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Old 12-08-2009, 03:32 PM   #1
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Attic Framing Confusion...

In my attic, I have 2x4 Studs running vertically from my ridge beam to the main beam running parallel along the attic floor every 6'. Also, I have 2x4's coming off the side of the floor beam at a 45, and they hit the roof walls perpendicularly. Basically, my attic looks like this...... / \|/ \

My question is...

I'm wanting to make my attic into a room, because it is a rather large area, but I didn't know whether or not these 2x4's are necessary support for the roof or not. If so, can I somehow restructure the attic supports to allow for more room while still maintaining the support?


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Old 12-08-2009, 03:55 PM   #2
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Just remove them. The carpenter just had extra wood left over. IGNORE THE FIRST STATEMENT.... Sounds like you have trusses. None of these can be removed or even cut. This attic is not designed to carry a live load. Attics are not built to be rooms without structural changes. What are the ceiling joist size, spacing and span? What are the header sizes over windows below this area? What roof type do you have?


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Old 12-08-2009, 06:56 PM   #3
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Call an architect.......

A structural engineer could answer the roof framing question too, but converting an attic space into livable area may involve other itmes that an architect can best answer: means of egress, minimum allowable fenestration for natural light, etc.

I have seen photos of attics like you have described. Although simple removal may not be allowable, framing knee walls and a flat ceiling into the space between the rafters may provide the same reinforcement the angular braces are currently providing.

You will need plans to obtain the various building permits. May as well have an architect create them. The initial look-see may be free if the roof framing is indeed trusses which cannot be modified.
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Old 12-08-2009, 06:57 PM   #4
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Ridge beam and main beam ----- sounds like stick framed roof. Does the ridge board run continuous to tie each rafter?

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Old 12-08-2009, 07:10 PM   #5
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Got pictures?
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Old 12-08-2009, 07:46 PM   #6
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Pictures would be great but there are a ton of issues with converting a attic space. Most of which a structural engineer would be needed to answer and sign off on before a permit would be issued. Some of which are #1.floor deflection and spanning. What is it going to be used for? A bedroom has a different load/span than just living space. #2.Egress. #3. Stairway and landings, it's a trouble spot with attic's. #4. Headroom, there are specific codes that need to be met for allowable ceiling height. #5. Insulation, if you do insulate to the new energy codes you will probably have to build down the roof rafters or if you get grandfathered in, one normally has to create pass by's to let the roof "breathe" to a ridge vent. #6. If you plan to hang drywall the extra load of the drywall has to be calculated in roof load. I guess I've gone on enough but you get the picture.
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Old 12-08-2009, 08:11 PM   #7
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All the truss members are subjected to bending or compressive forces, if it is designed correctly.
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Old 12-09-2009, 09:28 AM   #8
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These do not tie in each rafter, and some of the vertical 2x4's aren't even supporting wait. Some 2x4's are dangling from there nails on the Ridge Beam, not even supporting wait...really just dangling. Must be some sort of attic wind chime? lol.

yoyizit... the trusses are shaped like the "Home Girder" style...minus the smaller vertical studs.

I'm wanting to use this as a storage area, maybe even an extra room if possible. If I were placing a room in the attic with about 8' of head room, this attic would be 11' x 40'.

Here's a rough drawing I made...

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Old 12-09-2009, 09:49 AM   #9
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What is the lumber size of the rafter. It could be someone's attempt to stop a sagging ridge and rafters.
If the rafters are 2x4 then most likely it's a engineered truss.
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Old 12-09-2009, 10:13 AM   #10
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I'll climb up into my attic and find out the rafter size tonight. There's not a lot of light, but I'll also try to take a picture as well. I'm sure the rafters aren't 2x4's.
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Old 12-09-2009, 10:14 AM   #11
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You can tell if it is an engineered truss by looking at the connections between the 2x4 elements. If it is engineered, you will find stitch plates with gang nails connecting the elements, if you find ordinary nails it is a stick built truss.

Regardless, you stated that you may want to use the space as a room, or possibly for storage. If only for storage, you may be able to use it as is, however if you want it to be habitable, see previous posts, you are going to need professional assistance of the type not generally available over the internet in a DIY forum, as previously noted in several posts. In any case, removal of the diagonal elements without a careful, thorough, professional analysis would be very bad idea, likely to lead to great grief and consternation.
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Old 12-09-2009, 10:20 AM   #12
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There are no stitch plates. This is a poorly done stick built construction. Like I said...most of these are dangling. You're probably right. I need to hire someone to come out. I'm afraid of what the price would be just to have it evaluated, let alone have someone redraw some plans. Any ideas as to what to expect on pricing?
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Old 12-09-2009, 10:25 AM   #13
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Old 12-13-2009, 11:19 AM   #14
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they typically blocked up this way on long, undersized rafters. do not remove anything and have someone come out and look at it to evaluate.
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Old 12-14-2009, 12:43 PM   #15
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In my house the rafters are undersized. They're true dimension 2x4s with a 15' span (about 20 feet long). Those 2x4s that go up on an angle serve to cut the span. They didn't put one on every rafter, but there are various pieces nailed across the rafters that seem to effectively distribute the load. Well, that, and the tongue and groove decking.

Measure the span of your rafter, and look it up in a span chart. If your rafters are undersized for the span, then the 2x4's are there to prevent sag.


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