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Old 02-02-2010, 08:35 PM   #1
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Finishing and reframing upper level


I'm considering purchasing a home that has a partially finished attic, similar to the one pictured. The subject home is a one story home. I'm wanting to remove the finished part in the attic and build walls straight up along the exterior walls, and then install new trusses and a new roof. Currently the roof is shot and some of the existing trusses may be bad too. The goal is to double the living space by adding to the top of the home. Is it likely that the structure should be able to support the additional load? Yes, I will obviously need permits and maybe an engineer. Thanks for your insights.




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Old 02-02-2010, 09:08 PM   #2
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Finishing and reframing upper level


Yes on the Engineer. They will be the ones to say what needs to be done to add a floor.

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Old 02-02-2010, 10:02 PM   #3
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Finishing and reframing upper level


Depends on the stud size and spacing, and the width of your footing. If you had 2 x 4 walls spaced 2' o.c, then I don't think you can put a second floor on that. As for the footings, last time I checked, a one story house requires 12" footings, 2 story 16" footings. So you may run into a problem if the footings are only 12", but a lot of times they make exceptions on remodels.
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Old 02-02-2010, 10:03 PM   #4
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Finishing and reframing upper level


This is my opinion and my OPINION ONLY.

Houses are built on 2x4 construction all over the place NEW and OLD. The reason new houses in the northeast are built with 2x6 is because we require R19 and till recently with spray foam that could only be achieved with R19 batt insulation.

So if the walls of your home are stick built with standard 2x4 construction there is no reason why you shouldnt be able to blow off the roof, confirm the old ceiling joists will be able to be used as floor joists for the NEW second floor, install rim joists, 3/4" T&G flooring, new walls and a new roof.

That is all assuming the foundation is structurally sound, there are footings and they are sufficient. There will be added weight that could cause cracking in the first floor drywall/plaster due to some addition settling (unlikely) if its an older home.

Please again read this is my opinion as someone who has as structural engineering degree, 6 years commercial construction experience and countless home remodels under my belt. I am not a PE but I have seen this type of thing done time and time again on older homes and I have never had an issue.

Typically and architect (who you will have to hire if your town requires drawings) can look at this issue and size things up properly unless your town requires stamped engineered drawings.

Everywhere is different. good luck
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