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Old 01-06-2009, 01:07 AM   #1
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HELP! Adding Bathrooms


I am new to the forum and have searched extensively for the answer to this question, so please forgive me if its already been answered. We have an odd shaped 2 story (not counting the basement) colonial. When we bought it it was 2 stories connected to one story then 2 stories then a one story cathedral ceiling room. One 2 story contains the garage and an inlaw apartement. the second two story has a huge master suite which we are breaking up. We added a second story to the one story between the 2 story portions. The outside walls are all 2 x4. we need to move the bathroom and add a second one for the kids. We would need to run drain lines down the wall between the 2 story and the cathedral room. It is structured like an outside wall but has the cathredral room on the other side (so freezing is not a problem). My question is can we cut the rim joists for the 3 inch drain. The rimjoist is supported by the wall below on the second floor and by short wall and foundation on the first floor. Thanks to our professional carpenter friend, we had water leaks when adding the additional room between the 2 stories, so I was able to look at the plumbing coming down from the inlaw apartment. They cut the joist right through to fit the 3 inch drain line and bring it down to the basement on both the second floor and the first floor. Is this safe (I would think so as the house 15 years old) and legal (may have been then but not now)? Hubby is concerned about the budget so we want to do as much as we can ourselves. I have done lots of research and have many books on construction (I used to work for a publisher). Sorry for being so longwinded. Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks so much!


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Old 01-06-2009, 08:14 AM   #2
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Having a tough time understanding why the rim joist of the house needs to be cut. A plumbing drain normally doesn't run through a rim joist of an exterior wall. The exceptions to that would be in some split level homes or up against garages. Just want to make sure you have your terminology right so we know we're talking about the same thing.

It would be best to post a couple pictures to illustrate the challenges.

That being said, in most cases a rim joist can be drilled to allow passage of a 3" drain line. Drilled, not cut. Round holes, not square holes! It is important that holes not be drilled under concentrated load points.


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Old 01-07-2009, 12:29 AM   #3
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The house is kind of 4 smaller houses with with common walls between each. There is no basement under the inlaw/gagarage part. The rest have foundations with concrete walls between each. All 2 x 4 construction with the exception of the front and back wall on the second story addition, this is 2x6. I was told you can run the pipe through 2 x 4 walls, but don't know what to do about the rim joist. I am assuming on the common walls, since each of the 4 sections are different sized and the living room with cathredral ceiling is sunken, there is a rim joist right in line with it. Perhaps my understanding of a rim joist is not correct

Hi, the set up is similar to a split level. All walls again are 2x4. The wall with the opening and the railing is where I wan to run drain pipes. Excuse the interior pictures, they were taken when the estate people were setting up the estate sale. We havent done much except I put an island in the kitchen, installed hardwood instead of the pink carpet and changed the light fixtures. The rest of the kitchen remodel will have to wait until the upstairs and bathroom issues are settled.

I don't want a chase running down the wall making an odd shape in the kitchen. I plan to install crown molding all the way around.

The last pic is the drain pipe from the inlaw apartment through the joist and down the 2x4 wall. its a 3 inch pipe.

Hubby is laid off for another 3 weeks so I want him to help me start putting up walls, but we can't get that started until we settle the plumbling issues.

Thanks again for any input.


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