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Old 05-17-2013, 01:46 AM   #1
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Updating Timber & Balloon Framed Home (LONG POST)


We're looking for some opinions on upgrading walls and floors in our hybrid timber/balloon framed home. The house was built in 1880. Here's what we've got...

Foundation

The house sits over an 18" open crawlspace with dirt floor. The piers and foundation wall are original brick. There are some small sections that have been repaired over the years and newer brick/block used.

Walls

The house is 3 stories (two floors and a full attic). The walls are heavy timber framed. (or braced frame, or post-and-beam, depending on who you ask) There are large corner and intermediate posts supporting horizontal beams that run between each floor. There are also studs filled in between the posts. These studs are connected via mortise and tenon joints. The house does not have wall sheathing, just wood clapboard nailed to the studs. There are also corner braces where exterior walls meet.

Floors

The first story floor is timber framed with the joists resting on girders on the inside and a notched sill beam at the exterior wall. The second story and attic floors are balloon framed. The joists rest on a bearing wall on the inside and hang off of a 1x10 ribbon let into the studs of the exterior wall. This ribbon is located just above the horizontal beam separating each floor. The joists are true 2x6 and are notched around the ribbon.

Here's an illustration showing what I've tried to explain above:



The Ultimate Plan

We've spoken with the county building inspector and we'll be building to the 2009 IRC. We pulled our permit and had a bit of engineering done. Here's what's ahead...

Our goal is to bring the framing up to code as much as practical. This will be a delicate balancing act as we're also trying to preserve as much of the original structure as possible. We'll be removing rotting wood siding in sections, repairing/adding wall framing as needed and then installing OSB sheathing. The exterior will be covered with a WRB, strapped for a rainscreen and then clad with western red cedar lap siding. Where possible, the original trimwork will be removed, stripped, primed, painted and re-installed. We're going to end up replacing most of the window and door sills as they are completely rotted. All new flashing details will be worked into the project obviously.

On the inside, we'll be beefing up the undersized floor assemblies. This will include repairing/replacing damaged girders on the first floor and installing beams to carry the second story and attic floors. (More on this below) New joists and OSB subflooring will be installed on all three stories.

Here's where we need some opinions

The first area that we'll be tackling will become the kitchen. This area is located on the first floor in the North West corner of the house and measures 13'x24'. Pretty much everything in this area was damaged beyond repair by termites and rot. The sill beam, first floor joists and posts were all damaged. We've already replaced the sill and re-studded the wall to carry the load until we decide how to proceed.

A previous homeowner removed the bearing wall that was carrying the second story floor joists. The 2x6 joists run parallel with the 24' dimension of the room and have sagged about 3" in the absence of the wall. There is also a wall located directly above this affected area on the second story which is carrying the attic floor. Since the first story wall is already gone, we decided we're going to remove the wall on the second story and open up the rooms. We had an engineer come out and spec up beams for carrying the two floors. The beam carrying the second floor will be a 3.5”x11.25” LVL supported by 4x6 posts with Simpson EPC46 post caps. The beam carrying the attic floor will be a 3.5”x9.5” LVL supported by 4x4 posts with Simpson EPC44 post caps. After installing the beams, new joists will be installed to beef up the floor system.

We've been stuck on a few subjects that we're hoping to get some opinions and insight on:

1. The existing sill beams measure 7" in height. The original first floor joists were notched and fit into pockets chiseled in the sill. This approach is obviously not going to work going forward, so we need to determine how to frame the new floor. I've spoken with the building inspector and he's noted that we should be able to take a prescriptive approach to this issue. (Meaning, he doesn't think engineering will be necessary) So far, we've come up with two ideas - one we don't like and one we're not sure meets code. Idea #1 is to pour new footings and piers and install a beam. The new floor joists would overlap this beam on the inside and would rest on the sill beam on the outside. We don't like this idea because of the room height we would lose due to the new larger joists. This would also play hell with door openings and god knows what else. Idea #2 is to lag or through-bolt a ledger onto the inside face of the sill beam. Because the sill beam is 7" in height, this ledger (probably 2x10? 2x12?) would hang down and overlap the foundation wall. We would install joists with hangers on the ledger and the other end of the joists would overlap the aforementioned piers/beam on the inside. The issues here seem to be the ledger lags/bolts being in shear and potential clearance issues between the bottom of the joists and the crawlspace floor. We're interested in feedback about these two ideas or hearing other creative approaches that would meet code requirements.

2. As far as the walls go, we'll be installing new studs as necessary to bring the layout to 16" OC. We can't decide whether to frame them 4" or 6". When we say 4", we mean a true 4". (ie: Ripping down larger 2x's to 4" to match the original rough cut lumber. The wall remains the same thickness) Pros: Don't have to modify door and window trim on the inside of the wall (jambs). Cons: Can't get inside surface of wall smooth/plumb for drywall without shimming, Can't put as much insulation in wall, Standard insulation not designed to work in 4" space. When we say 6", we mean using 2x6s for a 5.5" thick wall. Pros: Can get inside and outside surface of walls completely parallel with each other, Can use standard insulation and more of it, Don't have to rip down lumber, etc. Cons: Have to rework inside door and window trim (jamb extensions, new window stools)...although my fiance would probably enjoy the deeper window sills. In either case, we'll have to pack out exterior trim and install jamb extensions due to the installation of the rainscreen system. So which way would you go and why? I'm sure I'm forgetting plenty of pros/cons for each approach.

3. As noted above, the second story and attic will both get new floors. The floors will be supported on the inside of the house by the new engineered beams. When these beams were spec'd, the intention was to use them as "drop beams" with the joists lapping over the top. We've since decided that we don't want to lose a bunch of ceiling height or have to box/sheetrock around the beam. Because of this, we're planning on installing the beams flush and using hangers for the joists. (We're going to run this by our engineer to determine if the spec'd beams will work in this manner, or if changes need to be made.) We've determined that the best way to support the joists at the exterior walls is to keep the balloon framing. That is, to rest the joists on a ribbon that is let in to the studs and then nail the joists to the face of the studs. The existing ribbons are not going to work for this because we won't be able to notch the new joists to keep the second floor at the same elevation. We're thinking about letting in a new ribbon 9.25" or 11.25" (depends on 10" or 12" joists) below the second floor elevation and resting the joists on top. No notching would be required this way and we would still nail them to the face of the adjoining studs. Ideally, we would like to use a ribbon larger than 1". The only sticking point here is the maximum depth of the notch allowed by code. (25% of stud?) So assuming we decide to re-frame with 6" walls (from subject #2 above), the studs will be 5.5" making the maximum allowable notch 1-3/8". If the inspector does things by the book, this would rule out letting in a 2x at 1-1/2". I suppose I could plane off the extra 1/8". What do you all think? As far as the original ribbon, I'm going to have to remove it to make room for the new joists. Shouldn't be an issue once I have the new ribbon installed. As a side note, a friend of mine suggested an alternative to letting in a ribbon. He mentioned installing jack studs next to the 16" OC wall studs and resting the joists on top. Blocking would be installed between the joist and the next stud to prohibit rolling of the joist. Outside of the extra lumber cost and loss of space for insulation, what do you all think? Concerns? It seems like this approach would certainly be code compliant. The joist would also have more lumber to bear on.

EDIT: Another option that I've heard about would have us frame a second wall inside of the current one. The studs would be staggered to help with thermal bridging and insulation. The second story floor joists who rest on the double top plate of the wall.

If you've read all of that, thank you!

This post was long-winded, but I wanted to get everything on the table for discussion all at once. I tried to answer as many questions as I could without them needing to be asked. Please provide any comments or criticism that you think might be helpful. Also, if you have any ideas for tackling these projects that weren't mentioned, we'd love to hear them! Photos will be posted as we're able to take them. It's hard to get good shots right now because much of the interior is covered with plaster and exterior is covered with siding.

Last edited by Pittsville; 05-17-2013 at 04:17 AM.
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Old 05-17-2013, 12:55 PM   #2
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Updating Timber & Balloon Framed Home (LONG POST)


Quote:
Originally Posted by Pittsville View Post
(We're going to run this by our engineer to determine if the spec'd beams will work in this manner, or if changes need to be made.)
I'd run all of this by the engineer as well .... kinda hard to recommend structural items when one has not seen the structure

I'd also recommend next time breaking something like this down to bite sized portions, kinda of hard to read through all of that and understand everything, maybe I'm just slow. kinda of like trying to eat an elephant all at one time .....

notching joists is never a good idea even when to code allowed limits.

as far as walls could install horizontal strapping at 16" o.c. to attach drywall board to. don't believe I read what your stud depth was,

need to ensure your depth and insulation requirements match or you'll have to install rigid on the outside of the walls or closed cell spray foam to be compliant with your insulation requirements.

here are the prescriptive code requirements for the 2009 IRC http://publicecodes.cyberregs.com/ic...2009/index.htm
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Old 05-17-2013, 01:24 PM   #3
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Updating Timber & Balloon Framed Home (LONG POST)


You're a patient man Gary for reading all of that. I do tend to write elephants. Most of what I wrote was providing background and I hope to get into more detailed discussions about the three numbered points. In simple terms, my issues are:

1. How to frame the first floor without notching anything and without losing room height. The ledger bolted to the inside of the sill beam would satisfy both items, but would probably not be prescriptive design. (ie: We'd call the engineer on that one)

2. Whether to rip down studs and frame the walls 4" deep or whether to install 2x6s and frame the wall 5.5" deep. I'm thinking the 2x6 wall is the way to go, but wanted to make sure that I'm not overlooking anything. (ie: I know I'll have to add jamb extensions and new stools to windows. What other consequences are there from making the wall thicker?)

3. How to frame the second story and attic floors. Keep 'em balloon framed and move my ribbons down? Or...add jack studs and blocking for each new joist? Or... build an entire wall inside of the existing one to carry the joists? Etc... Pros and cons of each approach.

As far as engineering, it's very expensive in these parts and we're trying to keep it to a minimum. The county wanted to see calculations for the size of the beams holding the floors, so engineering was necessary. We've discussed the above three items with the county and engineer and they both agree that engineering is not necessary. Basically, why pay for it if it's not needed? They state that the guidelines are found within the 2009 IRC and that the design is "prescriptive". (The code contains the design requirements) For example, the following provides guidance on the installation of the new second floor joists.

Quote:
R502.3 Allowable joist spans. Spans for floor joists shall be in accordance with Tables R502.3.1(1) and R502.3.1(2). For other grades and species and for other loading conditions, refer to the AF&PA Span Tables for Joists and Rafters.
Quote:
R502.6 Bearing. The ends of each joist, beam or girder shall have not less than 1.5 inches (38 mm) of bearing on wood or metal and not less than 3 inches (76 mm) on masonry or concrete except where supported on a 1-inch-by-4-inch (25.4 mm by 102 mm) ribbon strip and nailed to the adjacent stud or by the use of approved joist hangers.
Just trying to weigh the pros and cons of possible approaches and hunt for any options that we may have missed.

Last edited by Pittsville; 05-17-2013 at 01:32 PM.
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Old 05-17-2013, 01:28 PM   #4
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Updating Timber & Balloon Framed Home (LONG POST)


what is the depth of your exterior wall studs?
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Old 05-17-2013, 01:35 PM   #5
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Updating Timber & Balloon Framed Home (LONG POST)


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what is the depth of your exterior wall studs?
The original posts and studs are true 4" deep.

They also vary in width. Posts are between 4-6" wide and studs are between 2-3" wide. Again, all true dimensions.
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Old 05-17-2013, 04:30 PM   #6
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Updating Timber & Balloon Framed Home (LONG POST)


Are you sure about the notching of the joists? If they actually did them the way you are showing it is wrong. In the balloon construction I have seen, the ledger is let into the studs and the joists run right over the ledger to the exterior sheathing. I have also seen notched joists where the Bottom of the joist was notched to fit a 1 x 3 face nailed to the studs, but I have never seen a joist notched almost all the way through like you are showing. That is wrong, and is removing almost all of the weight bearing capability from the joists, as they would tend to split longitudinally right at the bottom of the notch. Weird

Can you post pictures of this?
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Old 05-17-2013, 05:05 PM   #7
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Updating Timber & Balloon Framed Home (LONG POST)


I'll try to get some pics tonight after work or tomorrow morning.
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Old 05-24-2013, 10:48 PM   #8
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Updating Timber & Balloon Framed Home (LONG POST)


Been swamped at work, so I haven't had a chance to take pics yet. I have an engineer coming out on Monday to look things over. Until then, I found the following thread that discusses almost the exact same issue I'm dealing with:

help with 2nd floor joists
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Old 05-28-2013, 12:41 AM   #9
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Updating Timber & Balloon Framed Home (LONG POST)


Here are some photos.

The first one shows our newly installed built-up sill beams. The sill is 4x6, 2x6, 4x6 treated lumber laminated together and capped off with a 2x10 ripped down to 8.5" wide. (Final dimensions are 7" x 8.5") The studs shown have been ripped down to 4" from 2x6s to match the original depth of the walls. The new first floor is yet to be framed.



The next one shows the ribbon and second floor joists. The 4x8" beam that is shown in the illustration from my original post is out of frame at the bottom. The studs shown in this photo are resting on top of that beam.



Here's a shot taken from the second floor looking down into the wall. The ribbon is center left and covered in plaster dust. The joist is in the top of the frame and you can see how it's been notched to sit on the ribbon. To the right is the wood clapboard siding.



The attic floor joists are also notched, but they rest on a 4x8 beam instead of a ribbon. The notches in these joists are larger than those in the second floor joists.

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Old 05-28-2013, 01:18 AM   #10
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Updating Timber & Balloon Framed Home (LONG POST)


Despite it being a holiday, the engineer came out today to take a look at things and discuss some different options. We concluded that the best approach is going to be to frame new 2x4 walls inside of the existing ones. There's about 4.5" of room left on the sill beams, so this will work nicely. The new second floor joists will bear on top of these walls and then run to a flush beam at the other end. We'll install subfloor and then build another wall on top and repeat the process for the attic floor. We'll loose a small amount of space in each room, but we'll be able to get much more insulation in the walls. We'll have to add jamb extensions to doors and windows as well as deeper window stools. (Gives the fiance somewhere to set flower pots. )

As far as the first floor goes, the engineer suggested that our sill beams are sufficient to carry the joists without the addition of a ledger. (He noted that the ledger would create a moment) Basically, he said that it would be fine to attach joist hangers right to the sill and hang new 2x10 joists. The other end of these joists would be carried by a beam that we'll soon be installing. (New footings, posts, beam, etc)

To save some money, the engineer recommended that I draw up the plans and submit them to him for review. The general design will be my overall responsibility and he'll either say "yes" or "no". If the answer is no, he'll then advise me on how to get a "yes". I'm still working out a couple of details like:

- Lateral support at the joist ends (bearing on new 2x4 wall). Because we don't plan on removing the existing joists and ribbon, we'll have to frame around them. That means no rim/band joist, so I'll likely have to install some full depth blocking between joists (near the end).

and

- Connection method of joists to top plates.

Here's a preliminary drawing showing the thought process so far. I've shaded the original studs/posts.

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Old 05-28-2013, 02:25 AM   #11
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Updating Timber & Balloon Framed Home (LONG POST)


sounds like a good plan!
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Old 05-28-2013, 11:17 AM   #12
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Updating Timber & Balloon Framed Home (LONG POST)


How do you plan on getting the 2x12(?) sill plate under the existing framing?

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Old 05-28-2013, 11:35 AM   #13
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Updating Timber & Balloon Framed Home (LONG POST)


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How do you plan on getting the 2x12(?) sill plate under the existing framing?

Andy.
Hey Andy. The existing framing is already sitting on the original 7x8 sill beams. The studs and posts only take up 4" of the sills 8" depth, so that leaves another 4" for me to frame my new walls on the inside.

In my diagrams I show a built-up sill beam, but that was a repair where the existing sills were rotten. The wall framing was jacked slightly and the new sills were installed. Elsewhere in the house if the original solid sills are good, they'll remain in place under the existing wall framing.

Last edited by Pittsville; 05-28-2013 at 11:38 AM.
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Old 05-29-2013, 12:15 PM   #14
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Updating Timber & Balloon Framed Home (LONG POST)


I spent some time yesterday thinking about my double-wall approach. The newly framed interior walls will take care of bearing for the second floor and attic joists, but there are two issues:

1. Lateral support for the joists.
2. Fireblocking.

As far as lateral support, I can't install a rim joist because of the existing floor framing. (We don't want to have to remove every existing joist, so we'll be framing around them.) I could add full depth blocking between the joists over the bearing wall and this would take care of lateral movement. Since the blocking would be installed between the new 2x10 joist and the existing 2x6 joist, a "gap" would exist underneath the 2x6 joist. This makes fireblocking the space tricky. I suppose I could screw 5/8" sheetrock over the opening. What do you all think? Any better ideas?

Below is an illustration showing what I'm talking about. I've drawn the double top plate with the new 2x10 joists and blocking. The existing joist is dark brown. The arrow is pointing to the gap in question.



Also, anyone have any experience with these hurricane ties from Simpson? Looks like you nail them to the top plate of the wall and they would provide lateral support. I've only seen them pictured fastening rafters though, not joists. Anyone ever use them for joist-to-plate connections?

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