Rehabbing my garage wanted to know if it’s OK to remove the Cross braces left to right and front to back enter image description here![

  • You want to remove the bracing going front to back or side to side? The side to side braces are holding the walls together and keeping the roof up. – JPhi1618 Apr 9 '20 at 3:42
  • It's not clear if you're wanting to remove the brace, or use the brace as a floor joist for your loft. Either way, I'd recommend against it – cutrightjm Apr 9 '20 at 4:04
  • Front to back and side to side – Rock Apr 9 '20 at 4:18
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    Sure, if you want the roof to fall down (likely with the walls falling out.) If you'd like it to remain a building rather than become a pile of debris, leave them alone. – Ecnerwal Apr 9 '20 at 12:28
  • @Ecnerwal - likely that it collapses to a side. I am not doubting you but I live in an area that allows 2x2 framing - the land of tornadoes and low building code requirements. Buildings usually just fold to one side. Would love to see a picture of something with both side walls falling out though - that would just look cool. – DMoore Apr 9 '20 at 16:22

You will not want to remove any of the rafter ties (as you called cross brace).

The rafter ties that span the horizontal distance from rafter tail to rafter tail at the side walls is what defines the triangle base of the rafter tie and its two mating rafters. Without that rafter tie the rafters can try to fold down and push the top of the side walls out. So do not remove these for the sake of your building integrity.

The spacing members that run parallel to and below the roof ridge line is equally important. It provides two main functions first of which is to keep the center top of the end walls straight and the front to back dimension of the building correct. Secondarily it ensures the spacing of the rafter ties and helps keep them directly under their mating pair of rafters. This can really help to keep things aligned if you ever decide to add a ceiling into the garage in the form of plywood or drywall.


No no no.

I have no idea why they didn't run a full length header but from your picture it looks like they laid 2 2x8s end to end to form your header and then sandwiched it with a 2x8 on each side. Guessing they didn't have anything that long in that size by the guy and they made due with what they had...

It wouldn't pass inspection now anywhere I have done work but it will be fine unless someone puts weight up there (shelves another floor) or if someone decides the bracing doesn't look good and takes it down.

Here is what will happen:

  1. You take brace off.
  2. The two 2x8 fall down.
  3. Your like well damn that looks better.
  4. Building survives.
  5. After a few months of wind hitting the building it shifts a tiny bit.
  6. Then you hit one of the sides with a wheel barrow... (dramatic pause) nothing. Imagine right before Jason kills everyone in the Friday the 13th movies you see someone get scared by a noise in the bush and it is just one of their buddies.
  7. Boom big storm goes through and your garage collapses to one side. No the walls won't splay out it will pick a side and go there and collapse like a house of cards.
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    I agree, but those are rafter ties, not headers, and hand-framed roofs had such quite often. Boards weren't readily available in 24' lengths or longer. They were never intended to carry weight and did the job just fine, their sole purpose being to keep the walls from spreading. Most just had a simple lap joint. – isherwood Apr 9 '20 at 15:28
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    @isherwood - i can't see everything but that looks like the front of the garage. The rafter ties look to be right above it in 2x6? material that does span. Either way the definition doesn't matter. I would guess that without even getting into architecture of the garage that the biggest board in there is probably doing something pretty important. – DMoore Apr 9 '20 at 15:40
  • There are also collar ties higher up but all those lower braces look the same to me. I think they're 2x6. – isherwood Apr 9 '20 at 16:10
  • Oh, I see what you mean now. Yeah, the front one does look lower. I'm not sure what that's about. – isherwood Apr 9 '20 at 16:11
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    @isherwood - I will just ask him. If you took it like that then this question is just crazy. – DMoore Apr 9 '20 at 16:32

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