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msfmatt 03-16-2009 01:49 PM

Opening: Header and Half wall questions

I have just removed a (non-load bearing) wall between my living room and breakfast area and am in the process of creating an arched opening complete with a (false) header and recessed 1/2 wall book shelves. As I am not an expert I wanted to ask/address the following questions with everyone.
  1. Header Question. The header/soffit I am hoping to build will expand the entire length of the wall, but will have to be widened to match the width of the bookshelves. The width would need to be approximately 8''...which is wider than the wall that was initially installed. The problem is the header will run parallel with joists and I am unsure on how to secure the frame to the joists. Any thoughts?
  2. Recessed Shelves. So with the 1/2 wall I was curious if it would be easier to frame as if constructing a wall or go ahead and build the book case itself(out of hardwood) and use that as the "wall"?
I apologize for the lack of appropriate terminology and any confusion, but would appreciate any input. Thanks!

47_47 03-16-2009 02:54 PM

If I understand correctly, you're going to have to remove some of the ceiling drywall and install blocking between the joists, then replace the drywall.

As far as the half wall bookcase I'd build a carcass out of plywood, use hardwood for the exposed areas and if the rest of the room is drywalled, drywall the back.

Gary in WA 03-16-2009 03:23 PM

Hi, Matt. 1. 8"x24" soffit, length of room, hanging from ceiling. Blocking (2x4) above ceiling, nailed to joists,every 24" with soffit framing legs attached and hanging down carrying the works. Patch wallboard or use attic access. 2. Either way. No posts up to soffit? From room with shelves' backside, do you want to look at textured wallboard or wood? Want the 1/2 wall to be 6" above the shelves, with a matching wood cap - so the whole thing doesn't scream ADD-ON? Don't forget an electrical receptical or two, Holiday display, clock, radio? Maybe small can lights in the soffit? Rope light under the shelves' toe kick? Wire it for future speakers? Build a cardboard or plywood section (to scale), 2-3' long, to see what, where, and size of finished project will be. Let's see some pics when done! Be safe, GBAR

msfmatt 03-16-2009 08:28 PM

Thank you GBAR and 47!

That should do it. I hadn't thought about blocking, but that makes most sense...just have to remove a bit of ceiling dry wall and insert the joists. Also, it makes sense to go ahead build rhe frame out of plywood and then add hardwood accordingly.

GBAR all of your additional suggestions are solid. I had thought and have factored them into the design previously. I went ahead and put some cardboard up for a 2-d visual of what the Soffit, 1/2 walls, and columns(I forgot to mention I'll have columns as well). I used Google Sketch-up as well.

The 1/2 walls will be approximately 3 ft long on either side of a 6 ft. opening. the columns will be placed on top of the 1/2 wall and attached to the bottom plate of the soffit framing the opening.

Thanks again

msfmatt 03-18-2009 06:33 PM

Blocking Joists
Okay, another question if anyone has time. Concerning blocking the joists. I want to minimize the amount of ceiling dry wall I remove. Could I use brackets to secure the blocking between joists? I am trying to have to avoid exposing both sides of the joists to lessen cleanup/patching?? This is assuming to secure the blocking I would have to nail through the joist first. Sorry for the questions...Thanks!


Phuture 03-18-2009 07:59 PM

brackets would work. you could also toe nail the blocking into place.:thumbsup:

msfmatt 03-18-2009 08:14 PM

Ahh great. I didn't know if that was acceptable or not? Thank you phuture

Phuture 03-18-2009 08:28 PM

any time, Pal.

47_47 03-19-2009 08:27 AM

What I would do is to cut the drywall flush with the joists, install the blocking (toe nail or brackets) then in between the blocking add short 2x to the sides of the open joists for the patch nailers.

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