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Old 01-29-2013, 10:07 AM   #1
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Joists sitting on 'lip' of center beam?


I didn't want to put two topics in one post. So doing a quick double post. Hope this doesn't violate a rule I've not read.

We have a laminated center beam that runs the length of the house. It is 3 full pc of 2x lumber, and then there is a lip nailed to the lower edge (see pic) on both sides. The joists butt up against the beam and are then notched to sit on the lip. The lip isn't even fully flush with the beam anymore in some spots (top is pulled away) and in some places it looks like the joists were never even relying on the lip. They are nailed to the beam with 4 nails. Two from each side.

I guess it has held for 72 years, but then again, some things take 73 years to fail. (Grandpa's liver, for one.... )

Is this a standard method? Should I go thru the basement and use some long screws to snug up the sill? As previous, should I just ignore and pray?

Thanks again. Just need some guidance or, moreso, reassurance.

Joist coming in from left. Beam on the right with 'lip'.

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Old 01-29-2013, 10:12 AM   #2
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Joists sitting on 'lip' of center beam?


if it were me, id be more worried about the cracked wood than that tiny gap

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Old 01-29-2013, 10:25 AM   #3
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Joists sitting on 'lip' of center beam?


Before there was joist hangers that's the way it was done to just hold the joist in place until they could be toe nailed in place.
It's also common to see them crack like that. Any time wood is notched like that there needed to be a hole drilled first where the to cuts intersect or it can crack along the grain.
If it was mine I would cut that 2 X 2 about 6" on each side and get it out of the way, shoot some Tite bond glue in the gap, use a bottle jack and a 4X 4 to lift the joist back in place and add an old work joist hanger to hold it in place.
Bet you will find that old lumber is wider then 1-1//2" that's why you need a wider hanger.
Once that one fails like that the others will follow since all the stress is now on them.
That tiny gap between the joist and the 2 X 2 does not matter.
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Old 01-29-2013, 07:18 PM   #4
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Joists sitting on 'lip' of center beam?


yup joes, right that tiny gap might just be from a notch that was overcut yet the top of the joist is still flush with the top of the beam

as for the splitting wood, thats normal for older wood, its simply from the wood drying out. if it runs the entire length of the joist then it would be a major concern but can be easily dealt with
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Old 01-30-2013, 10:15 AM   #5
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Joists sitting on 'lip' of center beam?


As an experiment of sorts, I jammed some 2x4s up into the joists that were cracked or didn't look solid. The upstairs hardwood floor had been very loud since we moved in with creaking.
Not surprisingly, supporting a few joists SILENCED the floor. SILENCE.

In doing this examination of the beam and joists, I've found a few more splits that coincide with a loud floor above. Going to reinforce and cross brace and call it a day. Hangers to be put up on the beam as needed.

I know it is such a basic and known thing, but to have such a simple solution make such a difference in the noise was amazing.
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Old 01-30-2013, 10:21 AM   #6
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Joists sitting on 'lip' of center beam?


Is that phone cord spliced together. Hope it is not lamp cord
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Old 01-30-2013, 10:24 AM   #7
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Joists sitting on 'lip' of center beam?


I'm picturing a 2X4 siting at a slight angle as a prop.
Do not just leave them there for long.
Makes a great ladder for termites.
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Old 01-30-2013, 10:59 AM   #8
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Joists sitting on 'lip' of center beam?


The lip as I see it does not offer much support, but every little bit of additional support will help.

The lip can contribute much more support if you do snug it up, adding two 4" screws from the lip into the beam for each joist, one about an inch on each side of the joist. (If the joists were not there, it would look like a lot of overkill to hold the lip on the beam)

It is the toenailing to the beam that provides the majority of the support for each joist. You might feel more at ease adding two more long nails (or screws) per joist, one toenailed on each side into the beam. The technical explanation is that the resistance to shear of the (currently up to four) nail shanks is what keeps the joist from falling down. The new nails should not be too high up on the joist.
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Old 01-30-2013, 02:34 PM   #9
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Joists sitting on 'lip' of center beam?


There is spliced phone cord all over. Yes. But we have no home phone.
There is also spliced thermostat wire in several spots...some of it is even connected to a thermostat!

I'm doing a LOT of cleanup. I found that the circuit for half the basement lights also runs....the humidifier for the furnace, two basement wall outlets, a receptacle upstairs in the hallway, one in the living room, and one in the dining room. And an exterior light. I **** you not.

Yes. The 2x4 is now in 'ladder' mode. Will remove promptly. And I'm going to shore up the lip as well as the joists. Just good pc of mind as I move forward. Have a Sketchup of the proposed bsmt done. Will post when I get a moment.

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