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Shoring up sagging ceiling joists

9686 Views 10 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  WhatRnsdownhill
Hey all. Looking for some guidance on the best way to shore up some ceiling joists. Attached some rough pictures to give an ideal about what we're looking at.

Basics though. Room is about 14' wide x 27' long. Rafters and joists run the length of the room. Joists are overlapping 2x6's. One is 16', other is 14'. There are 2x4's running vertically from each joist up to the rafters next to the ridge beam.

It looks as if the room had previously been 2 rooms with the wall running under the laps. Estimate the wall was removed at some point around 20 year ago.

There is some sag to the joists. About 1 inch near the center.

So basically looking for the best way to reinforce the joists. We were thinking about jacking up the joists to level and putting some gusset plates at each point using plywood/glue/nail. We weren't sure how big the plates needed to be at each point.

Or should we install a load bearing beam where the joists overlap?

Thoughts or ideas appreciated.


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Been there done that many times.
Just love it when someone wants to "open up" a room and does not bother to take into concideration what it does to the area above.
Lift the ceiling back in place and add a new wall.
Lift it and add diaginals to the rafters and have the roof sag.
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Well since your ridge beam is connected to your ceiling joist and you know your ceiling joists have sagged one inch then it is likely that your ridge beam has also sagged the same amount. Have you looked at the ridge line?
I can't see how jacking and adding gussets to the existing connection points will solve anything. It would all just settle back down.
Think you are going to need a beam or wall to support it like the original design called for.
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Sorry, forgot to mention another fact. This roof has an entirely other roof over it. So the roof in the drawing isn't exposed to the outdoors. Attaching 2 photos which kind of show what I mean.

We removed stove pipe and one photo is taken looking up through it. The other is looking through the hole at the roof above this roof. Both shingled of course. Difference is, the higher roof is a different pitch. Both roof's share the same front wall, but not the back wall. I can only assume another room was added later and they decided to just put another roof over the whole thing.

The ridge beam was actually quite level. No noticeable sagging when we put the level on it.

So yeah, 2 roofs for the price of one. :)


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Well since you changed the scenario it changes my opinion. Which is to disconnect one or 2 of the vertical braces at a time. Jack the ceiling truss and then reconnect the braces.
this is what I did last time. cut the old ceiling out - when I cut the last vertical tie, I swear the roof jumped up 2" with a bang. then I ran new ceiling joists on the short run (14'). I had to make some pockets for the joist ends to rest on the adjacent wall top plates. this is the best fix imho.

the roof shouldn't hold the ceiling up in this stick built design.
put a flush header running the 14 ft direction with a few gluelams...
put a flush header running the 14 ft direction with a few gluelams...
Could you do the header above the joists and hang them? or just be safe and put it under?
google flush header......the bottom is flush with the ceiling joists and you use joist hangers to tie in the ceiling joists to the header..
google flush header......the bottom is flush with the ceiling joists and you use joist hangers to tie in the ceiling joists to the header..
Ahh. I'm with you now.

Let me ask this, wouldn't cutting the joists and installing the flush header cause wall separation?
no, as the joist hangers are nailed into the header and side nailed/ toe nailed into the keep the joists tight to the header..also further up the roof rafters should be beams nailed from opposite roof rafters to keep them from expanding out...hard to tell from the pictures if you have those..
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