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Old 12-17-2013, 05:30 PM   #1
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Double top plate joint is unsupported, sagging.


I am demoing the old finished areas of my basement to studs, doing a seismic retrofit, and then refinishing the rooms. I have found a couple of areas of concern. First, as the pictures show, the double top plate is serving as the header for the 4' long window, and to make matters worse, there is a joint in the lower top plate (above first pane on the left) and the area is sagging about a 1/2". I have no idea why they built it like that. The house is 90 years old and the sag is not noticeable upstairs. I was thinking of jacking it back to level and installing a long piece of 3 1/2" angle iron under the top plate from stud to stud on either side of the window. What is the best way to correct this situation? Thanks.
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Old 12-17-2013, 06:02 PM   #2
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Double top plate joint is unsupported, sagging.


I can think of two ways to properly address your situation: remove the window altogether and install full length studs, or replace the window with a smaller one and install a header. An angle iron is not going to fix the problem. It may reduce the deflection a bit, but that will continue to be a dangerous area. A steel beam will give you the most clearance for a new window, but of course that will require some engineering and sourcing (not like you can pick one up at Home Depot). Second best is engineered lumber: PSL or LVL. The latter you may be able to size yourself: http://parr.com/PDFs/LP%20LVL%201.9E.pdf

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Old 12-17-2013, 07:23 PM   #3
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Double top plate joint is unsupported, sagging.


I don't see how it's that dangerous, it made it thru 48, 64 and '01.
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Old 12-17-2013, 07:31 PM   #4
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Double top plate joint is unsupported, sagging.


I have added a built-up header using the rim joist as the outside piece. Support the joists, cut back the drywall to work, measure/cut the joists back for two more joists sandwiched to the rim- nailing each at install, add the hangers and some lag bolts and construction adhesive to make a single header. Plates would be filler. You really need an egress sized window or door for the new space to meet minimum fire-safety code and liability with your HO Insurance. Give yourself an 1/8" play from header/joist clearance. http://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&q=...33otStRi7Aff7g

Check local AHJ; http://publicecodes.cyberregs.com/ic...9_5_par024.htm

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Old 12-17-2013, 07:34 PM   #5
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Double top plate joint is unsupported, sagging.


Anti -

That is a poor excuse. Just because it has lasted a few years does not mean it is safe. What if the floors above were ever loaded to code loads now what would happen? If it already showing movement, it is not right.

Judging by the photo there are already some questions on the continuity and connections if it is a bearing wall

Maybe someone could say the owners were just lucky.
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Old 12-18-2013, 01:00 AM   #6
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Double top plate joint is unsupported, sagging.


Thanks for the input everybody. Having an old house means finding creative solutions sometimes, as much as that pains me to say it. Might have a closer look at Gary's solution.
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Old 12-18-2013, 08:26 AM   #7
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Double top plate joint is unsupported, sagging.


isn't it headered at the rim joist running over the double plates, doubled up rim joist possibly over the window. no need for a header in that case...
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Old 12-18-2013, 08:45 AM   #8
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Double top plate joint is unsupported, sagging.


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Originally Posted by hand drive View Post
isn't it headered at the rim joist running over the double plates, doubled up rim joist possibly over the window. no need for a header in that case...
Sorry for jumping in on this question. Just my observation...

If you look closely, those are 2x4 walls, and you can see the joists resting on the top plates (with more than 1/2" bearing). That can only mean there's a single rim joist.
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Old 12-18-2013, 08:50 AM   #9
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Double top plate joint is unsupported, sagging.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary in WA View Post
Support the joists, cut back the drywall to work, measure/cut the joists back for two more joists sandwiched to the rim- nailing each at install, add the hangers and some lag bolts and construction adhesive to make a single header.
Brilliant idea! That's for sure the ticket.
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Old 12-18-2013, 10:58 AM   #10
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Double top plate joint is unsupported, sagging.


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Originally Posted by concretemasonry View Post
Anti -

That is a poor excuse. Just because it has lasted a few years does not mean it is safe. What if the floors above were ever loaded to code loads now what would happen? If it already showing movement, it is not right.

Judging by the photo there are already some questions on the continuity and connections if it is a bearing wall

Maybe someone could say the owners were just lucky.
You're assuming that the wall above is load bearing, which we don't know.
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Old 12-18-2013, 11:01 AM   #11
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Double top plate joint is unsupported, sagging.


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You're assuming that the wall above is load bearing, which we don't know.
The picture shows joists bearing on the wall. That makes it a load bearing wall.
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Old 12-18-2013, 11:08 AM   #12
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Double top plate joint is unsupported, sagging.


Your right, I need better eyes, monitor, glasses and a photo to look at.

I do know what a load bearing wall is.
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Old 12-18-2013, 12:40 PM   #13
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Double top plate joint is unsupported, sagging.


If you remove the long window, put a support in the center, and then put a narrower window on either side of the center support, that will go a long way towards stiffening up the double top plate.

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