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Squeaky Floors

Question: I recently moved into a new home and all the floors squeak! The home builder said that the squeaks would go away in time. I called the local building department and they ensured me that the installation of the floor joists and sub-floors were inspected and built to code.

If it was built to code, why are the floors squeaking?

Answer: First, let me say that there is a big difference between being "built to code" and "built using good construction practices".

Building codes are written for the primary purpose of safety. With respect to the flooring, this means that the floor joists that were installed, met the minimum building code size and were within the building codes’ maximum spacing between them. It means that the sub-floor that was installed on the joists met the building codes minimum thickness and these two items combined means, that you, your family and your guests will not fall through the floor.

It is unlikely that the squeaks in the floor will go away, in fact, as the wood used in the flooring system dries, they will most likely squeak even more than they do now.

The website has a large section on the proper construction of flooring systems and you may want to read these pages to learn what shortcuts can be taken by home builders – just follow the link below this blog. It should be noted that callbacks are very costly to home builders and most reputable home builders do their utmost to construct homes that do not require callbacks.

A reputable home builder should be prepared to correct the problem. That being said, I am not a lawyer and if the home builder is not willing to fix the squeaks, you may wish to consult an attorney.

Additional information on floor construction