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Old 04-15-2011, 08:48 AM   #1
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new guy with Structural question


New guy, 50 years old has restored a couple of old homes, I know a bit about what I am doing but I have run into a structural question. I know for these you should hire a firm but I have not gotten that far yet.

Working on a 1890's build. Back of the house is an addition with the kitchen and a 7 foot ceiling (main house is all 9 foot). Above the Kitchen is a 3/4 room? for lack of a better term. 4 foot walls and pitched ceiling. Basically a useless room.

The 2x4 in the walls are continuous from crawlspace to the top plate on the second floor.

I hope you can see the attached drawing. So what I am doing is adding 4 double 2x8 beams at the top plate on the second floor and removing the floor system completely opening the kitchen up to a full 12' walls and @ 14' 6" center height.

I think I forgot to put the width of the room in the drawing. Width is 12' 8". Length is @ 23'

I am removing static load from the walls abut I am also removing lateral stability by removing that floor structure. On each end one 2 x 8 will remain as part of the original floor system to provide a base to build a wooden box that will be used as a wiring conduit.

So my question is regarding the lateral stability of the walls. By removing the floor system I know I have removed a factor of the lateral strength. But with the outside rooms tied in at and above the old floor height Would this be suffecient enough of a loss to cause concern?
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Old 04-15-2011, 05:09 PM   #2
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new guy with Structural question


It is hard to read the drawing, kind of small, but from the description it sounds like you are removing the floor joists, opening up the room, and the wall ties are going to be provided by joists four feet above the elevation of the old floor. Or maybe I misunderstood.

If I understand it correctly, your framing is out of the ordinary, and you are correct to be concerned about wall spreading and how your framing will resist it. You probably should start by discussing this with the building inspector, I assume you are going to need a permit, and the inspector may have a well entrenched opinion as to whether this is OK or not.

As an anecdote, I inspected a house built similarly, and the walls had spread approximately 3 inches on either side because the cathedral ceiling design lacked adequate wall tie capacity. The house was relatively new, very large, very expensive, and the owner was facing a fairly large cost to pull the walls back to plumb, install ties, and repair the cracking that had occurred in the wallboard. If the framing had included a ridge beam, or had used scissors trusses, the problem could have been avoided.

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Old 04-15-2011, 08:19 PM   #3
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new guy with Structural question


Quote:
Originally Posted by Daniel Holzman View Post
Or maybe I misunderstood.

If I understand it correctly, your framing is out of the ordinary, and you are correct to be concerned about wall spreading and how your framing will resist it. .

You understand exactly correct. One of the things I have noticed in the inspection process is that the current floor joists (at the 7' level) are not tied into the walls at all. They sit on a ledger board that is recessed into a cut out of the vertical wall 2x 4's. If they are nailed or attached in any way it is only marginally and the walls have not spread in the last 100+ years. Do you see any lateral stability being provided by the two "out rooms" that are on the side of the structure?

How a vertical load translates to a lateral load is one of the things in this process that escapes me.

There will only be 4 replacement beams and they will be tied into the top plate very securely. They will only be 4 foot above the current floor system. Spacing is based on window and structure locations so it will not be exactly symmetrical but it will be close. Basically it will be about every 48 to 54 inches.

I do very much appreciate the feedback.
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