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I’ve built a temporary support wall a few times in the middle of a house with a truss roof to take load off an interior wall while I modify it, but I need to reframe some parts of some exterior walls for the first time and as I started thinking through it I realized I’m not quite sure how.

The house was built in the 60’s and has a stick-built roof with a non-structural ridge beam. The rafters are supported by struts that bear on the ceiling joists. I think this is pretty common but here’s an image as an example:

It looks like this but the proportions are a bit different.

So my question is, if I need to take load off the exterior wall that the roof and joists are sitting on, how do I do that? Do I just build a temporary support wall under the joists a few feet back from the exterior wall? It seems like that wouldn’t take much load off the wall. Or do I build it further back, under the struts? Or something else?

I’m also similarly confused about gable end walls. I want to reframe portions of a gable end wall (that doesn’t have joists sitting on it) and I’m unsure what to do. If I build the temporary support wall under the joist closest to the wall, that also doesn’t seem like it would take enough load off the wall?

Thanks for any help!

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    So, do you want to cantilever a portion of your roof on one side or both sides of your house? Would it be ok to have a beam to replace the exterior wall? How wide is your house? – Lee Sam Mar 28 at 21:36
  • Sorry, I’m not totally sure I understand what you’re asking. I’m reframing some portions of the walls (adding doors, adding new windows, moving existing windows, and replacing a few studs that termites damaged a little too much), not trying to cantilever the roof or to replace an entire wall. As for the house size, it’s about 28 feet by 38 feet. Thanks! – Brandon Weiss Mar 29 at 3:00
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You shall provide the vertical supports as close as practical to shorten the overhanging length of the bottom ties. You should consider to provide braces in both directions (the sketches showing brace in one direction only) to better stabilize the supports. Do not forget to provide adequate safety factor in load calculations.

enter image description here

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  • Ah, thanks for the images! I hadn’t thought about adding diagonal bracing—that makes sense. – Brandon Weiss Mar 29 at 4:16
  • Sorry, I hit enter before I could finish. Regarding the gable end wall, so there’s a post (or multiple posts) directly under the wall, pushing up a beam perpendicular to the wall, with some diagonal bracing, but I can’t quite understand what the other end of the beam is connected to? – Brandon Weiss Mar 29 at 4:26
  • @Brandon Weiss The gable end frame distribute the roof load to the wall more or less in an uniform manner, the load wouldn't be so large as under the interior truss (with concentrate load), thus you can utilize several cantilever posts to pickup the load, and to free up the space required for working from the other side of the wall. How to stabilize the cantilever is a tricky business, you can add a few posts to the other side for ease of stabilizing, but keep it to the minimum to maximize the working area. You can also look into shoring product, such as "Strong/Prop Boy", for ideas. – r13 Mar 29 at 4:48

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