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Truth 01-05-2012 09:07 AM

Garage ceiling joists and beam question
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I have a 19 x 20 garage we are finishing off. I wanted to originally vault the ceiling by putting rafter ties a 1/3 of the way up and remove the ceiling joists (at least the architect said I could). I just want a ceiling that is structurally sound. I currently have 2x6 rafters and ceiling joists 24" oc and a ridge board not a ridge beam. However under the ceiling joists I have a triple beam that runs perpendicular to the ceiling joists (and it's off centered). According to the span tables I would need at least 2x8 ceiling joists to support the 19' span. I bought 20' 2x10's to sister up to the 2x6's so if I wanted to store up to 20psf I could in the attic area. Here are my two dilemmas; 1. The beam running under the ceiling joists is held up by 2x4's on either side with another block piece of 2x4 sitting on top of the post (see picture, it's hideous). I've been told I can remove this beam if I install the proper ceiling joists but I want to make sure it's not going to affect the walls. So my first question is can this beam be removed if I sister up the ceiling joists? 2. There is an overhang on the exterior of the garage which does not follow the roof line and it cantilevers out from the garage and therefore I can not comprise the integrity of the overhang and thought keeping the interior ceiling flat is wise to sister the 2x10's to the existing 2x6's and cantilevered wood as well. How do I sister these? Any wise advise is helpful. Thank you so much! I hope I attached the pictures correctly (there are 4 pics)

joecaption 01-05-2012 09:14 AM

You have a working relationship with an on site architect and your asking us?
Why not run this by him.
Anyone here will just be gusssing because were not there to see it.

Truth 01-05-2012 09:46 AM

That architect saw the same pics I posted here and was kind enough to offer me the advice he did (free of charge). He was very kind to a lady in need :) I was hoping to gain some good advice here as I have been reading people's posts and it seems knowledgable folks are willing to offer good advice. I am limited in funds and was hoping for some advice here so if I must hire a structural engineer at least I know the right questions to ask in the hopes of minimizing my costs. I'm finishing this space to be our new church as we have outgrown my living room :)

joecaption 01-05-2012 09:51 AM

If it was mine I would remove that small block of wood and add a piece of 1/2 plywood then another 2 X 4 to give added support to the beam. Sheetrock on both sides of it and add 1 X pine around it to make it look like an exposed beam.

BigJim 01-05-2012 11:34 AM

You might not want to remove that 2X4 block without supporting the beam.

Truth 01-05-2012 11:55 AM

Thanks Jim. I would absolutely support it before I did anything. My main question is if I use the proper ceiling joists to handle the 20' span, sheetrock and possible attic storage can I remove the beam all together? Any thought?

Daniel Holzman 01-05-2012 03:42 PM

Of course you can reframe the space to achieve virtually any configuration you want, including removing the joists, removing the beam, raising the roof, adding collar ties etc. That is not the issue, if you have enough money you can do anything, including totally rebuilding the space. The issue is you are short on funds, and you are asking an internet chat forum for advice on a complex issue, specifically what is the most effective way to redesign your framing, in a manner that is cost effective, yet achieves your programming needs for a church. These questions are way beyond anything you can realistically get from an internet chat forum that caters to people who want to do their own work.

You are going to need to hire an architect to examine the space, understand your needs, understand your budget, and develop plans you can use. If necessary, the architect may need to hire a structural engineer to size the framing elements, develop the details, and formulate a construction plan. Even if someone on this forum is foolish enough to offer you advice on how to reframe your space, what are you going to do with that information? Build using an internet chat forum opinion? Bad plan. Bite the bullet, hire an architect, and get on with the design. And start by having them look at that bizarre looking connection between the 2x4 and the beam, for the life of me I can't figure out what is holding up that beam.

Truth 01-05-2012 07:34 PM

Thank you, I guess I deep down I knew that was the case but I was hoping someone could give me some rhyme or reason to what currently exists and the simplest possibility of how to remedy it so I can anticipate costs before investing in the structural engineer/architect. Thanks again, I appreciate your time and response!

BigJim 01-05-2012 07:52 PM


Originally Posted by Truth (Post 813314)
Thanks Jim. I would absolutely support it before I did anything. My main question is if I use the proper ceiling joists to handle the 20' span, sheetrock and possible attic storage can I remove the beam all together? Any thought?

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