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jbowen 10-26-2012 04:43 AM

2nd Story Porch Connection?
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First post here, and let me take a quick second to say thank you to this forum. It's helped me with everything from running electrical service to my garage to replacing rotted sub-floor. I love these forums!

This is a 1925 house. Historically, there was a second story entrance to my house with the landing above the first story porch. The previous homeowner had a second story porch built on top of the second story landing.

The landing is 12' x 6'. The first story porch is part of the original foundation and the original landing was supported by a 2x6 frame attached to wall studs on the first floor with nails and corner 4x4's. The common joists of this landing were roughly 12" on center, but the contractor removed several so they are now 21"-23" on center.

The second story porch was built right on top of the 2x6 frame of the landing. The joists of the landing were parallel to the house exterior, but the floor of the new porch are perpendicular to the porch. No hanging brackets were used and no connection on the floor was used to connect to the house. This is my concern. It appears gravity is all that is holding the foundation of the second story porch onto the house. What is stopping it from pulling away? It looks like it may already be to some extent (though I suspect the 2x6 is warped instead).

To complicate it, the only part of the housing that I can see to attach to would be the original 2x6 frame of the landing. There is also a 5" gap between the beams.

I've mulled this over several days and my current plan is to take a 2x10 or 2x12 and cut out notches for the floor joists. I would then attach this to both 2x6's below to join them (carriage bolts would be best, or is nail/screw OK?). This would help prevent the porch from sliding away from the house and would give strength to the joists from pulling out. I could add hanging straps as well on the new board to attach to the joists. I'm also thinking about using RSS Structural Screws 3/8"x10" to attach the 2x10 and bottom 2x6 to the house.

Alternatives/concerns/comments? I can't imagine this is OK, but maybe it is and nothing needs to be done?

Thanks for any input!

joecaption 10-26-2012 09:07 AM

Pictures to small to see good.
Looks like your missing the 1/2 lag bolts to hold up the ledger.

jbowen 10-26-2012 10:22 AM

1 Attachment(s)
Sorry about the small size. Hopefully the image is better and I added some notes. I am concerned about the top. 2x6. There is nothing behind that to screw into. It is the space between the first and second floors. The bottom 2x6 does have something to screw into but there is a 5" gap.

joecaption 10-26-2012 02:14 PM

Short of being there to look over the whole big picture, here's some more guesses of things I'm seeing. No joist hangers, undersized floor joist.
Is this enclosed deck on the second floor? Trying to figure out why plywood was used.
Got a picture taken out in the yard so we can see the whole thing?

jbowen 10-26-2012 07:55 PM

2 Attachment(s)
Thanks for trying to understand the problem. It's taken me several days to think it over. Part of the joy of an old house if finding out what is behind the walls and ceilings!

The first picture is the outside. You can see the second story screened porch that was built on top. Yes, it overhangs by about 18" in all directions! Believe it or not they had a hot tub up there! The top frame is 2x6's all the way, but I think there's 1x10 or 2x10 behind that on the exterior. I can't see that part. The upper porch has 3/4" plywood for the floor.

The second picture is a view of the ceiling of the first floor. At the bottom left, you'll see the bottom 2x6. The add on porch joists were just put perpendicular to the joists below it.

As far as I can tell, the base of the second story porch is not attached to the house with anything more than 5-10 nails and gravity. Again, it's had a hot tub up there, so maybe I'm over thinking it - but this just doesn't seem safe.

As I mentioned previously, my approach is to take a 2x12 and notch out where the upper joists go. Then I'll attach it to the upper and bottom 2x6 and attach it to the house with 10" screws (RSS). There is something to screw into the bottom 2x6, but not the upper. Then I could add joist hangers to the upper joists and have some support to prevent the upper frame from sliding.

I'm here for ideas though and would welcome any.

joecaption 10-26-2012 08:10 PM

I'm just not seeing anything that was done to code so far.
From that set of steps with no stoop and no hand rails to the fact that second story cantilevered addition did not have the floor joist run into the main house. Even the way the floor joist looks funky to me.
One of the few times I'd suggest having an engineer come take a look at all this and come up with a plan.
No way anyone got any permits of this one.

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