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I am working on renovating my dining room and while tearing out drywall I found a diagonal cut-in brace which is running from the front of the house along side an exterior wall.

I am trying to remove the wall so the entry door and the dining room entrance is a flat wall.

Here is a picture of what currently exists:

Can I cut the bottom of the cut-in brace or is there another way that I could frame out the front section to keep the added support for the exterior wall?

Remove of cut-in

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  • Well that's an interesting configuration. What geographic location is this in? – bigbull15 Jun 1 '16 at 15:23
  • Hi @bigbull15. I am located in Atlanta Georgia. – joe_tubbs Jun 1 '16 at 17:32
  • It's hard to see above that corner; what sort of load is being applied? Are you dealing with any sort of unusual wind load on the exterior of the house (which would require extra diagonal bracing)? – Daniel Griscom Jun 1 '16 at 18:29
  • No wind really. The lot is relatively wooded but the region is known for occasional tornadoes. – joe_tubbs Jun 1 '16 at 19:02
  • @DanielGriscom, I have updated the post to include a picture of the exterior if it helps. – joe_tubbs Jun 1 '16 at 19:13
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That brace is almost certainly not needed. Diagonal lumber braces are an outdated method from back when walls were sheathed with individual boards, and not with modern structural sheet goods. Also, modern, sheathed and engineered truss roofs provide substantial diagonal bracing where it didn't exist with hand-framed rafter and board roofs. You don't say what era your home is from, but I'd guess at least 1980s from the style.

I can't see what your wall sheathing is, but I can see that we're not talking about a major end wall or other area where we'd expect horizontal loading. If the roof structure depends on that short-angle brace in any way the building has other issues, but I doubt that's the case.

There's my $.02, which is all you can expect from a random guy on the internet. If you want certainty, pay an engineer to stop by.

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  • You got it. Built in the 1980s. – joe_tubbs Jun 1 '16 at 21:39
  • Thank you for your thoughts. I did have an engineer look at the property first but lets just say he was more textbook then field experience. Perhaps adding blocking and plywood on the interior would mimic the same support as a diagonal 1x4 cut-in – joe_tubbs Jun 1 '16 at 21:54

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