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kjwoodworking 01-27-2008 01:26 PM

Best way to add 2nd floor?
I live in an old home and have never seen one built like this. The original part of the home is 40'x40' and consists of four rooms at each corner and a 8' wide hallway down the middle. The exterior walls and the walls on each side of the hall sit on brick pillars. There is a 8"x8" beam as the bottom plate sitting on the pillars and 4"x6" studs on 3' center. About 5" up from the bottom plate is the floor. You can stick your hand above the bottom plate and up into the wall on the exterior walls and interior hall walls. All interior walls are tongue and groove pine that have been sheet rocked over.

The attic is huge. There is room for at least a 40'x20' room up there with side walls at 8'. The attic floor has beams around the exterior and beams down the hall like under the home, just not as big. The ceiling joist are 2" x 4 1/2" and on 2' center.

I want to know if I could add 2x12s going from the the exterior wall top plate across to the hall top plate for an upstairs floor?

The studs sit on the bottom plate and the floor end at the wall. you can see and stick your hand up in the wall.(I just can't get over that you can see up into the wall)

troubleseeker 01-27-2008 03:40 PM

There is only one answer to this question ever...only an engineer can tell you if your existing structure is strong enough to support the weight of a second story, and if not, what additional foundation/structural support work will be needed.
You have what is known as a "baloon framed" house, which means that the individual wall studs run the full height of the wall, from the sill (the 8 x 8 beam), all the way to the roof line. The two clues are the fact that you can stick your arm inside the open stud bays from below, and the visible bottoms of the studs running vertically down the side of the floor joists in the picture. This was typical style of framing when there was still an ample supply of long, straight lumber. The sheetrock is a modern "addition" to the walls, their original finish was the exposed t & g pine.

kjwoodworking 01-27-2008 03:49 PM

Thanks troubleseeker

I figured as much, but was kind of hoping for yea I did that and it worked great! Wishful thinking. You are right I need to do it the right way and safe.

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