Can I remove these pieces of wood in my attic?

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I think I can take them out based on the following reasons, but thought I'd get another opinion.

  1. Pieces 2 & 3 are separated in two pieces. Usually, when I see supporting beams, they are all one piece.
  2. All the pieces are sitting on top of the ceiling joists that run horizontally in the attic
  3. Piece 1 does not run the entire length of the attic.
  4. For pieces 2 & 3, the left end does not reach the wall (small gap) and the right end is attached to another piece of wood that is nailed to the frame. So it is not directly attached to the frame.
  5. None of the pieces are in the center of attic. They are positioned slightly to the right. I think the previous owner intended to use these pieces to support a dividing wall since there is some broken drywall next it (will add pictures later).

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So it seems to me they are not really supporting anything. I want to take them out so I can lay plywood across the rest of the joists and have a nice storage area.

Thanks for your time!

  • Technicality - "studs" are found in walls, and they don't run horizontally. Are you referring to rafter ties or ceiling joists maybe?
    – brhans
    Commented Apr 10, 2022 at 23:52
  • Ahh yeah ceiling joists that right, sorry I didn't know what they're called.
    – sushi
    Commented Apr 11, 2022 at 2:02
  • You conveniently numbered the pieces of wood in your first picture, then you refer to "big square" and "thick flat" and "other square pieces". How about editing the numbered points to refer back to the numbered pieces of wood so we can understand which one you think is "big square"? Frankly, none of them look like "big squares" to me, so I'm confused.
    – FreeMan
    Commented Apr 11, 2022 at 12:21
  • 1
    Additionally, why do you want to remove them? Are they in the way of something? Do you want to reuse the wood for another project? (I know lumber is expensive these days...) Removing them just because they "don't seem to be doing anything" seems like it might not be the best motivation.
    – FreeMan
    Commented Apr 11, 2022 at 12:22
  • Can we get another photo further back those may be to stiffen the ceiling span. Looking at that really nice old wood small gaps are not a big deal but removing a stiffer board may cause problems later. They are usually in the center or middle of a span.
    – Ed Beal
    Commented Apr 11, 2022 at 16:39


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