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mikemc411 09-14-2006 05:52 AM

Stick built to truss conversion
Looking at buying a 1970's era house..

We would want to remodel and make some larger rooms.

Would it be possible to convert a stick built roof system into a truss type system to get rid of the middle wall in the house (thats there to support the ceiling joists), since the W's is the truss system will now be supporting the ceiling joists?

Does this make sense ? to me it would just be a matter of adding the extra pieces between the rafters and ceiling joists to make them into trusses???


joasis 09-14-2006 06:02 AM

I think you are getting ready to test a budget if you are seriously considering pulling roof framing down to get trusses up....why not find another home, it would be cheaper.

What you can practically do is consider using a laminated support beam where you remove the wall(s) to carry the load. If you unsure of what this might entail, call contractor and get some input...good luck.

mikemc411 09-14-2006 06:07 AM

Don't plan on pulling anything down, just adding to the existing structure...
The trusses I've seen and used when I build my garage, look just like some ceiling joist & rafters tied together with some W type supports in the middle.

IHI 09-14-2006 07:34 AM

Mike, either way if you DIY or hire it done, this is not a small task...major undertaking to say the least.

joasis 09-14-2006 09:27 AM

I'll add this for you to think about: Trusses are engineered for the loads on top, and the loads imposed on the bottom, like sheetrock, and attick flooring, if scecified....I have built my own, and I'm sure lots of others have also, but this would be the realm of the experienced, and not a DIY endeavor. Get an experienced contractor to come in and look it over and give you some ideas. Good luck.

Joe Carola 09-14-2006 09:30 AM


Originally Posted by mikemc411 (Post 18096)
Don't plan on pulling anything down, just adding to the existing structure...
The trusses I've seen and used when I build my garage, look just like some ceiling joist & rafters tied together with some W type supports in the middle.

You plan on ripping all the sheetrock down on every ceiling and then try to slide roof trusses up into the bottom of the existing sheathing, right?

Now what do you plan on doing with the existing ceiling joists that sit on the walls that you want to take down?

You will have to support every ceiling joist one by one so that you would be able to slide the trusses up into place. But first you have to brace the outside walls.

Sliding the trusses up into place won't work because the truss measurement is from the outside of your top plates. How are you going to get them up there? Unless they can design a truss that goes in between the walls and hang them off special hangers, there's no room to twist and bend them into place because of the ceiling joists rafters and ridge. These would have to be designed to fit under the ridge.

Why won't you entertain the thought of putting in a structural beam and save yourself a ton of money in labor and materials?

Cut the sheetrock out about 1' on each side of the walls to be removed and temporarily support them and then cut the ceiling joists out the width of the beam and slide the beam up into place and nail off the ceiling joists with hangers.

One end of the beam will sit on the foundation wall and the other end has to sit on an interior wall somewhere and the load be posted down to the basement. This way you have to put a footing in.

You have many, many options here. The best thing to do is have a professional contractor or Architect look at this before you by it and tell you what your options are.

mikemc411 09-15-2006 03:44 AM

I think everyone is missing the point of the idea...

bottom of truss = current ceiling joist
top of truss = current rafters

W-supports inside of truss= carried into the attic and added to go between EXISTING ceiling joists and EXISTING rafters to essentially make them into trusses.

After talking to a contractor today, It would probably be easier remove ceiling drywall down the center of the room , build temp support walls, remove interior center-room walls, cut ceiling joists off and hang them from a laminated centerbeam, supported by jack studs on each side of the room, using joist hangers.. Fix drywall back and be done

joasis 09-15-2006 07:06 AM

I think that is what we were leaning towards Mike. Sounds like this guy steered you in the right direction.

Something you didn't see in your concept of simply W bracing your ceiling joists to the rafters is a stick built roof isn't tied together like a would have had no way to get to the rafter/joist connections at the end to secure them and prevent failure.

You are making the right decision, good luck.

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