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Why would this ceiling joist be cut short on both ends, and a flat board be put in the place of the part of the joist that was cut off and removed? Is this a problem I need to fix? If so, how?

Both ends of joist are cut off

Right side - there is a board, flat and parallel to other ceiling joists, where I would have thought this cut-off joist would be

Left side - same flat board instead of the joist standing on edge

  • You gave us three photos of a cut board, but no real context. What's happening where the joist (may have) originally connected? Are there any signs of remodeling or reconfiguration below the ceiling? Does the ceiling show sag or cracks? – isherwood Jan 10 at 19:12
  • @isherwood I've not crawled back to where it might have connected and moved the insulation out of the way to see what it might look like - I'm holding off on doing that until I saw if someone here had an answer based off of the photos. There are no signs of reconfiguring below the ceiling, and there is no sagging or cracking. – JBR Jan 10 at 19:21
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It looks like it is on top of a wall so it is being used as a nailer. I believe that is why.

  • Thanks! The flat board does seem to run along the top of a wall (not a continuous wall - there are large openings for entry between a couple of rooms). Sorry, I'm a newbie - what does it mean to be "used as a nailer"? The board I'm calling a cut-off joist seems to span the width of a hallway. – JBR Jan 10 at 19:26
  • Seems reasonable, but wouldn't you expect to see another joist in the vicinity? – isherwood Jan 10 at 19:29
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    It could be at a header or the corner of a room both of these would be areas I have seen this used. I did not notice the op response with a open space it may be a header. – Ed Beal Jan 10 at 20:37
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    A "nailer" is just a horizontal board nailed to the top of a wall header, that provides a surface to which you can nail drywall or some other ceiling material. You typically find one on top of a wall that runs parallel to your ceiling joists. – SteveSh Jan 10 at 20:38
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    Notice the lath it ends there if not nailed the plaster would crack. – Ed Beal Jan 10 at 20:41

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