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1
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1answer
206 views

How can I remove an inner wall of a gambrel house?

We own a Gambrel house built in 1978. I want to remove a six foot wall section that includes a doorway. This wall runs parallel to the floor joists in the basement. The main center beam is about three ...
0
votes
1answer
43 views

Who do I call to approve minor interior structural changes to my house?

I want to knock down an interior wall in my house and make a dropped ceiling flush with the remainder of the room. It should be a fairly straightforward home improvement project that I am quite sure I ...
3
votes
0answers
51 views

Should my chimney sit on my roof?

I am renting a house built in the 1940s. The mortar around the brick was cracked causing leaks. Someone had built a chimney around the outside of the original chimney. So outside it's twice the size ...
0
votes
1answer
38 views

Rainwater Collection / Pond Water Storage (Tower) Support Question

I am planning to build a *water tower for garden irrigation. I live in NC and have a 45'x70' garden so this time of year I need a considerable amount of water. Given how little rain we've been ...
2
votes
1answer
38 views

Proper backfill for a trench dug below foundation level (within the 45 degree cone of support)

Given a trench dug below foundation level, what's the proper way to backfill? Here I'm talking about a trench below the bottom edge of an unreinforced concrete foundation built in 1950, supporting a ...
0
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1answer
34 views

How do I prevent interior doors from sticking in the winter?

We have several interior doors that only stick or won't completely close in the winter. We also get cracks in the drywall mud above the doors so I think something else is going on besides just ...
1
vote
1answer
111 views

Are these foundation issues significant?

My wife and I are in the process of purchasing our first home. It is 8 years old. We have found one that we like, but I am a little hesitant about going through for two reasons. The foundation ...
0
votes
2answers
103 views

Can you attach a post base to a brick patio?

Can you attach a lumber post base to a brick patio, just as like as to a concrete one? Is an additional concrete footer needed?
0
votes
1answer
24 views

Ceiling joists job in a cinder block house

So I have a 25 x 30 square house made of cinder block. Roof is just a gable roof with gables on the ends of the 30ft length. My question is, I know in stick framed houses the ceiling joists act to ...
0
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3answers
6k views

My 5th (top) floor apartment is shaking; what might cause this?

I live in a developing country (so don't have much faith in building codes), and have been experiencing increasingly noticeable and frequent "shaking" in my top fifth floor apartment. I'm seriously ...
0
votes
1answer
64 views

How far apart should I space rafters for a 13ft patio?

I'm looking to build a patio roof (shed style) and need to span 13ft. I've found several span tables online, some of them with different maximum distances between the rafters. Is it ok to use 2x8s ...
2
votes
0answers
52 views

Front House Posts Not Resting on Anything

I have 5 roof support posts that are supposed to be resting on concrete blocks but one of them is not even touching the concrete block and the other 4 have some separation from the concrete block. ...
0
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0answers
37 views

In kitchen reno, can I make the kitchen ceiling same height as rest of dining room?

Check out the picture below -- that bar / pony wall area and the rest of the wall where the thermostat is are being knocked down to open up the kitchen. Question is, can I make the kitchen ceiling ...
1
vote
0answers
67 views

Is this vertical gap in the concrete block foundation something to worry about?

I'm looking at a home that has a vertical gap or crack running the height of the exposed concrete block foundation. The crack is near the center of the home, about a foot to the right of the concrete ...
1
vote
1answer
56 views

Is it allowed to have a small hole bored in a joist in the area where it is bearing on a beam or joist hanger

I am trying to determine if my house is up to code with respect to some holes that I found bored in the ceiling joists. The holes are about 1 inch in diameter and at least 2 inches from the top and ...
1
vote
1answer
115 views

How close is too close, when digging below foundation level?

I'm digging a drainage trench near my foundation, and have hit the bottom edge of that foundation. In this case it's a T style foundation at the edge of a slab, but elsewhere there's no slab. From ...
2
votes
1answer
76 views

How would I replace 4 posts and beam holding my covered patio with 2 posts?

I have a covered patio that extends 10' from the house towards the yard/pool and has a width of 30-33'. The covered patio seems to be part of the roof, I even have access from the attic as we ran some ...
21
votes
4answers
3k 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
111 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
62 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
80 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
47 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
154 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
362 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. ...
56
votes
10answers
15k views

Is there a case where nails are better than screws, from an engineering/structural standpoint?

Is there a case where nails are better than screws, from a structural standpoint? For instance: Say you used screws instead of nails on a backyard deck, when the design specifically called for nails. ...
2
votes
2answers
402 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
111 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
204 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
179 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
3k 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
292 views

How can I safely remove and replace a wall?

The Wall: This is about 25' long, and it separates my kitchen from my living room/Dining room. Underneath it, we have a double 2x8 floor joist, which is supported midway on an 8 inch steel I-beam. ...
6
votes
1answer
1k 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
129 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 ...
13
votes
1answer
3k 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
70 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
11k 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 ...
4
votes
4answers
1k 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
55 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
139 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
3k views

How can I calculate the yield strength of steel tube?

There's a lot of information -- and even some debates -- on which has a stronger yield strength between square and round steel tube. The majority points to square when the dimensions are equal at the ...
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 ...
9
votes
2answers
1k views

Is joist sag at connection with header a problem?

I am having the ceiling in the finished part of my basement redone, and have it fully open now. I can see the connection of the joists to the headers have given somewhat, as the house is 85 years old ...
1
vote
1answer
745 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
5k views

Can I get away with 5/4“ cedar decking across a 24” span in a children's play structure?

I am currently in the process of designing/building a play structure for my son. The structure will include a 5' high elevated deck, that is 6'x4'. The supports for the decking will be 24" ...
5
votes
2answers
5k views

What size ceiling joists and rafters should I use for a 14' span?

I'm going to build a single story addition to my home with a width of 14ft. I plan on using ceiling joists every 16" but I'm not sure which size to get. The roof will be asphalt shingles and the attic ...
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
380 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
3k 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
325 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
506 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 ...