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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
All -

We are rehabbing our 100 YO home in NJ and have the place to the studs. My question is as follows:

In my pictures you can see that the roof (of the "new" addition put on in the 80 or 90's) is 2 x 6's spanning approx. 16 or so ft at 16. O.C. The only support is in the center (at approx. 9 ft. 7 inches) directly behind the skylight. These pictures were not taken for this purpose but hopefully you can see it clearly enough. The SE we have hired has deemed it adequate and thus no "repairs" to that section are deemed necessary. However, we would like to sister the 2 x 6's with 2 x 12's to bring down the ceiling height for things like insulation, recessed, etc as well as attached it with a stronger ledger board (currently the 2 x 6's attach to a 2 x 4).

I realize the pictures may not be the easiest to work with however when sistering the 2 x 12's should I support them on that center "beam" (not sure what that is called) as well? Any ideas? Please let me know if this is not clear enough and I can attempt to snap some more detailed pictures to describe the scenario...

Thanks,

Tom
 

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Newbie Bill
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Welcome Thomas.

That is an interesting beam. Glad to hear you had a SE check it out.

The experts will have some input here shortly.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Lot of interesting things in a 100 YO house with multiple additions. For example, from the vantage point where most of the pictures were taken (kitchen) you can see a different roof line. They literally put the roof on the existing room. I had to take it out. 6 layers of shingles in the room that was put on in the 50's. Crazy stuff.

Structural Engineer was best $900 I ever spent. Took the thought out of a lot and gave me ease of mind as well as showing the inspectors that I am making a true effort to do everything properly. We certainly have a lot to do.

Good experience I guess.
 

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I see a couple things I would never have done.
Undersized header over the opening. It's sitting over the side of a window with no support, not even a cripple.
In your zone your going to need anywhere between R38 and R60 insulation, no way to fit that much plus the foam baffles in 5-1/2 space.
 

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I'm not an se but that support beam doesn't look adequate to me its setting on a window with very little support under it. Think I would have that checked again by someone else.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I agree, I am not saying I would have done this either. But the 90's were a wild time I guess.

What I am wondering is when I add my sisters, how should I tie these in and attempt to gain some additional support? The new 2 x 12's will be 12ft long, going about 2 ft. pas that beam. The drywall will be on the vaulted ceilings until that "beam", where at that point it will drop to the 8ft or so and go straight across to the fireplace (aka know vault). So I have a few ft. back there to somehow try to gain more strength. I am just asking for perhaps a few design suggestions.
 

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All the pictures look like it's aready sagging.
If it was my job I remove the whole thing and use shorter cripples and a double up 2 X 12's.
What you have now does not even amount to a header, No idea why they used spacers between the 2 X 6's Instead or attaching then together like a real header.
Also why is there no header or at least a doubled up 2 X 4 over the door opening? Good luck trying to attach the trim the way it done.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
The door you are referring to is gone. It is now a 20ft wide open passageway. No worries there.

I am not quite sure I guess what you are suggesting. Double up 2 x 12's where? in place of the 2 - 2 x 6 beam thingy? What would be the proper attachement then to the sistered rafters with that suggested method?

Sorry for all the questions, this has been an area of discussion on what to do here, we really just want to make sure it is as strong as possible. It is an addition off the back of the original four square house in which the rafters (the 2 x 6's) span approx. 16 ft from the height of 13 ft down to 8 ft. or so. Not sure if that is how it seems in the pictures or not.

Thanks again.

Tom
 

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Newbie Bill
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I'll try to interpret what I am hearing via this photo. Darn, the red doesn't show up too well. Hopefully you get the idea.

The end of the so called beam (circled) lands above a window. The framing around the window may need to be much stouter to handle the weight.

I think the guys would like to see an actual beam, a double or triple 2X12 or whatever size is required, installed higher so the your sistered 2X12 rafters can sit directly on it. I'm not sure if the rafters are getting much support from the beam as it is now, which in reality is just a couple of 2X??s separated by vertical 2X6's.

Since everything is open, now is the time to improve the structure. I don't think changing the beam would be all that difficult, but the structure over that window could be a challenge.
 

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Even a double up 2 X 10 would have been better then what you have now.
The header over that window just makes 0 since to be, there's no king stud, it does not even make contact with the doubled up wall studs.
 

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Newbie Bill
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And Thomas, don't get too frustrated.

The guys and gals here may come off a bit negative at times. But ultimately, they are very concerned that things are done properly, with input from Structural Engineers when required, with the proper permits, etc.

They will help you to get this right so you can be confident in the structure of your home as your family starts to grow.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks. That is why I came here. Per the structural engineer, it is acceptable as is. That being said, I want to make it stronger.

drtbk4ever - your sketch is what we are thinking, we are just curious as what the connection to the rafters will be. It will not "sit" directly on there as you have shown. I believe (I will check tonight) that I can add in a king stud where you have highlighted. Hopefully this is not a problem.

I think 2 2 x 12's would work, just still wondering how to attach to the cripple studs to the sistered 2 x 12's as they are sloped. Just Nail similar to what they have now or do I have to build some type of top plate?

I realize that people on here are experts on today's code and have know how, which is why I am here. I have gotten proper SE plans and have my permits pulled. The SE has it as adequate as is, so I truly just want to make it as strong as possible as well as to code. As you mention this is a good chance to get it as right as I can.

Thanks all for your responses...
 

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Those green lines are exactly like I would have suggest if I had to deal with what you already have.
 

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What I would do is make a new beam to right of window out of 3 2x12 that set on wall frame with proper support on either side. With a load like this it have to supported all the way down to foundation may even have to pit in peer under house for side away from exterior wall. Then sister all to set on new beam.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Joe,

Can you see my response to drtbk4ever....I just have a question about the connection between the cripple studs to the rafters as the new 2-2x12 header and sistered 2 x 12's will not meet. Pain in the butt I know but I have just not really ever seen anything like that current header. How should I attach them?

Tom
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
Pro Handyman - I am not trying to be ignorant or anything but I am curious when you say "load like this". 3-2 x 12's seems very excessive to me, but I could be wrong. What would make you think that 3 2x12's is what I should use? I am not sure if I can build to the right of that window due to the kitchen, but maybe could have a few more inches over. Pain what these people did. Sadly, this is the easy side of this problem.

However, Same question as to Joe, when supporting the rafters what connection method should I use?

I think I need to start a project showcase so that I can provide my plans, house layout, etc. I have asked four or five questions on here and have gotten great responses and I can promise that I will have tons more.

Again, thanks everyone for taking time out of your days to consult with me. You guys really 1) educate 2) help those let fortunate (skilled) than you.

Let me know if have any tax questions!:wink:

Thomas
 

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I say a load like this because you said rafters are 20 foot long and that's alot of weight. I was taught beams should be tripled 2x12 if over ten foot span and beam a steel beam if over twenty foot.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Ok, thanks. Never heard that before but then again never heard a lot of things.

The weird part about this renovation is that they stuff that was added was way worse than the stuff that was originally built in the 1910's. They were not DIY projects either, they were major renovations and additions.

Hopefully we can reverse that trend.

Thomas
 

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It's unfortunate that there are several professional contractors out there that honestly have no idea how to build things properly.
 
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