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Old 08-03-2012, 12:44 PM   #1
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Carriage house stablization project

I have an old carriage house (c.a. ~1900’s) with a dual-pitch roof that I’m trying to stabilize, with a secondary intent to convert the upper floor into an entertainment area. I have very little funds to do the work with, thus the DIY approach. The south elevation is bowing considerably at the rafter/elevation intersection, the north elevation only a little, the west elevation and east facing façade are fine. The rafters pushing out on the walls seem to be the culprit, as the structure was built with no cross bracing. I’m currently in the process of slowly (over weeks) cinching the walls back in using wire cabling, which seems to be having the desired effect.
Once the walls are pulled back into place, I need to secure them in a fashion that will effectively hold them in place, but still allow functional use (and ascetic appearance) of the upper story. Placing cross beams would effectively preclude future use of the open space. The upper elevations are approx 3-1/2 ft above the existing floor to the rafters. My current thought is to have a custom steel square beam (4”x4”) or I-beam run across the floor (additional flooring will eventually be added for insulation purposes) with a 3 ft diagonal cross brace, so it would look something like this: |\________/|
The roof is currently covered in corrugated tin, but will be upgraded in the future to a steel roof.
So, my question is: Is the approach I’m taking sound, or is it bound to fail? Is the beam size large enough or do I need to consider larger?
Anyone have any ideas/suggestions? Keep in mind; I’m hoping to maintain the ascetics and usefulness of the upper interior. Pics of the structure can be viewed here via photobucket.

Thanks for any advice!


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Old 08-03-2012, 03:49 PM   #2
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welcome to the forum!

You may not like my post but here goes ..... you can see what you have, we cannot. the causes of your issues can be many, the cause could be rafter thrust from a sagging roof that may need a structural ridge beam. As the roof sags it pushes on the tops of the walls.

I understand money is tight, but I highly recommend contacting a local professional engineer to evaluate your structure and prepare a plan of action. You can "try" various fixes and spend money on them only to find out what you fixed was not the cause. Would hate to see you waste money and time and still have the same problem. Depending on what your engineer comes up with you may still be able to do the work yourself, or with some knowledgeable friends, but at least it would be done properly the first time.

The money you pay a professional engineer will save you money and time with the repairs.

Just my humble opinion, good luck!



"You get what you pay for, and sometimes free costs more!"
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