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Old 09-16-2013, 01:37 PM   #1
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Strengthening Ceiling Joists


I own a Victorian property which has 4x2 ceiling joists. I want to strengthen these joists as well as increase the height of them.
I don't know whether its best to run new joists in between the existing OR use joist hangers to strengthen the existing joists and then nail battons to the tops of the existing joists the give the height im after.
At one end the joists currently sit on a wooden wall plate and then run under a truss to which they are nailed to also before sitting on another wall plate around the chimney breast in the middle of the loft space. This is the same on the other side of the chimney breast too
Some expert advice would be much appreciated?

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Old 09-16-2013, 03:16 PM   #2
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Strengthening Ceiling Joists


Liam,

Welcome to the Forum!

there's a lot more information that would be needed to make this determination, such as a set of eyes on your home to determine how it is constructed, where the load paths are, height of the attic.

You would be well served to hire the services of a registered professional engineer to evaluate your home and make sure things are done properly. At a minimum you could bring in an experienced builder to perform some initial evaluation.

There are ways of raising ceiling joists to create rafter ties (to keep rafter thrust from pushing out your exterior walls) but it is not easily done on an internet forum.

Good luck!

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Old 09-16-2013, 03:32 PM   #3
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Thank you for the advice,

When you say engineer, do you mean a structural engineer?

My house is a gable pitched roof, I will measure the height tomorrow. I really only plan to use the space for storage. I want to raise the level of the joists to fit more insulation and to tack electrics alongside higher joists so its not in the insulation.

I don't plan to move the existing joists as I don't want to upset the structural balance. So my plan was to either fit new higher joists across the span which is 3.6 meters from gable end to truss in the middle attaching with joist holders, then from truss to the supporting chimney and partition brick wall. The total spam is 3.6 meters with a truss in the middle.

I was hoping I could either fit the new joists as I described or strengthen the existing with joists hangers and then bail battons on top of existing joists to increase the height.

Am I being too ambitious here for a reasonable DIYer?
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Old 09-16-2013, 03:37 PM   #4
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Strengthening Ceiling Joists


Pics will help also.
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Old 09-16-2013, 03:38 PM   #5
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Ill take pics in the morning and post up. All your advice is much appreciated guys.
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Old 09-16-2013, 03:48 PM   #6
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Strengthening Ceiling Joists


Attached is the only pic I have at the moment as I'm not living there whilst this work is going on. Ill take more when I'm there tomorrow. Ill take pics of gable end and where joists sit on chimney end too. I just want to raise height by an inch or two and strengthen them so its safe fir storing things. I feels fairly strong now but is like to be safe and make it stronger.
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Old 09-16-2013, 03:49 PM   #7
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Sorry pic appears to be upside down
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Old 09-16-2013, 03:59 PM   #8
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Strengthening Ceiling Joists


Quote:
Originally Posted by liam546 View Post
Sorry pic appears to be upside down
I fixed it for you.
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Old 09-16-2013, 04:04 PM   #9
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Strengthening Ceiling Joists


Thank you beenthere. Just so I'm not confusing anyone. When I say I want to heighten the joists I don't mean the ceiling height. I just mean the floor height in the loft space. The main reason for this is to add more insulation and to give more height for cable runs (to keep them away from insulation)

What other pics would be beneficial before you could give me some advice.l?
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Old 09-16-2013, 07:20 PM   #10
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Strengthening Ceiling Joists


There appears to be a beam or stiff back above the 2x4s---could you take a picture that shows that better? What is it resting on ,if anything?

That ceiling as it sits now is not strong enough for storage---If that is your desire--let us know---
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Old 09-17-2013, 04:28 AM   #11
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Please find more pictures attached which I hope will help you give me the correct advice. Each joist is 8.5cm x 4cm. The beam sitting above that was refered to I believe is the truss. There are two trusses, one sitting each side of the chimney stack. All around the top of the walls there is a wooden plinth that the joists sit on although they arent sitting on them by a lot in some places. I believe this is called the wall plate???

A joist goes from the gable end off the wall plate then runs under the truss where it has been notched out to fit on the underside and then just nailed up. The joist then continues to the Center of the up floor space where it sits on the top of a brick supporting wall and around the chimney stack. The other side of the loft space is more or less the same but has a water tank sitting up there.
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Old 09-17-2013, 04:44 AM   #12
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Pic where joists are cut under truss
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Old 09-17-2013, 04:45 AM   #13
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Joists sitting on gable end wall plate
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Old 09-17-2013, 04:48 AM   #14
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One of the roof trusses with supporting diagonal frame
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Old 09-17-2013, 05:54 AM   #15
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Strengthening Ceiling Joists


That style of construction tells me the house may be older than Victorian---

The beams are holding the out side walls together--

The ceiling joists are only there to hold the ceiling--they are not structural---

Adding sisters to the joists should be simple enough---but will require joist hangers attached to the beam.

Remember--I'm a human and make mistakes---wait until someone else here comments---hopefully one of the architects or engineers.

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