present at all), and impossible to tell by just walking around, except for one spot in the hardwood. I'll just have it leveled whenever I change the hardwood floor. – Oscar Gomez Nov 19 '14 at 13:33

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