Questions tagged [structural]

Questions about the structure of a building (i.e. moving, adding or repairing walls).

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1answer
697 views

Can concrete demo material be used as fill behind same project?

I am demolishing the old outdoor steps at the rear of my house, built circa 1955. I have discovered that they are not constructed on the ground surface, but sit upon a concrete block structure about 4 ...
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1answer
306 views

How can I fix composite deck railing that wasn't installed with brackets?

Had a contractor install a composite railing on my deck and he did not use brackets to secure the railings he just screwed it to the posts. This was 3 years ago, it looked great at first but, over the ...
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2answers
3k views

can I remove 1 collar tie

I'd like to create a small storage space in my attic. The beam in Red is low and just gets in the way. Can I remove one of the Red beams without causing structural problems? I am willing to put in ...
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2answers
2k views

How should I run Cat5e cable between rafters?

I've got cathedral ceilings with no attic space and 2x8 rafters. There is no space to run wiring without going through the rafters. At the moment I've got my eaves open for an unrelated problem and ...
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2answers
177 views

How to reinforce bowing foundation?

Please note: I am obviously not a tradesman, otherwise I wouldn't be on this site asking this question. However, in five years of home ownership I have: re-roofed my garage, resanded all the hardwood ...
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2answers
831 views

Should I move this support post in my basement?

I am trying to create a new bedroom in the basement. The first problem I hit is that there is this short concrete "wall" with a post coming out of it. Actually, the post is 3 2x4's joined together. ...
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1answer
304 views

Moving dirt in crawlspace in house with daylight basement?

Our house has a walk out basement (daylight basement). In the basement, there is one corner of the house, approximately 312 sqft that has an access door. Inside of that, there is a level portion of ...
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0answers
273 views

Can these metal ceiling drywall joists be removed?

I recently removed the drywall ceiling from my basement with the intention to leave it as an exposed ceiling. Would I be correct in understanding that the metal ceiling joists (highlighted in blue in ...
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2answers
2k views

Floating wall mounted office desk

I'm currently about to embark on redeveloping my home office. We have a room with a small alcove and want to mount a desk top inside it. The approx size is 220cm x 80cm We can source the wood we ...
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3answers
1k views

Cheap way to reinforce 1/2" Pipes

I used some 1/2" pipe (I got it at Lowe's; I think it's typically used for gas?) to build a simple frame for a heavy bag, essentially an inverted U (about 6.5' high, 5' wide), attached to wooden feet, ...
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0answers
210 views

Building an inverted climbing wall onto a tree?

We have a cottonwood tree in our back yard with a treehouse in it, I have one vertical climbing wall on one side, but we're thinking of putting an inverted wall on the other. The tree is one large ...
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0answers
4k views

Do I need a header for an egress window?

I am in the process of finishing a bedroom in my basement. I need to add a window to the room and the selected wall is poured concrete. I need to know if I have to add a header above the window in the ...
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6answers
12k views

What's involved in moving a support post?

We found this house that we really like, but it needs substantial renovation for our taste. The thing that killed it for us was the crazy kitchen countertop that has been narrowed to make way for a ...
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2answers
4k views

Can it be appropriate to orient a 2x4 “wide side out”?

When we frame walls, we normally orient the 2x4 with the thin surface facing outward. What are the consequences of orienting the 2x4 so that the wide surface faces outward instead? Does the wood ...
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1answer
530 views

How do you build a portable lightweight frame for trees?

I have fruit trees that vary in size that need frost protection in the winter and bird protection in the summer. I have been hanging frost cloth and bird netting over the trees using the branches as ...
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4answers
19k views

How to calculate steel beam and posts size to replace existing wood beam in terrace

I have a covered terrace that extends 10' out (West) from the house towards the yard/pool and has a width/span of 32'. The current beam is made up of (2) 2x6 in wood placed side-by-side functioning ...
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0answers
53 views

Calculating Tie Plate loading and double shear

I am considering the use of L strap ties from Strong Tie. I will be connecting two 4x4's in an L-configuration. The image at the very bottom-right corner of the below PDF illustrates exactly the ...
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0answers
927 views

Minor Crawlspace Excavation: Need permits/structural engineer?

Background: First house, built in the late 60s, bought in October 2014. Original house has crawlspace with combination cinder/concrete foundation. Master bedroom is an addition to the house with a ...
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2answers
2k views

How can I stop a porch crack from causing internal cracking?

My front porch slab has cracked and part is at least an inch lower. It is supporting the roof. Now there is a crack going up the inside of my drywall at the same place. Suggestions on how to solve ...
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1answer
850 views

Floor joist attachment improvements in presence of existing ledger?

TL;DR: AFAIK there are no joist hangers that can be retrofit in a location where there's an existing ledger board without removing said ledger, right? Is there anything I should think about aside ...
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1answer
11k views

How can I permanently fix a sagging floor?

I have a home I purchased roughly 18 months ago. The house is a traditional 2 story cape code (3BR 1BA) and is structurally very sound and extremely stable. However, on the primary floor of the house,...
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3answers
2k views

Is it safe to shave off 1/8" from a load-bearing stud?

I am trying to install a small metal media cabinet in a load-bearing wall in my basement, but unfortunately the cabinet is about 1/8" too wide to fit between the studs. Is it safe to shave off a ...
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3answers
242 views

Looking for a practical way to find the metal posts locations in finished walls

I am looking for a practical way to find metal posts location in a finished basement walls or finished ground floor walls. I am trying to understand how my house was built. I would like to remove a ...
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1answer
29k views

Is my attic floor over my garage strong enough to use it for storage and maybe as a small work area?

I would like to use the attic space above my 2-car garage for storage of items around the house and garage, and if possible, utilize some of the space as a small work area. The previous owners left ...
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2answers
4k views

Ceiling cracks appear and worsen over weeks. Self repair or professional?

Background We recently purchased a home built in mid-50s. At the time, no structural movement or displacement was noted by the home inspector. Over the last few weeks, there have been long cracks on ...
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1answer
507 views

What is the unit dead load of concrete?

I have a question about what the unit dead load is. For structural concrete, the unit weight is 145 pounds per cubic food. Is the Unit Dead load 145 pounds?
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0answers
649 views

Information resources for Traditional Japanese Homes

My family and I are preparing to purchase a more or less traditional Japanese home in Hawaii. I am checking up on the claims that it was brought here from Japan and built in 1965. Interior ...
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1answer
333 views

What's the best place to get a single steel I-beam?

I am knocking down a structural wall in my house and replacing it with a steel I-beam. Where would I get that kind of thing? I am not even sure what to google. The beam is going to be about 20' long ...
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1answer
5k views

Replacing rot in wooden porch column

I have a porch column which has some rot at the bottom. These are smaller porch columns similar to http://www.homedepot.com/p/Unbranded-6-in-x-6-in-x-8-ft-Pine-Porch-Column-709721/202087424. I've ...
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2answers
12k views

14ft Ceiling beam sagging 5/8" - what to do?

First some background: Our home is a 2 story detached. On the main floor it is entirely open concept, with a ~14' drywalled horizontal support beam separating the kitchen from the living room area. ...
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1answer
166 views

Should my chimney sit on my roof?

I am renting a house built in the 1940s. The mortar around the brick was cracked causing leaks. Someone had built a chimney around the outside of the original chimney. So outside it's twice the size ...
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1answer
467 views

Rainwater Collection / Pond Water Storage (Tower) Support Question

I am planning to build a *water tower for garden irrigation. I live in NC and have a 45'x70' garden so this time of year I need a considerable amount of water. Given how little rain we've been ...
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2answers
7k views

How do I prevent interior doors from sticking in the winter?

We have several interior doors that only stick or won't completely close in the winter. We also get cracks in the drywall mud above the doors so I think something else is going on besides just ...
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1answer
652 views

Proper backfill for a trench dug below foundation level (within the 45 degree cone of support)

Given a trench dug below foundation level, what's the proper way to backfill? Here I'm talking about a trench below the bottom edge of an unreinforced concrete foundation built in 1950, supporting a ...
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1answer
320 views

Ceiling joists job in a cinder block house

So I have a 25 x 30 square house made of cinder block. Roof is just a gable roof with gables on the ends of the 30ft length. My question is, I know in stick framed houses the ceiling joists act to ...
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2answers
183 views

Who do I call to approve minor interior structural changes to my house?

I want to knock down an interior wall in my house and make a dropped ceiling flush with the remainder of the room. It should be a fairly straightforward home improvement project that I am quite sure I ...
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2answers
440 views

Are these foundation issues significant?

My wife and I are in the process of purchasing our first home. It is 8 years old. We have found one that we like, but I am a little hesitant about going through for two reasons. The foundation seems ...
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1answer
19k views

How far apart should I space rafters for a 13ft patio?

I'm looking to build a patio roof (shed style) and need to span 13ft. I've found several span tables online, some of them with different maximum distances between the rafters. Is it ok to use 2x8s ...
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2answers
3k views

Can you attach a post base to a brick patio?

Can you attach a lumber post base to a brick patio, just as like as to a concrete one? http://img.ehowcdn.com/default/ehow/images/a06/rt/qv/build-above-grade-patio-800x800.jpg Is an additional ...
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1answer
1k views

Front House Posts Not Resting on Anything

I have 5 roof support posts that are supposed to be resting on concrete blocks but one of them is not even touching the concrete block and the other 4 have some separation from the concrete block. ...
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0answers
1k views

In kitchen reno, can I make the kitchen ceiling same height as rest of dining room?

Check out the picture below -- that bar / pony wall area and the rest of the wall where the thermostat is are being knocked down to open up the kitchen. Question is, can I make the kitchen ceiling ...
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0answers
493 views

Is this vertical gap in the concrete block foundation something to worry about?

I'm looking at a home that has a vertical gap or crack running the height of the exposed concrete block foundation. The crack is near the center of the home, about a foot to the right of the concrete ...
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1answer
4k views

How close is too close, when digging below foundation level?

I'm digging a drainage trench near my foundation, and have hit the bottom edge of that foundation. In this case it's a T style foundation at the edge of a slab, but elsewhere there's no slab. From ...
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1answer
350 views

Is it allowed to have a small hole bored in a joist in the area where it is bearing on a beam or joist hanger

I am trying to determine if my house is up to code with respect to some holes that I found bored in the ceiling joists. The holes are about 1 inch in diameter and at least 2 inches from the top and ...
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1answer
3k views

How would I replace 4 posts and beam holding my covered patio with 2 posts?

I have a covered patio that extends 10' from the house towards the yard/pool and has a width of 30-33'. The covered patio seems to be part of the roof, I even have access from the attic as we ran some ...
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2answers
386 views

What's the point of a thin (1/4" width) piece of wood set diagonally between two studs?

What's the point of a thin (1/4" width, ~2-3" wide) piece of wood set diagonally between two studs? I just took out a piece of drywall for some other work I'm doing, and between two studs, there's ...
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1answer
983 views

Can I replace a floor joist cross-brace with two horizontal pieces of blocking in the same spot?

I am doing some remodeling and want to run a 6-inch HVAC (kitchen exhaust hood) duct through the floor joists. There is one section where the path is impeded by a standard floor joist cross-brace. Can ...
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0answers
837 views

Can my garage ceiling handle this much weight?

I am looking to mount a shop light reel and an air hose reel on the ceiling in my garage and am worried that it might be too much weight. Here are the approximate weights: Light reel: 10 lbs Air hose ...
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1answer
95 views

Back door frame no longer square

I live on the 3rd (top) floor of a condo building. Our back door - which opens to the outside, is not square. The building was built in 2006 and the drywall around the door at the corners is cracked ...
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2answers
4k views

Rebar cattle guard

Rebar cattle guard plans http://spofu.com/yay/cattle-guard-plans-rebar.jpg Looking for a cattle guard that can be made from available supplies at local home depot. Needs to be able to support 32,000 ...

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