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We are swapping out the current joist on our stairway for a bigger one 2x7 instead of 2x6 as we are making the head clearance more.

however, we’ve seen something a bit worrying. It appears that this joist is not sitting on the brick wall… and the whole dining room ceiling is being supported by one nail… please tell me I’m wrong?

That 127 Cove you see is where we chiselled some back plasterboard of the coving which is from the ceiling in the living room, as we didn't realise it was the living room at this point!

There's a 2 brick thick wall running under the stairs (I think they removed a brick and a half to cater for the stairs going under the wall), and the long joist going along the stairs is supporting perpendicular joists holding the dining room ceiling. We want to swap out this joist with a slightly higher joist as we are increasing staircase clearance height to 2m (was 1.5m) but the long joist doesn't seem to sit on the actual brick wall.. and we are a bit worried if this is ok and if we can continue tbh

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**Update: More pictures which might help. **

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    I'm really not sure what I'm looking at here. Perhaps some annotations of the images would help. What makes you think the joist should rest on the brick wall? It looks like there's a sill of sorts embedded in a foundation wall.
    – isherwood
    Jul 27 at 13:18
  • Hey Isherwood. Did you see the rest of the other pictures? There's a lot of pictures to get an idea of what's happening, i'm not quite good at annotating pictures... Basically it looks like the dining room ceiling is floating on this side as i don't know what is supporting it. We want to swap out the 2x6 joist you see parallel to the stairs with a 2x7 but worried as it's not sitting on the brick wall to support the dining room ceiling.
    – caasswa
    Jul 27 at 13:19
  • It looks to me like the lower joist and the upper one (under the carpet) are both resting on a sill plate, which I assume rests on something more substantial than those bricks. Is that not the case?
    – isherwood
    Jul 27 at 13:35
  • When you say the lower joist are you talking about those 2 2x2s that are sitting together on top of that plasterboard? How can we check it's sitting on a sill plate? You can see the ceiling coving there but what the joists are sitting on is a mystery. Remove carpet?
    – caasswa
    Jul 27 at 13:41
  • Also, what are we expecting the sill plate to be resting on?
    – caasswa
    Jul 27 at 13:43
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I reach the same conclusion that as @Isherwood, if you are talking about the joist I pointed out in the picture, it is resting on a top plate/sill and does not need to be sitting on the brick wall. That joist is not just being support by the one nail in the end.

I do not see how replacing the 2x6 with a 2x7 is going to increase the clearance in the stairwell by a ½ meter.

Also the joist you are considering replacing is a header joist with all the ceiling joist hanging off of it. It would be difficult to swap out the 2x6 with a 2x7 without a lot of temporary support for the ceiling joist.

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  • Thanks, I had a structural engineer come round and I haven't explained well but the opposite end will have a perpendicular joist, basically a T, which will allow an extended clearance and for us to remove the existing joists to allow for more headroom. 2x7s (2 of them) were recommended by the structural engineer to use.
    – caasswa
    Jul 27 at 15:43
  • Plus, what is supporting the 2x4 sill? It looks like it's just resting on plasterboard.... unless i'm wrong?
    – caasswa
    Jul 27 at 15:44
  • I'm taking off the right side of the wall to see what it may be covering so i can show what it might be showing
    – caasswa
    Jul 27 at 15:45
  • I just checked and the sill (2 2x2s together) along with a random small piece of wood as you can see in the photos is what that joist is sitting on... Those 2x2s go from one end to another of the walls perhaps... I can't be certain where they go to but they go pretty far. But surely you can't support a ceiling on one end with just 2 2x2s??
    – caasswa
    Jul 27 at 16:27
  • I added another just to show where it's sitting on
    – caasswa
    Jul 27 at 16:31

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