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Old 10-26-2013, 04:05 PM   #1
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Is my garage framing safe?


Hi. My garage was built around 1955 and I am currently working on beefing up the garage. In general, the ceiling framing seems inadequate and kind of bizarre.
The garage is 21' long and 20' wide. There are only three ceiling joists and 2 are just 2x4's. There are no collars so to speak but other weird supports. I plan on dry walling the walls and would like some kind of ceiling (it still rains dust 15 years after re-roofing the old shake with shingles.) I would think I should at least add joists at all the 16" OC rafters which do not have one. (which are also only 2x4s) Should I use 2x4 or 2x6 (I am also concerned about more weight on the walls. Also I just recently put OSB on one side since there was no plywood outside, just stucco. Somehow, all the hammering caused one of the joists separated, which scares me. I reattached the joist to the rafter but I don't know why or when it popped out. Is this framing safe and what is the best way to beef it up. No snow load here but some earthquake potential. Photo is attached.
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Is my garage framing safe?-garagesmall.jpg  

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Old 10-26-2013, 05:36 PM   #2
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Is my garage framing safe?


I am far from a framing and structural expert, but looks under constructed to me off-hand compared to the garages I have built over the years. However it has stood a test of time since 1955. The addition of a ceiling and shingle loads will likely change this picture. Minimum I have ever done was 2x4 rafters and 2x4 ceiling joists on 24" centers over a 16' span.

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Old 10-26-2013, 05:47 PM   #3
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Is my garage framing safe?


So, if somebody on the internet looks at one photo and tells you your garage is safe, that is good enough for you?
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Old 10-26-2013, 06:18 PM   #4
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Is my garage framing safe?


Your garage looks pretty much like mine 'did'. That was the method back then. It's still standing after 58 years....so one could assume that it is safe. It also sounds like you may be in California since you have stucco. (it helps to put your location in your profile)

For the record....Those boards you are calling joists are actually rafter ties. Basically, they hold the walls in and prevent the roof joists from pushing the walls out. If you remove those, your walls will bow out and your roof will most likely fall.

I would suggest installing 2x8 ceiling joists at 16" OC across the span. That will give you enough to support your drywall...and allow you to move around up there if you wanted to go up there.

As an FYI...the maximum span for 2x6 as ceiling joists is 19' 6"....per my local building code.

If you are in CA....don't worry about insulation....the drywall alone will do wonders.

And don't worry about the weight on the walls.

But I would try to add some shear ties on the additional ceiling joists....and when you do it, I would use a tape measure to make sure the middle is the same span as the ends...if it's pushing out a little....use a come-along to pull it in then attach your ceiling joists. If you have trouble trying to attach the ends of the joists to your top plate....you can try lifting some shingles and nailing down through the sheathing to the joist.

While your at it....run NM (Romex) for any outlets you might want....you can never have enough power in the garage...put the outlets about 50" above the floor....that way if you lean a 4x8 sheet of something against the wall, it does not cover the outlet.
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Old 10-26-2013, 07:58 PM   #5
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Is my garage framing safe?


Thanks for the reply! I am unfamiliar with some of the terminology but will look it up (ex Come-along). The width is actual 19 4' between the walls so I may go with 2x6. One question I have is can I remove some of the strange boards, for example the one on the left that comes from the ceiling down to the left wall. There is nothing on the other side. Also are some diagonal 1x8 connecting the corners. Can these be removed? I am already adding osb panels as a shear wall (yes, San Diego CA), I just completed adding the osb to the right wall. The drywall will go on top. I think this shear wall will allow some of the weird spurious boards nailed on the side to be removed (I think they were used just to support while framing when someone raised the roof from 8' to 12').
Should I nail the joists to both the top plate and the rafters?

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Originally Posted by ddawg16 View Post
Your garage looks pretty much like mine 'did'. That was the method back then. It's still standing after 58 years....so one could assume that it is safe. It also sounds like you may be in California since you have stucco. (it helps to put your location in your profile)

For the record....Those boards you are calling joists are actually rafter ties. Basically, they hold the walls in and prevent the roof joists from pushing the walls out. If you remove those, your walls will bow out and your roof will most likely fall.

I would suggest installing 2x8 ceiling joists at 16" OC across the span. That will give you enough to support your drywall...and allow you to move around up there if you wanted to go up there.

As an FYI...the maximum span for 2x6 as ceiling joists is 19' 6"....per my local building code.

If you are in CA....don't worry about insulation....the drywall alone will do wonders.

And don't worry about the weight on the walls.

But I would try to add some shear ties on the additional ceiling joists....and when you do it, I would use a tape measure to make sure the middle is the same span as the ends...if it's pushing out a little....use a come-along to pull it in then attach your ceiling joists. If you have trouble trying to attach the ends of the joists to your top plate....you can try lifting some shingles and nailing down through the sheathing to the joist.

While your at it....run NM (Romex) for any outlets you might want....you can never have enough power in the garage...put the outlets about 50" above the floor....that way if you lean a 4x8 sheet of something against the wall, it does not cover the outlet.
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Old 10-26-2013, 08:27 PM   #6
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Is my garage framing safe?


Not to freak you out or anything but are you sure that "Dust" you are talking about is not friable asbestos? It was not uncommon to install an asbestos blanket under shakes and tile back then. Can you take some close up shots of the light grey material we can see between the spaced sheathing? Use Macro, and Aperture Priority, and adjust your flash down, or light it and turn off the flash. Keep your white balance on auto.

Thanks
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Old 10-26-2013, 09:26 PM   #7
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Is my garage framing safe?


Are those rafters 2x4s? I see a lot of questionable things, but a single picture at that distance can, and has, played tricks on my eyes. As has been said, it seems to have lasted the test of time, but that's not necessarily a validation. There are people who smoke their whole lives and make it to old age It doesn't mean smoking isn't harmful. I agree with your gut instinct. That framing looks a bit haphazard. You can follow the old adage of "if it aint broke, don't fix it", but I would hire a professional to give it a close inspection, particularly if you're feeling uneasy about it.
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Old 10-26-2013, 10:18 PM   #8
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Is my garage framing safe?


Thanks for responding! Yes they are 2x4s. And there is rot and termite damage. I have been adding additional 2x4's when I find damage. I can send more pictures if you ask about specific sections. I want to protect the car under the cover (a new Lotus Evora) and the piano I am rebuilding (Hazelton Brothers 1896) I know it withstood age but I want to add some kind of ceiling.

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Are those rafters 2x4s? I see a lot of questionable things, but a single picture at that distance can, and has, played tricks on my eyes. As has been said, it seems to have lasted the test of time, but that's not necessarily a validation. There are people who smoke their whole lives and make it to old age It doesn't mean smoking isn't harmful. I agree with your gut instinct. That framing looks a bit haphazard. You can follow the old adage of "if it aint broke, don't fix it", but I would hire a professional to give it a close inspection, particularly if you're feeling uneasy about it.
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Old 10-26-2013, 10:22 PM   #9
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Is my garage framing safe?


If that is true I have been breathing that stuff since 1998. Kind of scary. I have been working in there a lot rebuilding pianos.
It was a shake roof which they covered with OSB then shingles. Thanks for the alert. I will try to take a picture,
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Not to freak you out or anything but are you sure that "Dust" you are talking about is not friable asbestos? It was not uncommon to install an asbestos blanket under shakes and tile back then. Can you take some close up shots of the light grey material we can see between the spaced sheathing? Use Macro, and Aperture Priority, and adjust your flash down, or light it and turn off the flash. Keep your white balance on auto.

Thanks
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Old 10-27-2013, 07:52 AM   #10
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Is my garage framing safe?


Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulRoder View Post
I am unfamiliar with some of the terminology but will look it up (ex Come-along).

The width is actual 19 4' between the walls so I may go with 2x6.
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If that is true I have been breathing that stuff since 1998. Kind of scary.
http://toolmonger.com/wp-content/upl...able_large.jpg

don't did it. use at least 2x8's. i have 2x6's in my garage, 20'+ span. they sag a lot.

as long as you are not stirring the stuff up into the air = no issues. unles your eating it.
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Old 10-27-2013, 07:58 AM   #11
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Is my garage framing safe?


That roof was designed for a far lighter load then what you have now, that's why it's held up so long.
Adding that sheathing, tar paper and shingles has at least tripled the load it's having to carry. So all bets are off as to how it's going to look and work out in the future.
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Old 10-27-2013, 01:26 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Fix'n it View Post
http://toolmonger.com/wp-content/upl...able_large.jpg

don't did it. use at least 2x8's. i have 2x6's in my garage, 20'+ span. they sag a lot.

as long as you are not stirring the stuff up into the air = no issues. unles your eating it.
General statements regarding AB are really irresponsible, because it was produced in so many forms and of so many different types of the the material. I hate to contradict myself, but GENERALLY, the contentious materials that contain AB have it encapsulated pretty well. These would be the products like Transite, Stratolite, and most of the pipe materials. The roll goods like the original AB-20, and the Blankets used on roofs as fire barriers are a different story.

I grew up in Central NJ in a small town that was the second small town away from Manville, so I am not an alarmist. Back in the 30's 40's and 50's darn near every building material available in our area contained Asbestos.

I had a fairly lackadaisical view of AB until I attended what was called a week long BURSI seminar that was produced by Johns/Manville in Denver Colorado, where I veiwed asbestos fibers under an electron microscope. In other words, like the artillery shell that you don't hear is the one that kills you, the AB fibers that you cant see are the ones you have to worry about.

All the above notwithstanding, there is no need to panic, but getting rid of the stuff is highly advised, as it is like the snake sleeping under the kitchen table.

Frankly, I do not know what you have on your roof. It sounded like some fool put OSB Over wood shakes, then asphalt shingles ???? To me, it is time for you to remove everything down to the spaced sheathing, sheathe over it with 19/32 CD Fir Sheathing, and re-roof it. As Joe said, it sounds like you have severely over-loaded your structure. No sense turning your lotus into a pressed flower.
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Last edited by jagans; 10-27-2013 at 01:30 PM.
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Old 10-27-2013, 04:15 PM   #13
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Is my garage framing safe?


Sorry if I mislead you. All the shake was removed, and the osb nailed to the 1x6 boards already on top of the rafters. I have attached a new picture with 2 weird boards I would need to remove to put up the osb shear panel. The diagonal 1x6 in the middle of the picture from the rafters to the wall, and the diagonal one on the left side. I think the new osb shear panels I am putting up would more than correct for any support from the one on the left, but the one to the roof I am not sure. There is not one of these on the other side of the garage.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jagans View Post
General statements regarding AB are really irresponsible, because it was produced in so many forms and of so many different types of the the material. I hate to contradict myself, but GENERALLY, the contentious materials that contain AB have it encapsulated pretty well. These would be the products like Transite, Stratolite, and most of the pipe materials. The roll goods like the original AB-20, and the Blankets used on roofs as fire barriers are a different story.

I grew up in Central NJ in a small town that was the second small town away from Manville, so I am not an alarmist. Back in the 30's 40's and 50's darn near every building material available in our area contained Asbestos.

I had a fairly lackadaisical view of AB until I attended what was called a week long BURSI seminar that was produced by Johns/Manville in Denver Colorado, where I veiwed asbestos fibers under an electron microscope. In other words, like the artillery shell that you don't hear is the one that kills you, the AB fibers that you cant see are the ones you have to worry about.

All the above notwithstanding, there is no need to panic, but getting rid of the stuff is highly advised, as it is like the snake sleeping under the kitchen table.

Frankly, I do not know what you have on your roof. It sounded like some fool put OSB Over wood shakes, then asphalt shingles ???? To me, it is time for you to remove everything down to the spaced sheathing, sheathe over it with 19/32 CD Fir Sheathing, and re-roof it. As Joe said, it sounds like you have severely over-loaded your structure. No sense turning your lotus into a pressed flower.
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Old 10-27-2013, 05:43 PM   #14
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Is my garage framing safe?


Sorry, here is the attachment
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Old 10-27-2013, 07:11 PM   #15
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Sorry, here is the attachment
LOL Thanks Paul, From that first picture I actually thought that the OSB was the spaced sheathing. and the gray looking material was the blanket I refered to, sorry about that.

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