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Old 07-31-2010, 05:03 PM   #1
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No top plate overlap at interection

Hi all, I'm in the process of converting a closet into a bathroom. I have permits and an engineer's stamp of approval. The project required me to move a load bearing wall over by 18 inches. This is a 2x6 wall and will house the plumbing pipes. Since the wall is load bearing it has double top plates. It also has studs, 16" o.c. I've already built the wall, and it looks and seems great. This new wall forms an intersection with an existing exterior wall. I did not overlap the topmost , top plate into the perpendicular wall's top plate. To do so, would have required me to cut into the top plate of an existing exterior wall, which seemed like a bad idea. Also, my home was built in 1926 and the existing lumber is all bigger than today's (2x4's are actually 2" by 4", etc...). This thickness difference would make it even trickier to do so. Techincally, I think I am supposed to overlap these top plates. However, the section of code that seems to require this may only apply to new structures. Does anyone know if it matters if you're modifying an existing structure? Can I use some metal L braces as substitute? I realize this all may be a matter of my local codes and how picky the inspector is. However, I just want to know if anyone has ever run into this situation and if it is common to NOT overlap double top plates in a remodel (non new construction) situation.


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Old 07-31-2010, 06:23 PM   #2
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Simpson makes a connector for that. It's a simple steel plate that nails down over the top of the intersection.


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Old 07-31-2010, 08:57 PM   #3
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If you are onto an exterior wall, a top tie application will be difficult, to say the least. Call the Inspector and ask him if he will accept H-2.5 on each side of the wall. They usually try to work with you. If not, ask this: cut a notch in the side of the old top plate--- 2" deep and a 1/4" wider that your new wall's top plate. Extend the top plate on new wall, 1-3/4" to fit the pocket with 1/4" plywood on the second plate of the old wall to make up the difference in heights. Remember, the very top of walls should be the same. Face nail through the bottom of the second plate into the new top plate at the lap, add the blocking or backing studs, in an "L" shape, giving 3/4" drywall backing on each side of the wall.

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Old 08-02-2010, 08:52 PM   #4
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Simpson has several different types of L brackets. ( ) The GA bracket would be my choice for this job.

Load bearing walls have downward forces rather than lateral ones on the plate and I'm inclined to think that your inspector would find an angle bracket to be acceptable.

Last edited by Wildie; 08-02-2010 at 08:55 PM.
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