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Old 08-21-2016, 10:41 PM   #1
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puzzled by my stairwell framing


Hi everyone
So I was told by the contractor that renovated my house , a classic american four square from 1920, that the only load bearing wall is the wall that runs down the middle (really just off center) and is perpendicular to the floor joists that run from the exterior walls. Given that, I decided today to tear down the wall that runs along my stairs to the second story. See photos. I'm on here asking all of you what you think because I got off all the drywall and was surprised to find a somewhat perplexing framing situation. Some details: my stairwell width from exterior wall to new header is less then 4 feet and length from trimmer to trimmer is just at 10 feet. In crawl space there are no supports that transfer the load of the wall. There is obviously a new 2x10 header beam just behind the drywall in photo. I can also see the older header beam farther back about 3.5 inches away from the new header beam visible in photo. I used a inspection camera and was able to identify joist hangers securing floor joists to the older/original header beam. What is weird is I can't see a joist hanger - or anything for that matter - that is securing the old/original header beam to the floor joist that runs perpendicular to it and abuts the old/original header beam. I can't tell if there is a joist hanger connecting The new header beam (visible in photo) to the trimmer as it is hidden behind drywall. I do know that on the new header beam there is no joist hanger connecting it to the trimmer that runs behind the last riser of the steps. Last but not least, the the top of the stud wall in question runs just between the two header beams, hence the 3.5 inches. At first sight the top of the stud wall looks like two 2x4s stacked as is common in framing but in fact it just a bunch of random boards on their sides sandwiched between the header beams. FYI, I've already removed two studs as they were clearly underneath floor joists that run from exterior wall to interior structural wall. Any thoughts as to what is going on here? I hope to god that the random boards I'm seeing isn't their **** way of sistering the 2x10 header beams because last I checked 1/2 plywood is code for that.
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puzzled by my stairwell framing-img_1347.jpg   puzzled by my stairwell framing-img_1348.jpg   puzzled by my stairwell framing-img_1349.jpg   puzzled by my stairwell framing-img_1350.jpg  
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Old 08-21-2016, 11:55 PM   #2
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Re: puzzled by my stairwell framing


Here is simle diagram I drew of the framing.
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