View Full Version : Bounce Bounce?

14th September 2004, 12:24 PM
Hello boys... :p

My friend has this house right;) , and when your sitting on the lounge and the dog walks in the room, you bounce on the couch.

It's on stumps, carpet over floorboards.
What could this be?
And is it serious?


14th September 2004, 12:33 PM
A dog that big is definitely dangerous.

14th September 2004, 12:37 PM

Is it a big dog?

Sounds like a stumping issue or it may be that span of the bearer (s) is too long between stumps - Is there an obvious bow in the floor? If you have access underneath then you can check it out. We are currently deciding whether to pull up a couple of rows of floor boards and add support to remove a slight bounce and creak.

Sorry for stating the obvious.


14th September 2004, 12:40 PM
What could this be?

Get a smaller dog?

14th September 2004, 12:50 PM
Oh alright....if the bounce is that bad, it's almost certainly a stump (or two that needs replacing).

IF the stumps have just moved on their foundations (slowly sinking into the mire, or on reactive clay soil which has dried out), you can probably do a long-term temporary fix by packing the bearers up with a bit of fibro, or a brick if it's that bad, but there's no substitute for replacing the stumps and doing it properly!

Now it could also be rot in the ends of the bearers, termites in the joists, joists and bearers terminally undersized, or a combination of all of the above.

First thing to do is to go under the house and see if there's an air gap between the bearer and the stumps, or the joists and the bearer, then come back!!


P :D

14th September 2004, 12:53 PM
LOL @ the horse

Hi Mike, She is a staffy and weighs 17kg

I do have access under the house, the floor seems reasonably flat no obvious slope or rise.

House was restumped about 3 years ago......so they tell me :cool:

Ok I'm going under, call the cops if I don't return within 30mins. It means those rats have gotten me

14th September 2004, 12:56 PM
Could also be that the bearers or joists need packing.

Get somebody to walk over the floor while you're under the house and check for any movement.

14th September 2004, 12:59 PM
I live in a house just like this, except it is my 3yo son belting through in pursuit of his sister that makes the bookshelves fall over.

In my case, it is simply a matter of under-engineering of the joists. The piers are solid, it's just that they are too few and far between and so the bearers flex. The joists are spanning too far for their size and so the whole thing is like a trampoline.

The solution for me is to add new bearers in between the existing ones to reduce the span of the joists. I'll be doing this as a part of a general upgrade under the house - reinforcing the bearers by bolting a steel beam to each bearer and replacing the brick piers with steel posts.

14th September 2004, 01:03 PM
ok here's what I saw without even crawling under the house.

The first stump doesn't have anything sitting on it. So I'm guessing this would be the same problem over towards the lounge room.

I don't want to go crawling under the house. It's spooky and the size of the cobwebs are massive. Hate to see what they are hiding in them.

Is this a costly job to fix?

Good to see that all my stumps have black stuff on em ;)

I live in a mining town, the after shock of the blasting is a low 30-50 second rumble, I guess this would affect the stumps and the house would slowly sink? LOL

As long as I get 10 yrs out of the place, I will be happy.

14th September 2004, 01:42 PM
The first stump doesn't have anything sitting on it.

Can you clarify that a bit Gemi?

Does it a least have a timber passing over the top of it even if it's not making contact with the stump?


14th September 2004, 01:55 PM
Yes it has the bearer or the joist about 5-10mm above it.

14th September 2004, 02:20 PM
Well it's an easy fix then.

All you need are some fibro (or Hardiplank I suppose these days) packing pieces inserted between the barers and the stumps.

Maybe a half day's work for someone if you don't fancy doing it yourself .

14th September 2004, 02:23 PM
You may need a termite cap over the stump and under the bearer? Are termites a problem locally? Are there caps on the other stumps?

14th September 2004, 02:30 PM
Yep namtrak they all have there ant caps on and black skirts pulled up LOL

Ok anyone live close by and wanna earn some cash?


Ah worth a try isn't it?

Kev Y.
14th September 2004, 03:16 PM
From experience (recent) dont attempt any restumping work yourself, I found a local stump contractor to come look and give me some idea what I was up against..

Short story, house was moving slowly to the roadway, stumps were back-filled with 50mm of dirt, no antcaps, in places no sole plates, and none of the stumps were attached to the bearers!

All up it cost me $6000 and a week having the stumpers under the house.

as far as I am concerned it was money well spent

Kev ;) :rolleyes: :cool:

14th September 2004, 03:27 PM
. It's spooky and the size of the cobwebs are massive. Hate to see what they are hiding in them.

just remember they are scareder of you than you are of them :D well that's what I tell my son anyway!

i've got a slight bounce in my lounge floor - when the surveyor came round she suggested that I might want to put packing on one of the stumps ... I suspect this works where its only one stump that's at fault.

14th September 2004, 03:36 PM
Don't forget that the floor won't be level because of the deflection of the unsupported bearer.

You should be able to jack it up enough with a heavy car jack, so you can just slip in the fibro...but do get some help!

Can you find the guys that re-stumped it? Do you guys have a sub-contractors licensing system? If so it may just be worth a couple of phone calls.



14th September 2004, 03:50 PM
Yes, get help. I guy was killed a few weeks ago in Melbourne when his house fell off it's stumps. He was underneath at the time.

14th September 2004, 04:08 PM
Yes, get help. I guy was killed a few weeks ago in Melbourne when his house fell off it's stumps. He was underneath at the time.

It's always scary giving advice about something one hasn't seen...and can end up being downright irresponsible. AND A HOUSE WEIGHS EVER SOOOOO MUCH.

I'd be thinking that one stump at a time you should be ok, but there again, I jacked a house up for restumping once (with proper gear) and eleven out of the sixteen stumps that it was sitting on FELL OVER.

It can happen!

On that cheery note,

P :D

14th September 2004, 08:04 PM
I will ring around tomorrow, but I doubt anyone will own up to the job.

Does stumping come with a guarantee?

I know here in WA any structural improvement less then 6 years old is the previous owners problem, but anything older then that is the new owners problem.

I wonder how the stumps go under that law?

14th September 2004, 09:10 PM
I had half my house down south (NSW ) restumped by Pro's and with that I got a 7yr warranty with it for their work. The local building association should be able to give you some idea on liabilities. Assuming that you can identify the company who did the original job and that they are still in business and are appropriately licensed. Similar to cladding companies in reality I expect Here today Gone tommorrow. Worse comes to worse you can use a car jack as Midge suggested and pack everything up nice and level. Just use a water level ( tube filled with water) to check the overall situation and adjust accordingly. It's a dirty job but not that hard really if you think and plan out what you are doing. One stump at a time, keep your fingers out and you can't go too far wrong IMHO

14th September 2004, 10:15 PM

Do you know a tame chippy or Jack of all trades in your town?

I really doubt you'll get any satisfaction from the people who did the work originally, always assuming that it was professionally done.

If they didn't bother packing the bearers, I'd have my doubts.


14th September 2004, 11:49 PM
finding a previous owner to foot the bill will be a first I imagine

.... "stumps under the law" ...? hmmm .... bouncey and dodgy I reckon

15th September 2004, 12:20 AM
1) Don't worry about old cobwebs - spiders recycle their webs, and if its dusty & visible, the spider is long dead. They are just yucky - take a bit of stick & thrash it about to collect them all.

2) If you are in a mining area - I'm guessing undergound rather than opencast, although you're in WA - be very careful of bouncy floors.

A few years ago a family couldn't find their dog for a few days. Eventually they heard it whineing under the house & called the Police Rescue to fish it out - lucky they did as there was an ENORMOUS hole - only the outer row of piers was left, holding up the house, everything inside was GONE. The poor dog was located on a ledge some distance down the hole & recovered. The house was evacuated rapidly but gently.

So don't forget your climbing rope & harness when 'exploring' in a subsidence zone :D

15th September 2004, 01:27 AM
sheesh bsrlee thats scarey stuff. The mine is open cut at the moment, they do intend on underground but down the track a bit.

Thanks guys for the advice on jacking it up with the car jack but I think I will leave that to the pro's.

I do have a local jack of all trades. He is due here on Friday to pull out a window and replace with a bigger one, so will get his HO on the situation. He is cheap too,($25hr) but we shall see how good his work is with this window.

He is a carpenter aswell.

15th September 2004, 01:42 PM
Take it as a given that any work you do is likely to be temporary. I would be EXTREMELY wary of using a car jack to lift up your floor even it is for just one stump..... It is the sort of thing I would do, but not suggest anyone else do it. You may be able to wangle some packer into the space in the short term, but at the end of the day you need to spend some time $$$ firstly identifying the problem and it's cause. Then you have some where to go.

15th September 2004, 02:34 PM
Take it as a given that any work you do is likely to be temporary. I would be EXTREMELY wary of using a car jack to lift up your floor even it is for just one stump..... It is the sort of thing I would do, but not suggest anyone else do it.

Yep! TOTALLY AGREE (specially the last bit!)