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Old 12-29-2011, 03:15 PM   #1
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Flush Beam Installation


Since I've decided to add a level, I'm considering installing a flush beam instead of placing the beam above the joists (blind header - removing interior bearing wall). Besides the fact that the flush beam installation is governed by the prescriptive code, the fact that I now want to support more than just the ceiling and storage makes me more comfortable with conventional framing.

Before I cut the existing unsupported 2x4 ceiling joists, I plan to install 2x4 collar ties about 2' from the bottom of the ridge board (top plate to the top of the ridge measures around 6').

I was thinking of sistering my new 2x10 ceiling joists to the existing 2x4 joists, but the dissimilar heights of the joists seems a little messy in a joist hanger.

My questions follow:

1. Am I missing anything with the collar ties?

2. Should I slide a block of 2x6 in a double joist hanger to make up the height difference between the 2x4 and the 2x10, should I hang the old and the new joists seperately (not sistered), or should I just rip out the 2x4s and start from scratch with the 2x10s?

3. Other than the collar ties, temporary support for the old ceiling joists, and blocking under the point loads, have I covered my bases on maintaining the integrity of the structure?

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Old 12-29-2011, 03:30 PM   #2
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Flush Beam Installation


If you are putting the collar ties to keep the walls from falling in or out while you cut the 2x4 joists, I would nail them as low as practical.

Your 2x4 joists are probably nailed to the rafters, so if you want to keep the roof while framing the new floor, I would leave them. If you keep the roof, though, wouldn't your new 2x10s not fit all the way to the plates without cutting their ends to fit under the roof?

Isn't this better done in the summer?

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Old 12-29-2011, 04:10 PM   #3
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Flush Beam Installation


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If you are putting the collar ties to keep the walls from falling in or out while you cut the 2x4 joists, I would nail them as low as practical.

Your 2x4 joists are probably nailed to the rafters, so if you want to keep the roof while framing the new floor, I would leave them. If you keep the roof, though, wouldn't your new 2x10s not fit all the way to the plates without cutting their ends to fit under the roof?

Isn't this better done in the summer?
The additional level will probably not go up for another year at least. In the meantime, I need to rearrange some of the partitions on the main floor, replace drywall, and hang cabinets, etc. Having the new ceiling joists in place is will facilitate all that work. I hate to clip the ends of my future floor joists, but I believe that I'll maintain enough depth to comply with the IRC. (What do I do with 2x4 ceiling joists?)

I guess I'll drop the collar ties a little lower. I imagine I can do most of the work from below.

Summer would be a lot better for this work, but I want to have everything ready for the roof tearoff well in advance. I don't want to run out of money or run into a building department issue that pushes me into next winter with no roof! .

Last edited by benjamincall; 12-29-2011 at 04:13 PM.
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Old 12-29-2011, 04:54 PM   #4
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Benjamin, why don't you get this designed by someone, then take it to the Building Department and have them O.K. it?

Even if you don't do some part of the work until next year they will be O.K. with it.

Andy.
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Old 12-29-2011, 06:55 PM   #5
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first off, i dont get why your going to install collar ties if your going to add another level as it sounds like your only going to be cutting the roof off

second, unless you have full access where these new ceiling joists are going such as the ability to manuever 2x10's around without any restriction your only asking for annoyances.. you need to be able to get right in where their going to properly fasten them and see if their sitting where they should. and no stacking a 2x6 on top of a 2x4 will not work, it will not pass an inspection

regarding a flush beam, it can be done however you have to make sure it can handle the intended loads provided your matching the dimension of the beam to the joists.. because if its not strong enough you will need a engineered beam which will be either lvl or glulam which can either be up above the tops of the joists or end up being a dropped beam

your best bet is to plan now for a spring reno or have a contractor tackle this project, this sorta thing typically involves having to move out for a few weeks do to the house not being in a live in state. i do this type of renovation on a regular basis and almost every time as soon as full on demolition starts the homeowner is out of the house
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Old 12-29-2011, 09:13 PM   #6
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Flush Beam Installation


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Originally Posted by AndyGump View Post
Benjamin, why don't you get this designed by someone, then take it to the Building Department and have them O.K. it?

Even if you don't do some part of the work until next year they will be O.K. with it.

Andy.
I appreciate the feedback Andy. I was under the impression based on my discussions with the BD that my project falls within the prescriptive provisions of the IRC. I have someone who can look over a sketch, but I'm not sure I can afford an architect.

Last edited by benjamincall; 12-29-2011 at 10:10 PM.
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Old 12-29-2011, 10:03 PM   #7
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Flush Beam Installation


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Originally Posted by woodworkbykirk View Post
first off, i dont get why your going to install collar ties if your going to add another level as it sounds like your only going to be cutting the roof off

second, unless you have full access where these new ceiling joists are going such as the ability to manuever 2x10's around without any restriction your only asking for annoyances.. you need to be able to get right in where their going to properly fasten them and see if their sitting where they should. and no stacking a 2x6 on top of a 2x4 will not work, it will not pass an inspection

regarding a flush beam, it can be done however you have to make sure it can handle the intended loads provided your matching the dimension of the beam to the joists.. because if its not strong enough you will need a engineered beam which will be either lvl or glulam which can either be up above the tops of the joists or end up being a dropped beam

your best bet is to plan now for a spring reno or have a contractor tackle this project, this sorta thing typically involves having to move out for a few weeks do to the house not being in a live in state. i do this type of renovation on a regular basis and almost every time as soon as full on demolition starts the homeowner is out of the house
The collar ties would go in simply to stop the walls from spreading while I cut joists. I was kind of hoping to remove the beam and reinforce the ceiling so I can finish the flooring, finish moving the kitchen to the other side of the house, and wrap up some other interior projects. I'm reluctant to fully commit to the new roof because I'm afraid I'll have another unexpected surgery sprung on me and I won't be able to finish the project (the family's had five within the past four months).

Fortunately the beam will be spanning only 13'10", tops. I found a table that says a five ply 2x10 beam will get me there. I think I'll have a PE friend at work look at what I'm doing with the beam. Having to buy an LVL beam isn't the end of the world, but a built up beam is easier to move and pretty inexpensive.

Hopefully if keep the collar ties at a reasonable height and I tear out all the sagging 3/8" drywall I'll have adequate access to the work area. I really wish I could bring in a contractor for this part of the job, but I'm trying to save money for the roof cutter and the escavation contractor. Since I work at a snails pace, I should be wrapping up the ceiling joists and the beam around the time we're thawing out around here.

So, I guess the reccomendation would be to center the 2x10s in between the 2x4s instead of sistering the 2x10s and using a double hanger?

Thanks for taking the time to respond!

Last edited by benjamincall; 12-29-2011 at 10:18 PM.
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Old 12-29-2011, 11:24 PM   #8
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Flush Beam Installation


Hiring a designer or an Architect would probably save you money in the long run, that is part of what we are there for.

Andy.
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Old 12-30-2011, 03:09 AM   #9
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Flush Beam Installation


Trying to install that beam with the old roof on is going to take much longer and will be a pain in the ass when compared to waiting for good weather. If you are confident that you can do it by yourself (I can tell that you are), you should have the confidence also to cut and install your own rafters with a helper.

I suggest that you wait for dry weather, and use the money you have for a roof framer to hire a smart, strong dayworker. The two of you together, without the old roof in the way, can have that new floor framed in a couple of days, and frame the walls and roof in another week.

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