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Old 04-05-2012, 09:29 PM   #1
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Double top plates and lintels


I have a load bearing wall that currently has a 3ft opening in it. I would like to expand the opening to 5ft and have worked out that a 7" lvl would be loaded at 40%. The wall is in my basement and I would like to free up some headroom. So I guess I have three questions
1.) Is it with code to remove one of the top plates and use 18" steel ties to secure the remaining top plate to the lvl?
2.) Would it be up to code to remove both top plates?
3.) Do I need the joints to end up under a joist or can they end up anywhere?



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Old 04-06-2012, 01:41 PM   #2
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Double top plates and lintels


Probably not what you want to hear, but your BEST bet would be to contact your local building department. Codes vary from state to state, even county to county. People here can venture their best guess as to whether your plan is acceptable, but it may not meet code requirements and could lead to liability down the road. Another option is to contact a structural engineer. For a fee he can verify your plan meets local code requirements.....

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Old 04-06-2012, 05:48 PM   #3
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Double top plates and lintels


Quote:
Originally Posted by ppeetteerr
I have a load bearing wall that currently has a 3ft opening in it. I would like to expand the opening to 5ft and have worked out that a 7" lvl would be loaded at 40%. The wall is in my basement and I would like to free up some headroom. So I guess I have three questions
1.) Is it with code to remove one of the top plates and use 18" steel ties to secure the remaining top plate to the lvl?
2.) Would it be up to code to remove both top plates?
3.) Do I need the joints to end up under a joist or can they end up anywhere?

Thanks
Call your building inspector and ask.
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Old 04-06-2012, 06:30 PM   #4
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Double top plates and lintels


never have a joint over a header on a top plate unless you have a 2nd plate that runs continously across it. if you dont it will create a pivot point making it harder to keep the wall straight . framing 101
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Old 04-06-2012, 06:54 PM   #5
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Double top plates and lintels


If you are a licensed engineer, or you hire a licensed engineer, you can use any framing technique at all that is drawn up and stamped by the engineer, including one top plate, two top plates, or no top plate. If you elect not to hire an engineer, you need to check with your local building inspector, as previously discussed, to see what they want to see. I have designed several unusual framing techniques for special conditions, and since I stamped the plans, the building inspector had no problem with any of them.
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Old 04-06-2012, 07:24 PM   #6
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Double top plates and lintels


There might be a prescriptive solution for this. Look under "Wood structural Panel Box Header".

Your Building Department will have to approve it of course.

Andy.
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Old 04-06-2012, 08:01 PM   #7
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Double top plates and lintels


Thanks for your input. The local building code department is rather friendly and before I change anything, I will have them give me an answer. However, I prefer to approach them with a reasonable answer as opposed to fishing for an answer. We use the 2009 International residential code.

I looked up the wood structural Panel Box Header and the 9" option it is not rated for the span I'm looking for.
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Old 04-06-2012, 09:59 PM   #8
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Double top plates and lintels


for use as said above if there is a joint it would need doubled, or single if no joint.
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Old 04-07-2012, 09:10 AM   #9
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Double top plates and lintels


flitch plate
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Old 04-12-2012, 11:17 PM   #10
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Double top plates and lintels


Ask your Building Department if you can install it in the floor space above. They will have the "paper trail" you need for H.O. Insurance carrier (if ever a claim) and when you go to sell.

Gary

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