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HooKooDooKu 02-22-2010 11:21 AM

Moving a Stud
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Looking for input to see if there is anything more I might need to do as I try to move a stud in a load bearing wall.

Shown below is an image of a corner of an unfinished basement wall. To orient yourself, realize that blue speck on the left side is the back side of an electrical box holding a switch for the outside of the left and wall. The far side of the wall already has plywood sheeting.

A new HVAC trunk is going to come through the facing wall pictured. Based on various height requirements, the new trunk must be 17" wide and located at the top of the wall.

Relative to the triple stud shown, what I want to do is double up the 2nd stud (on the outside) and chop off the top of the 1st stud. Doing so will given me a 17-1/2" space between the double stud and the triple stud.

What you can't see in the picture is the following:
1. The triple stud forms the support point for the corner of two walls upstairs, a kitchen/living room wall to the right of the triple stud, and a hallway is open on the left of the triple stud.
2. The bottom 2x4 of the double top plate has a joint centered over the 2nd stud (the one not moving).

HooKooDooKu 02-22-2010 11:27 AM

Was a post for a better image, figured out how to fix 1st image, this post can be deleted.

Clutchcargo 02-22-2010 12:36 PM

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I would just put a small header in there to be safe. maybe 2x4 or 2x6.

HooKooDooKu 02-22-2010 01:21 PM


Originally Posted by Clutchcargo (Post 404164)
I would just put a small header in there to be safe. maybe 2x4 or 2x6.

Because of headroom concerns, there isn't any space for a header. As it is, I wish I could rip out the double top plate to make more room.

I was trying to recall spacing requirements, and I thought with 2x4 framing that 24" o.c. spacing was allowed for doubled up studs. If so, then I can easily double or triple the other stud. It's just a question of the non-standard 17-1/2" spacing in this stud cavity compared to normal 14-1/2" for standard 16" o.c. studs.

HooKooDooKu 02-22-2010 01:28 PM

BTW, I double checked the spacing of the stud shown in the image. It looks like the positioning of this stud was to maintain 16" o.c. spacing coming from the right. If you look to the right of the triple stud, you can see the spacing from the edge of the previous stud (look at the dark colored one, not the light colored sister I added later) compared to thed edge of the triple stud. This is the same spacing from the 1st stud of the triple stud and the stud I want to move. You can see it's also the spacing from the wall to the stud I want to move this one to.

In other words, it looks like the stud I want to move/cut was positioned for drywall reasons, not structural reasons. So as long as a 17-1/2" span is ok with 2x4 framing and double top plates, I think I'm good to go. But I'm not familer with the limits on stud spacing.

HooKooDooKu 02-23-2010 01:11 AM

Well, I think I finally found something that indicates I can do what I want to do.

Table R602.3(5) of the IRC indicates that 2x4 studs can have a maximum spacing of 24" when supporting one floor only. If the wall was supporting the roof as well (which it does not since this supports an interior wall) then the table indicates 16" is the maximum span.

However, there is one thing I can do to strenghten things up. On the back side of the wall, floor joist run parallel to the wall with a floor joist sitting on top of this wall. The floor joists for the front side of the wall run perpendicular to the wall. One floor joist sits mid-span where I want to remove the support joist. If I tie the floor joist perpendicular to the wall to the joist on top of the wall, then the only point load on the double top plate on this span will share the load with the top plate and the other joist.

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