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25
votes
4answers
5k views

Are there ways to determine if a wall is load bearing?

Other than looking up blue prints, which many homeowners may not have, are there ways to determine if a wall is load bearing? Methods I can think of might include: Going up in the attic to check if ...
2
votes
2answers
152 views

What's the point of a thin (1/4" width) piece of wood set diagonally between two studs?

What's the point of a thin (1/4" width, ~2-3" wide) piece of wood set diagonally between two studs? I just took out a piece of drywall for some other work I'm doing, and between two studs, there's ...
1
vote
1answer
175 views

Can I replace a floor joist cross-brace with two horizontal pieces of blocking in the same spot?

I am doing some remodeling and want to run a 6-inch HVAC (kitchen exhaust hood) duct through the floor joists. There is one section where the path is impeded by a standard floor joist cross-brace. Can ...
0
votes
0answers
198 views

Can my garage ceiling handle this much weight?

I am looking to mount a shop light reel and an air hose reel on the ceiling in my garage and am worried that it might be too much weight. Here are the approximate weights: Light reel: 10 lbs Air ...
1
vote
1answer
58 views

Back door frame no longer square

I live on the 3rd (top) floor of a condo building. Our back door - which opens to the outside, is not square. The building was built in 2006 and the drywall around the door at the corners is cracked ...
0
votes
2answers
1k views

Rebar cattle guard

Looking for a cattle guard that can be made from available supplies at local home depot. Needs to be able to support 32,000 lbs to meet HS-20 aka cement truck. Schedule 40 re-bar has a tensile ...
2
votes
2answers
899 views

Are there span tables published for repairing a cut roof joist?

A roofing company mistakenly cut a 2 foot section out of a roof joist, on my home. I'm seeking a reference to what would constitute a proper repair, preferably a prescriptive code or a load table. ...
2
votes
2answers
885 views

Does this ceiling joist layout look structurally sound?

I plan on talking with an architect soon, but wanted feedback from this community too. Please see the attached photo. I'm in Raleigh, NC and am using information from this site ...
0
votes
1answer
130 views

What is this pipe - should I be worried?

We found it behind a wall, it is a bit more than 10 inches wide it has about an 3/4 inch of concrete between metal. It was jaggedly broke off on the bottom in the basement ceiling. It is also ...
1
vote
2answers
317 views

Unsure about my structural engineer, can you check his drawing?

I recently asked my structural engineer to provide some calculations and drawings to remove the arch and further open up the opening between the double fronted sitting room of my 2.5 storey (2 at the ...
0
votes
2answers
304 views

Replacing a spanned “beam” with a cantilevered beam

I have a support post in my attic that is holding up one side of a minor ridge beam. The post is sitting on two 2x6s on their backs, and which span 20 inches. Yes, these 2x6s are not on edge -- they ...
4
votes
2answers
5k views

How much sagging is considered normal for floors in old (100+ years) houses?

I am currently looking at a house in New England that dates back to the 1820's that has a sagging floor in the living room. The floor dips down about one inch near one of the walls and I was told by ...
6
votes
1answer
2k views

Can I safely make a door frame taller?

UPDATE: April 22 What I ended up doing was removing the trim non-destructively. Above the door frame, it was clearly not load bearing, so I continued and was not so non-destructive. The end-result ...
1
vote
2answers
162 views

Attic was built to be living space in 1945, but are the trusses strong enough to keep doing so?

I have a Cape Cod style house that was built in 1945 with an attic as a living space. The trusses are 2x6, 16" apart, and don't span more than 15' across. Do I need to reinforce these trusses or ...
15
votes
1answer
5k views

Is my rapidly failing foundation dangerous?

I'll be succinct. I'm afraid we're having a full structural failure. Over the past week, crack after crack has been appearing in our plaster and walls. I'm honestly concerned for our safety. Our ...
1
vote
1answer
125 views

New Window in Structural Brick House

I have an old house (built in the 1940s) that is structural brick. I want to add a small window on the wall to the upstairs to let in a bit more light. Is it possible to add a window to a structural ...
11
votes
4answers
16k views

How do I improve Pergola Stability?

The deck is nearly finished but I have a small structural problem with the pergola. A left or right force near the top of the pergola (such a a tall person leaning on the post) leads to a bit of ...
5
votes
4answers
2k views

How do I deal with a joist in the way of where I need to run a pipe?

I'm in the process of installing central vac lines (2" OD) in a finished house, and I am trying to run a line into the upstairs hallway. I have removed drywall in the garage below and drilled a hole ...
3
votes
0answers
58 views

How can I reduce the bounciness of a floor? [duplicate]

My apartment is on the second floor of a low-rise building. There are no units directly under it; the apartment sits above the open-air garage. I feel basically everything that my next door ...
0
votes
1answer
165 views

How much does weight affect a house?

I just demo'ed a bathroom. At 50 trashbags at 50 pounds a piece I am guesstimating that I took out 2500 pounds. The materials I am using to replace everything in the bathroom are about 800 pounds ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

What should I do about this load bearing wall that is only supported by a joist floor?

My floors pitch in the same spots as they do on the 1st and 2nd floors. My home was built in the 1890's. I have some soft spots in the basement joists and added 4x4" posts to each side of the main ...
1
vote
1answer
1k views

Can I use a threaded rod for a rafter tie?

Long story short: I am working on a 1960's house with no rafter ties. The rafters themselves are now attached with screws and strong-ties (previously just double nailed!) but I don't have faith in the ...
7
votes
2answers
2k views

What are these beams for in my loft?

I have very good building experience but in a house we bought recently I have been wondering what the heck to do with my loft. Initially its converted to a mini workshop / storage The max height is ...
1
vote
3answers
557 views

What information do I need to size a sawn or hewn beam?

I have a load bearing wall in my house that a previous occupant decided to cut a hole in to make things feel more open. They did not add a header, much to my chagrin. I'm planning to put an exposed ...
4
votes
1answer
4k views

How far can I move ceiling joists up?

The second floor of our house has a fairly low ceiling, perhaps 6'8" or 6'10". The width of the structure is only about 16' with standard construction and the ceiling joists running parallel to to the ...
6
votes
1answer
347 views

Designed a floating corner table, unsure of its potential strength. Any ideas?

I pretty much want to attach some angle iron to the studs and some threaded rods to the angle iron. I'll rout out the profile of the angle iron into the butcher block so it sits flush and so that when ...
3
votes
1answer
748 views

What is involved in enlarging a concrete garage door opening?

I have a concrete garage with an opening measuring 99" wide by 85" high. There is 10" of concrete from the door opening to the left and right walls and about 1' above. All walls are 8" thick and ...
4
votes
1answer
659 views

Can a load bearing beam be offset from lapping joists?

I'm replacing a section of 4'' load bearing wall by a large 8''x8'' steel beam, and due to the size of the beam it would stick out to one side too much if I were to install it exactly centered with ...
3
votes
1answer
737 views

When will drilling through wall members affect structural integrity?

When can you freely drill medium to large sized holes in studs or door jambs, and when do you need to be concerned about damaging the structural integrity of the structure?
9
votes
1answer
2k views

How do I know if it is safe to remove a wall?

When looking at a wall, how can I tell if I can safely remove it?
2
votes
2answers
1k views

Fixing a sagging foundation

We are currently renting our house and considering purchasing it from the owner, but it is sagging, and in some rooms it is rather significant and noticeable, with the worst parts being approximately ...
6
votes
1answer
1k views

Should I worry about sagging joists?

I have a two story house and some of the joists between the floors are sagging about an inch or two. When I walk around upstairs I can feel the level difference and downstairs you can slightly see the ...