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Old 11-08-2011, 10:05 PM   #1
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adding a second story on top of 2x4 studs?


A little background; Another bedroom will be needed if the family is to grow further. For some reason I had always planned on 3 kids. Child #2 is almost here and its a 2 bedroom house. It dawned on me that the best place to add on to this house would be over the master bedroom and enclosed porch/sun room (looks to have the better foundation of 2 additions) with a stairway going where the 2nd bedroom's closet is. I also need to do some roof work before too long and my planned new roof line would fix up a real ugly area in the roof, not to mention eliminate 2 valleys. The major downsides are; I am not sure the house is worth it (the original part of the house is far from square, plumb and level and there have already been a couple rounds of rot repair) and I am pretty sure the existing walls are 2x4 studs. I'd definitely feel much better about doing it if it had 2x6 studs, but can 2x4s support a second story?

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Old 11-08-2011, 10:30 PM   #2
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adding a second story on top of 2x4 studs?


Many 2 story homes only have 2x4 framing on the first floor so that in itself isn't a problem. Whether you can put on a second floor depends on how the framing and the ceiling area was built, not on the materials. You will certainly have to have a structural engineer evaluate your existing structure before deciding if a second floor is possible.

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Old 11-08-2011, 10:38 PM   #3
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adding a second story on top of 2x4 studs?


Quote:
Originally Posted by forresth
A little background; Another bedroom will be needed if the family is to grow further. For some reason I had always planned on 3 kids. Child #2 is almost here and its a 2 bedroom house. It dawned on me that the best place to add on to this house would be over the master bedroom and enclosed porch/sun room (looks to have the better foundation of 2 additions) with a stairway going where the 2nd bedroom's closet is. I also need to do some roof work before too long and my planned new roof line would fix up a real ugly area in the roof, not to mention eliminate 2 valleys. The major downsides are; I am not sure the house is worth it (the original part of the house is far from square, plumb and level and there have already been a couple rounds of rot repair) and I am pretty sure the existing walls are 2x4 studs. I'd definitely feel much better about doing it if it had 2x6 studs, but can 2x4s support a second story?
Yes..the are millions of two story homes with 2x4 walls on the first floor. That is never an issue even if you use 2x6 walls for the second floor...non issue.
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Old 11-08-2011, 10:51 PM   #4
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adding a second story on top of 2x4 studs?


That's one hurdle out of the way. Thanks. I guess I am just used to seeing 2x4s in non-load-bearing walls.

as far as the framing and ceiling; I planned on sistering the new floor joists to the old ceiling joists. What else do I have to worry about in that regard?
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Old 11-08-2011, 11:17 PM   #5
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adding a second story on top of 2x4 studs?


Start at the bottom. The foundation. Is it strong enough/ large enough to support the extra weight of the second floor.
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Old 11-09-2011, 06:46 AM   #6
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adding a second story on top of 2x4 studs?


The age of the house--and the type of original framing would help----Is the old house 'Balloon'
framed?

Pictures help,too.
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Old 11-09-2011, 08:13 AM   #7
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adding a second story on top of 2x4 studs?


As Joed said, check the foundation. I'd be surprised if it was able to support another story as it's not an actual framed room. Many of these start life out as a concrete patio and evolve from there into enclosed porches.
I'd have the foundation checked to see if it can handle the additional load.
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Old 11-09-2011, 10:55 AM   #8
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adding a second story on top of 2x4 studs?


Quote:
Originally Posted by oh'mike View Post
The age of the house--and the type of original framing would help----Is the old house 'Balloon' framed?
I've never seen a single story home that was Balloon framed, is it even possible?
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Old 11-09-2011, 03:24 PM   #9
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adding a second story on top of 2x4 studs?


It is mainly on a basement with some sections of crawl space. The foundations are 8" or more thick. Even the chicken coop/shed is on a full basement with an 8" foundation
Its not the prettiest concrete work I've seen, but I sunk a bunch of concrete anchors in one section and it all seams solid enough.

The porch is a bit lower than the bedroom. Under the porch and the first few feet of that side of the bedroom is a dirt floor root cellar, and a crawl space under the rest of the bedroom. Weird, I know. I would end up with 3 load bearing walls (the same walls that currently support the roof) with the middle one cantilevered a few feet from its foundation and a couple of posts supporting what I'd call "sortof" beams. I could detect no flex with fat people (myself included) walking around or jumping on it as it is now. It is certainly not the way I'd have done it if I was starting from scratch, but it seams solid.

How could a single story be balloon? do you mean the short section of wall that encloses the attic? The joists are and will be on top of the adjacent walls, so I don't see it as much of an issue either way.
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Old 11-09-2011, 05:09 PM   #10
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adding a second story on top of 2x4 studs?


Quote:
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I've never seen a single story home that was Balloon framed, is it even possible?
We have a lot of bungalows around here with shallow basements and a Knee wall holding the windows --most are balloon framed and require beefing up the knee wall portion before a second floor can go on.
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Old 11-09-2011, 06:23 PM   #11
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adding a second story on top of 2x4 studs?


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Originally Posted by oh'mike View Post
We have a lot of bungalows around here with shallow basements and a Knee wall holding the windows --most are balloon framed and require beefing up the knee wall portion before a second floor can go on.
That makes sense, but not the case with my house.
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Old 11-09-2011, 10:03 PM   #12
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adding a second story on top of 2x4 studs?


Two things to watch for:

1. Check locally, if supporting one floor and a roof, the 2x4 exterior studs require less than 24” on center; http://publicecodes.citation.com/ico...002_par006.htm

2. R602.3.3 Bearing studs. Where joists, trusses or rafters are spaced more than 16 inches (406 mm) on center and the bearing studs below are spaced 24 inches (610 mm) on center, such members shall bear within 5 inches (127 mm) of the studs beneath.

Exceptions:

1. The top plates are two 2-inch by 6-inch (38 mm by 140 mm) or two 3-inch by 4-inch (64 mm by 89 mm) members.
2. A third top plate is installed.
3. Solid blocking equal in size to the studs is installed to reinforce the double top plate. From: http://publicecodes.citation.com/ico...002_par008.htm


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