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Old 08-14-2012, 05:51 PM   #1
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Removing a "Stiffener" from attic to put floor down


My attic floor is a very simple design, the joists run from the North outside wall and from the South outside wall into the middle where there is a load bearing wall, they stand next to each other staggered on this load bearing wall.

About halfway across the span (on each side) there are long 2X4's running perpendicular to the joists, sitting on top and nailed to each joist. I assume this is just to stiffen up the framing and prevent the joists from twisting.

My question is whether it's ok to remove these 2X4's in order to put a floor down? I will be using 3/4" plywood in 2X8' sheets. The plywood will be staggered which I assume will add strength.


Last edited by Venter; 08-14-2012 at 07:38 PM.
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Old 08-14-2012, 07:33 PM   #2
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Removing a "Stiffener" from attic to put floor down


a photo or two would help in providing useful thoughts ....

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Old 08-14-2012, 07:38 PM   #3
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Removing a "Stiffener" from attic to put floor down


I'm not going to be able to get to the house until the weekend, but I could try to explain it better if that will help?
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Old 08-14-2012, 08:11 PM   #4
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Removing a "Stiffener" from attic to put floor down


There may be a whole lot more to it then just laying some plywood down, if you intend to try using this for living space of heavy storage.
What's the plans for this space?
What's the widths, free spans and spacing of the joist.
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Old 08-14-2012, 08:15 PM   #5
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Removing a "Stiffener" from attic to put floor down


I don't plan on using this as living space, altho I may put some folding tables up there to do a little reloading and stuff. But mainly it'll be typical attic storage.

The joists are 2X8's and the span where I'll be actually walking is about 13'.

I know that this is fine to use for my purpose, I'm just a little concerned about the 2x4's.
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Old 08-14-2012, 08:24 PM   #6
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Removing a "Stiffener" from attic to put floor down


Add your discretion--but without seeing this"stiff back" it will be hard to guess whether it was used as an aid during construction or is a light 'saddle beam' used to keep the ceiling from sagging.
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Old 08-14-2012, 08:45 PM   #7
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Removing a "Stiffener" from attic to put floor down


One other consideration is how much insulation is in the joist bays.
The reason I even bring it up is if you look around at some of the other old poster latly there's been dozens of people asking about adding more insulation in the attic. If there's already plywood down it's not going to happen.
There's no mention of where you live, it's always best to add that in your profile so peole do not have to keep asking.
http://energycode.pnl.gov/EnergyCodeReqs/
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Old 08-14-2012, 08:47 PM   #8
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Removing a "Stiffener" from attic to put floor down


I have enough insulation already, I just want to move the 2X4's if possible.
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Old 08-14-2012, 08:58 PM   #9
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Removing a "Stiffener" from attic to put floor down


A whole bunch of us have framing experience--one look and you will get a good answer---
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Old 08-14-2012, 09:22 PM   #10
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Removing a "Stiffener" from attic to put floor down


I won't be able to get a picture until this weekend.


It's literally a long 2X4 nailed down to the top of the joists with 2 nails in each.


There is one on each side of the attic, about in the middle of the span on each side.
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Old 08-15-2012, 08:12 AM   #11
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Removing a "Stiffener" from attic to put floor down


Is there another 2X4 nailed to the side of the 2X4 which would form a stiff back or what we called a pig trough. If it is just a 2X4 nailed flat ways chances are it is there to hold the gable end stable, but if your house is a hip roof then the 2X4 could be there just to keep the joists from twisting or what ever. It really doesn't serve much use other than tying the end walls together, it is hard to guess why they put it there.
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Old 08-15-2012, 01:23 PM   #12
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Removing a "Stiffener" from attic to put floor down


One thing to do would be to add flat 2x4's down on top of the joists and put your plywood down onto the 2x4's. This allows the 2x4 there to remain untouched. Another thing is to leave the 2x4 in place and run the plywood over to the 2x4 and start new plywood on the other side of the 2x4, this would be a toe stumper though but works if you just plan to put stuff up there... Another thing is to nail/screw 1 4 1/2" 2x8's parallel with 2x4 (mid span) down into each joist bay and remove 2x4 after 2x8's are installed. This will require some removal of insulation ...

Are you planning to cover the entire attic space with plywood?
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Old 08-16-2012, 12:21 AM   #13
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Removing a "Stiffener" from attic to put floor down


Sounds like a "ribband", add an on-edge 2x and you have a "strongback"; read a few pages, pictures too... http://books.google.com/books?id=cFW...eiling&f=false

Gary
P.S. remove them when the plywood is close.(carefully, not to nail/screw "pop" below. You may get mold if any air leaks in the ceiling plane under the ply...

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