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Old 04-12-2011, 12:08 PM   #1
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2nd Floor temporary access openings

Looking for some insights on a project I'm considering.

I'm updating my two-story house, new floor coverings, adding a closet, etc., and have been considering adding a central vac and some structured wiring accessories. Problem is, I have no crawlspace (slab on grade) and there are limitations to what I could do in the upstairs attic. I'm wondering if it would be okay to make some temporary openings in the second floor deck, for running wires and pipe. My floor is 3/4" (nom) OSB over 2X10 joists, 12" and 16" oc. The finished floor covering will probably be carpet. Here's a sketch showing general layout, floor panels in black, frame in blue, suggested cutouts in red and some nearby upstairs partition walls in green:
Name:  2ndFloorStructure.jpg
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Here's a sketch detailing a typical opening:
Name:  CutOutDetailTypical.jpg
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My questions:
  • Is this legit, is it something that is ever done?
  • Or, will I compromise the structure somehow?
  • Is there a better way?
  • Have I left something out that's necessary?
I was thinking of making plunge cuts with a circular saw, but because of the saw kerf, I'd probably need to get new OSB to close the openings. So I'm also wondering if I used a jigsaw with it's thinner blade, if I might be able to get away with simply re-using the cut-out piece to close the opening when done. All seams would be caulked.

Thanks for the help.


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Old 04-12-2011, 12:30 PM   #2
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I think for some of the smaller holes you'd be okay, though I,d use bigger nailers than 2x3.

For that group in the middle I think it would be easier to cut 1 big hole.

I,m sure you'll get other opions.


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Old 04-13-2011, 01:34 PM   #3
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Okay, I'll consider using 2X4's for the nailers. I might have to slightly notch a few of them where PVC fittings will be, but that's no problem, and it will give me a greater contact surface for the construction adhesive.

The group in the middle, yes, that's kind of a dilemma for me, because I'm not sure whether the OSB was glued and nailed, or just nailed. If it is glued (as I would think it would be) I don't want to have any trouble with that, so that's why I considered the individual holes.

I'm also wondering if I ought to bridge between the nailers with some extra 2X material just to ensure the cutout is linked up well to the rest of the floor.

Anyone ever do anything like this?
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Old 04-13-2011, 08:03 PM   #4
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you will want to "bridge" between the nailers. The floor will be spongy along the seams if you don't.
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Old 04-15-2011, 11:42 AM   #5
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Thanks, I think that is a good idea. I'll figure out a way to get some good support across the joist bays, and probably glue and screw to the floor at the seams, as well.

So I'm just kind of wondering... Is my overall idea sound? Or am I thinking of something here that no one in their right mind would consider...
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