we bought a house about 6 months ago. The house is 50 years old this year. Passed main and termite inspections with only minor issues (many of which we've already addressed), and also had an inspection from the insurance company.

I noticed when we moved in that our furniture in a few rooms on the second level is not level. I checked the floor with our bubble level to see what was going on. In our master bedroom the floor slopes a little (about 1/8 inch per foot) towards the center of the house for two to three feet and then levels off. The same is true of another bedroom on the other side of the house. The upstairs is mostly level except for these spots. The foundation seems very sturdy with no cracks from what we can tell, and the downstairs floors are level or very nearly so. The house is slab on grade.

Also in our guest bedroom I noticed that when I walk by a bookshelf (which is, admittedly, IKEA) everything on it wobbles. If I bounce in front of it the wobble is quite pronounced. Bouncing in the other rooms or bouncing in the same room near other pieces of furniture produces a tiny bit of shake (I have to bounce a lot harder to get much at all) but nothing like this one place. When you bounce you cannot hear anything significant downstairs (just sounds like footsteps).

We have not noticed any cracks except a few minor ones above baseboards and other painted wood joints (as in, they need some caulk) and near the whole house fan and sump pump hatch (which we're almost certain has to do with their installation since they are both recent). There are no cracks around doors or windows, everything shuts properly.

Any advice would be great. We are scared of big repairs so soon after buying the house.

  • Do you know if there have been any major renovations since it was built? None of this sounds horribly out of the ordinary for an older house.
    – Comintern
    Jan 26, 2016 at 18:46
  • They did cosmetic things like painting and new wood floors/carpets in most of the house. They redid the kitchen with all new appliances and added a large bay window. They also redid all three bathrooms. They actually did a TON of landscaping - the backyard was completely regraded and a patio added. The place looks wonderful - I'm just terrified of every tiny thing I find as this is our first home and we hoped to be here a long time. Jan 27, 2016 at 18:43
  • I'd have to agree with the posted answer then - I doubt there's a structural concern (about the only structural change you mentioned is the bay window, and if there were issues with that the slope run the other way). One other possibility with the bouncing in the guest bedroom would be areas in the subfloor what weren't flat when they re-did the flooring, but only if they did a floating install.
    – Comintern
    Jan 27, 2016 at 23:32

1 Answer 1


If you aren't seeing new cracks or other signs of this getting worse, it sounds like what you'd expect in an older house. Try supporting your bookshelf with some shims - it might just not be evenly supported where it is, and wobbling because it's unsteady.

You'll want to investigate your structure if you see:

  • new cracks forming
  • changes in floor leveling
  • problems operating doors or windows.

Unless that happens, don't worry! Enjoy your new house. And come up with some fun projects to do to it!

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