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Old 02-16-2009, 04:24 PM   #1
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Another Joist Sistering question.


I've got a joist that I need to sister because it will be the landing at the top of a staircase.
The house is split down the middle where the joists on each side of the bearing wall overlap each other. The side of the joist I need to get the sister on on is the side that the opposing joist is on.
Can I put a 2x spacer every 16" between the two sistered joists? Is this the best way to handle this situation?
The only other thing I can think of is to move the joists on both sides of the bearing wall.

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Old 02-16-2009, 05:07 PM   #2
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Another Joist Sistering question.


I would just make it a triple. Put the first one on as far as you can in one solid piece. Pepper the hell out of it with nails. Then put the third one on so as to catch the top plate and the sill/top plate on the other end. Nail the hell out of this to catch the middle one. Or you could use 4" timberlocks or something long enough to go through all three.

Alternative: If your carrying wall is 2X6, you could probably cut 2 3/4" off the one joist in y our way, then have your one sister catch the 2 3/" on the top plate. would be more than enough.
Good luck.


Last edited by wombosi; 02-16-2009 at 05:18 PM.
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Old 02-16-2009, 05:19 PM   #3
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Another Joist Sistering question.


Thanks schmolze,
Are you saying the middle sister would not be bearing on anything; it's just there for a spacer? Sounds like the same concept. The problem is this is old stock and the actual dimensions are 1 3/4 x 7 1/4 ish. I don't have a recyclable old-stock 2x8 that's long enough.
It's bearing on a 2x4 wall.
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Old 02-16-2009, 05:24 PM   #4
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Another Joist Sistering question.


yeah, don't worry about the old stock, though you can still buy it at a few lumber yards.

yeah, just throw in some new 2X8s and make it a triple.

if this is a basement, or somewhere where you don't need elegance, you can even hang a short ledger off your wall and stick one sister on top of that.

i was just thinking, rather than have separate spacers, just make it three solid pieces. i don't think there would be any structural issue with having the middle one essentially sandwiched between two that are supported, as far as hanging a staircase is concerned.

maybe one of the engineers will chide me for that, but still...

if you can get a sawzall/chisel/razor knife in there and cut off 1 7/8" of the offending joist, it still leaves enough room for both joists.

i just hung a 2X12 in my garage recently. could only get about 2" onto the top plate because of the space and working the 20' piece of wood up onto it.

EDIT: if you're concerned about conserving wood, your 16" spacer idea is probably just fine, too. I would think one solid piece would be stronger, though.

Last edited by wombosi; 02-16-2009 at 05:29 PM.
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Old 02-16-2009, 06:41 PM   #5
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Another Joist Sistering question.


I do have topside access so chiseling out the neighboring joist won't be that difficult. I just want to make sure, is 1 3/4" bearing enough?
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Old 02-16-2009, 08:42 PM   #6
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Another Joist Sistering question.


in my non expert opinion it is plenty. (how big is the span for the 2X8)?

the fact that it's a 2X8 tells me the span shouldn't be much more than about 8' or so.

gotta think most joists on joist hangers probably have less than that. granted, they're also nailed into ledgers, but you can also toenail yours into the opposing joist, plus it will be sistered onto the joist with full coverage. more would be better, but i think 1 3/4" is fine. if it were only sitting on a ledger, as in typical deck construction, it would only be 1 1/2".

someone correct me if i'm wrong so i don't steer this guy in the wrong direction.


Last edited by wombosi; 02-16-2009 at 08:44 PM.
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