7

I was helping a friend expand the width of a closet door, and when we pulled the drywall off the interior wall frame, we noticed some 45-degree wall braces in the interior wall.

I am pretty sure they are just for convenience during construction (e.g. a bother to remove once the frames are fully built or just there for drywall to be nailed into).

However, I am not an expert, so I wasn't sure if these were structural (maybe some type of shear wall support?) or not. In case it matters, the house was built in 1951 and is in western Georgia. All the wooden beams, including the angled ones, are held in place with 4inch nails.

Are these angle braces safe to remove and leave out? The entire cutaway area (sans drywall) would be a closet door with a frame of two 2x4s above and a vertical 2x4 on either side.

Head-on view

Angle view with window/exterior wall in frame

Closeup view

  • 2
    Not that it matters much, but this is not 45° – pipe Jan 4 at 9:26
  • @pipe I'm aware, I just felt like it was the easiest descriptor that would be easily recognized as "not at a right angle", short of whipping out a protractor. – TylerH Jan 4 at 14:43
3

Temporary braces are nailed to the face of the wall, not fit into it. That was intended as a structural member by the carpenter.

That said, it's almost certainly not critical. The entirety of the other nearby walls and the roof structure likely provide many times what that one brace does in diagonal support. Also, you don't see that technique used anymore.

I wouldn't hesitate to remove the portion that impedes your progress.

I do suggest a doubled stud, however, and you might want to orient at least one of your header members vertically, for stiffness:

 __
|  |
|  |
|  |
|__|____
|_______|
  • When you say orient one header vertically, do you mean like |_ as opposed to || (looking down the long axis of the headers)? – TylerH Jan 4 at 2:52
  • 1
    @TylerH - No, he means |_ as opposed to = – AndyT Jan 4 at 9:07
  • @AndyT I see. Well, the plan was to go with || originally, not =; I'm not sure if the wall framing can fit something in the shape of |_, but since isherwood said "at least one", I assume || is best. – TylerH Jan 4 at 14:45
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    You'd put the horizontal member on the bottom. – isherwood Jan 4 at 14:47
  • @TylerH - Looking on plan, the studs in a wall look something like: | | | | | |. In order to then have your header the same width as the studs, your header is then laid flat / horizontally, i.e. like _ when looking down its axis. isherwood's recommendation is to do a doubled header, with the second header rotated to give greater vertical bending stiffness. – AndyT Jan 4 at 14:52
5

Sometimes framing of a short internal wall that TEE's into an exterior wall is braced that way if the exterior wall is:

  1. The exterior wall extends a long distance on either side of the TEE
  2. And the exterior wall is parallel to ceiling joists and floor joists
  3. And has a high gable end wall above this area.

Intention was to eliminate a lot of flex in the exterior wall both during construction and when there is possibility of large gusty wind loads on the wall. You will see less of this with much construction moving toward 2x6 studding for exterior walls. Metal X banding nailed to the face of the studs is also a better way to achieve this result.

Repeating from Isherwood. Make sure to put double stud at the left and right side of your opening. A single 2x4 is just not stiff enough and you will really appreciate it being there when you come to install door casing or trim.

  • The last reno I did on a balloon construction, the bisecting (middle) interior walls on both floors were to be sheathed in plywood to prevent racking of the house. – Mazura Jan 4 at 5:29
2

We have a few of those in our walls. Local code does not require them but our builder was from a place with an appreciable earthquake threat and it was cheaper to build with the existing plans than draw up new ones lacking the earthquake bracing.

Unless the builder was lying that's earthquake bracing.

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