Can I move/remove blocking?
I'm moving ductwork and pipes in preparation for a drywall ceiling for my basement finishing project. As shown in the attachment, I've got a duct that feeds a floor register at an exterior wall. Not only does this ductwork block the window, it drops 6" below the joists so it must go somewhere else. I've thought of a lot of different options, but what I'm down to is trying to move the 6" duct into the space that the blocking now occupies. I'd have to knock out about 5 of these, run the duct then add back smaller blocking pieces to give me something to nail my top plate into.
1) Is this blocking structural in any way? What's its purpose?
2) If so, what are the risks in removing it?
3) Any other ideas to more easily solve my problem?
Thanks for your help!
I'm not sure it's blocking. The cross bracing in the ceiling is metal, not wood. It looks as if there's another flooring system coming in from the side. The spacing is wider then the other floor structure, so I'd check it out first
What's on the other side of the wall?
It looks like it's the nailing connection to the top plate of the wall under it.
It isn't just regular blocking. It appears that the wall that these blocks go over is an exterior wall. If the outside joist, your box joist, actually hangs out past the lower wall framing, then that blocking is in place to keep the joist there. If not, then it is likely nothing more than backing for a future ceiling.
A better and simpler solution for backing (if that is in fact it's purpose) would have been a 2 x 4 nailed on top of the top plate and protruding an inch or so to act as the backer.
It is quite common for upper floors to extend out past a lower floor, but usually the distance is more than what appears to be there.
My best guess is that it is nothing more than backing.
As for the metal bridging, I see only one "X" and then a single piece in the next space. You might benefit from adding some decent blocking down the centerline of the joists, or even two rows if the span exceeds 14'.
Thanks guys... The wall is an exterior wall, and I have no reason to believe the joists extend out past the foundation wall. I have construction pictures at home that I'll go back and double-check, but I'm 99% sure of this. At this point I'm pretty comfortable with knocking these out then replacing them with single 2x4 backers once the duct has been run.
As far as the metal bridging goes, there's plenty of it there - it's just not shown very well in the picture.
The framers would have used a single 2x on top of the exterior wall and running with, for backing if they could have (paid by the sq.ft.). If the blocks are along running joists to the wall, it is for the floor diaphram shear flow, fig. #9; http://www.awc.org/pdf/WFCM_90-B-Guide.pdf They are probably nailed 4"o.c and spaced 4' or less on center. Years ago it was only required in the first bay, now two bays are Code, through the sub-floor. How far to continue both ducts down to the end wall, then use the same elbow system there, easier to box in....
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