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Old 11-19-2010, 09:40 PM   #1
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Hitting a Joist when installing a recessed light?


I am installing a recessed light in my hallway of my house. I cut the hole and I look up and there is a joist. I cannot got to the left or right of it because I will be off center off the rest of the lights in the hallway. My Uncle installed the first recessed light for me and he told me he had to cut some wood. Which he did not tell me it was the joist, and then he installed a recessed light for me. But I tried to avoid the joice and used a stud finder, and it did not beep so I cut the hole and came to find out I hit the joist, and the joist runs center down the hallway. So if I put it to the left or right I will be off center off the other recessed light. So is it ok for me to cut the joist? I do not want anything to happen to my roof. If I would of known that my Uncle hit a joist when he was installing the first recessed light, I would have told him stop? But now I have a hallway with one recessed light and two more that need to be installed. What do I need to do?
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Old 11-19-2010, 09:48 PM   #2
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Hitting a Joist when installing a recessed light?


I think you need to rethink your plan. Cutting joists without replacing how they support the load can lead to failure of the structure. Might be time to call a good carpenter or structural engineer to design how to frame this.
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Old 11-19-2010, 10:46 PM   #3
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Hitting a Joist when installing a recessed light?


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But now I have a hallway with one recessed light and two more that need to be installed.
Joe
and very likely a compromised joist. You need a qualified person to inspect this and see if it is a problem. If the joist in in the center of the hallway, I don't see how uncle could have installed the light without cutting clear through the joist. Definitely not a good thing, especially with winter and the snow load coming on fast.

so, what to do about the lighting.

If you do not want the lights off center, there is likely a ton of work to do with the framing.

I would suggest using small diameter cans and use 5 or 6 of them placed 1/3 of the width of the hall from each wall. If using 6, place them in pairs. You might be able to use 5 and stagger them. It's up to the installer or owner to decide on designs such as that/
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Old 11-19-2010, 10:55 PM   #4
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Hitting a Joist when installing a recessed light?


If he installed it and hit a joist, then chances are you just hit that same joist if it's running parallel to the lights. Probably a case of bad luck that this joist is running dead center. Either add 2 lights at a time (one on each side) or just make them slightly off center and hope nobody notices.
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Old 11-19-2010, 11:08 PM   #5
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Hitting a Joist when installing a recessed light?


Most people I know are FAR better at BS'ing their way through carpentry than wiring. Almost everyone I know can frame a wall (even if the result does make you wonder if the installer was drunk) but very few can wire a 3-way light switch...

SOOO, extending my "Western Maine middle-of-nowhere" logic to the rest of the world... if you can get the recessed cans up there, you oughtta be able to work out installing a couple beams the opposite direction to transfer the load to the joists to either side of the one you have to alter.
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Old 11-20-2010, 12:58 AM   #6
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Hitting a Joist when installing a recessed light?


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and very likely a compromised joist. You need a qualified person to inspect this and see if it is a problem. If the joist in in the center of the hallway, I don't see how uncle could have installed the light without cutting clear through the joist. Definitely not a good thing, especially with winter and the snow load coming on fast.

so, what to do about the lighting.

If you do not want the lights off center, there is likely a ton of work to do with the framing.

I would suggest using small diameter cans and use 5 or 6 of them placed 1/3 of the width of the hall from each wall. If using 6, place them in pairs. You might be able to use 5 and stagger them. It's up to the installer or owner to decide on designs such as that/
Definatly a better Idea then Reframing structural support. Perhaps Puck lights could work maybe a foot off either side of the hallway so you would have 4 puck lights instead of 2 recessed lights.
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Old 11-20-2010, 07:08 AM   #7
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Hitting a Joist when installing a recessed light?


Remove light installed by your uncle, figure out how to re strengthen the joist he cut, plan new lighting layout , install lights to new layout without disturbing any framing, Possible surface mount fixtures or small fixture to fit.
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Old 11-20-2010, 07:14 AM   #8
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Hitting a Joist when installing a recessed light?


Determine whether or not it is a joist or the bottom chord of a truss. If it's only a ceiling joist of a joist and rafter roof system it could be insignificant. If it is a truss system for the roof it could be more of a problem. If the joist and or truss is resting on interior partitions your issue could also be minor.
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Old 11-20-2010, 10:38 AM   #9
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Hitting a Joist when installing a recessed light?


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and very likely a compromised joist. You need a qualified person to inspect this and see if it is a problem. If the joist in in the center of the hallway, I don't see how uncle could have installed the light without cutting clear through the joist. Definitely not a good thing, especially with winter and the snow load coming on fast.

so, what to do about the lighting.

If you do not want the lights off center, there is likely a ton of work to do with the framing.

I would suggest using small diameter cans and use 5 or 6 of them placed 1/3 of the width of the hall from each wall. If using 6, place them in pairs. You might be able to use 5 and stagger them. It's up to the installer or owner to decide on designs such as that/
Thanks, I appreciate the post, it's going to really help me out. I think I will stagger the lights down the hallway. I live in lower Alabama so I do not think I have to worry about snow down here.
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Old 11-22-2010, 08:27 PM   #10
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Hitting a Joist when installing a recessed light?


Personally I would relocate the first light and patch the hole and place the other lights alongside the joist. Always a good idea to make a small 1/4" hole and insert a fishtape or even a coat hanger and check the radius of the planned hole before proceeding. A lot easier to patch the 1/4" hole if you find that there is a problem.

In the future you probably should not have your uncle helping you on projects like this. If he sees what you have to do to fix his shortcut maybe he will appreciate why.
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