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Old 12-13-2010, 11:47 AM   #1
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capacity of 2x4 walls for new roof attic trusses


My bungalow is 36ft x 32ft with the standard Howe trusses spanning the 36ft side. I would like to swap out the Howe trusses for some attic trusses which would give me a 2nd storey living area. Seeing that the house was built in the 60's, the walls are 2x4, 16'' oc. My question is, what are the chances that the 2x4 walls will be strong enough to take the new loading of heavier trusses, higher roof and additonal 2nd storey loading. Standard 8ft ceiling. Snow loading in my region is 60lbs/sq.ft.

I guess the obvious choice will be to have a structural firm confirm this, but if anyone has experience, your input is much appreciated.

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Old 12-13-2010, 11:58 AM   #2
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capacity of 2x4 walls for new roof attic trusses


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Originally Posted by Soccerfan8 View Post
My bungalow is 36ft x 32ft with the standard Howe trusses spanning the 36ft side. I would like to swap out the Howe trusses for some attic trusses which would give me a 2nd storey living area. Seeing that the house was built in the 60's, the walls are 2x4, 16'' oc. My question is, what are the chances that the 2x4 walls will be strong enough to take the new loading of heavier trusses, higher roof and additonal 2nd storey loading. Standard 8ft ceiling. Snow loading in my region is 60lbs/sq.ft.

I guess the obvious choice will be to have a structural firm confirm this, but if anyone has experience, your input is much appreciated.
Welcome to the forum.

You just answered your own question.

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Old 12-13-2010, 01:32 PM   #3
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capacity of 2x4 walls for new roof attic trusses


Adding a 2nd floor you have to worry about the foundation load too
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Old 12-13-2010, 02:45 PM   #4
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capacity of 2x4 walls for new roof attic trusses


The foundation may not be a problem but the studs will because of the roof span. Check with your local B.D.

Changing to attic trusses may not require many changes as that may still be considered an attic, not a new second story. http://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&q=cache:EJENK_uA9RQJ:www.cr-ar.com/pdfs/Building%2520Code%2520Changes.pdf+R602.3(1)+2006&h l=en&gl=us&pid=bl&srcid=ADGEESh311Kosslp7jsjp9WhUX xZsgSiyNaWb-eW0YminVwmPUavLlW75BKLoV9em4LFCAydmTGQlkUFOPm8AqHk RP5wLQGQQGkwyzAGtlN4D2DqCiCLwprOpEbvvjeGk6CEhyHiVd tK&sig=AHIEtbRa4Ah_IICPQ3BR1txlzU01V4JQIg
2x4 at 24”o.c. will support a habitable attic up to 32’ span, Table R602.3(5), footnote9c0: http://publicecodes.citation.com/ico...002_par005.htm

The existing foundation may already be strong enough to handle an additional story (if labeled as such); it depends on the load bearing value of the soil: http://publicecodes.citation.com/ico...9_4_sec003.htm

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Old 12-13-2010, 04:51 PM   #5
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capacity of 2x4 walls for new roof attic trusses


Quote:
Originally Posted by Soccerfan8 View Post
My bungalow is 36ft x 32ft with the standard Howe trusses spanning the 36ft side. I would like to swap out the Howe trusses for some attic trusses which would give me a 2nd storey living area. Seeing that the house was built in the 60's, the walls are 2x4, 16'' oc. My question is, what are the chances that the 2x4 walls will be strong enough to take the new loading of heavier trusses, higher roof and additonal 2nd storey loading. Standard 8ft ceiling. Snow loading in my region is 60lbs/sq.ft.

I guess the obvious choice will be to have a structural firm confirm this, but if anyone has experience, your input is much appreciated.
You don't need an engineer, architect or anyone else to tell you if 2x4 walls can handle this. 2x4 walls go 2-3-4 stories. Doesn't matter what truss you use unless for some reason they tell you you need a 2x6 wall. Millions and millions on houses are built with 2x4 walls.

However, you do need an architect or engineer to do what you want to do. The 2x4 walls will never be an issue as far as handling 2nd story and any truss as far as I know.
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Old 12-13-2010, 04:57 PM   #6
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capacity of 2x4 walls for new roof attic trusses


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Adding a 2nd floor you have to worry about the foundation load too
Not in NJ. It must be a Regional thing because a foundation fpr a two story and one story are built the same. There are never any issues with a foundation for a one story house putting on a 2nd story.
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Old 12-13-2010, 06:09 PM   #7
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capacity of 2x4 walls for new roof attic trusses


Where I live a 2 story house foundation is different than a single story.

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