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Questions tagged [structural]

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

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77
votes
12answers
51k views

Is there a case where nails are better than screws, from an engineering/structural standpoint?

Is there a case where nails are better than screws, from a structural standpoint? For instance: Say you used screws instead of nails on a backyard deck, when the design specifically called for nails. ...
38
votes
4answers
22k views

Are there ways to determine if a wall is load bearing?

Other than looking up blue prints, which many homeowners may not have, are there ways to determine if a wall is load bearing? Methods I can think of might include: Going up in the attic to check if ...
32
votes
10answers
8k views

How do I stop a creek from eroding my steep embankment?

Behind my house there is a very steep bank/slope that leads down to a decent-sized, slow moving creek about 10 - 12 ft wide. Unfortunately it meanders right behind my property at the base of this ...
27
votes
5answers
9k views

Is it unsafe to remove one stud from a load bearing wall?

I need to cut a hole for a recessed medicine cabinet. This wall is at the end of the house. I only need to cut one stud to make a frame for the cabinet. Will this damage the integrity of the bearing ...
25
votes
3answers
5k views

Diagonal brace left in the basement by builder. Can I remove it? Replace it?

I have a diagonal brace running across an interior wall in the basement, and it even goes partially into the floor concrete. Is this meant to be permanent, or was it supposed to be removed during ...
18
votes
1answer
19k views

Is my rapidly failing foundation dangerous?

I'll be succinct. I'm afraid we're having a full structural failure. Over the past week, crack after crack has been appearing in our plaster and walls. I'm honestly concerned for our safety. Our ...
17
votes
3answers
12k views

Is notching a flange on an I-Joist ever acceptable?

My home builder said that the following notch in a flange on an I-Joist was acceptable, but I've read that you're never supposed to do so. Is that true?
14
votes
5answers
57k views

How do I improve Pergola Stability?

The deck is nearly finished but I have a small structural problem with the pergola. A left or right force near the top of the pergola (such a a tall person leaning on the post) leads to a bit of ...
11
votes
2answers
6k views

Is joist sag at connection with header a problem?

I am having the ceiling in the finished part of my basement redone, and have it fully open now. I can see the connection of the joists to the headers have given somewhat, as the house is 85 years old ...
11
votes
1answer
5k views

Can I raise a sagging shed roof by winching the walls back into place?

TL;DR Can I fix the sag by slowly jacking up the ridge, simultaneously tightening some steel cables attached to the top of each wall? Measuring between the top of the wall and the top of the ridge, ...
10
votes
1answer
4k views

How do I know if it is safe to remove a wall?

When looking at a wall, how can I tell if I can safely remove it?
8
votes
2answers
1k views

Structurally required? I-beam support under stair opening header

The stair opening into my basement is framed like this: A partition wall (non-load bearing) sits on top of the header. A square duct runs parallel to the header, and on the other side of this duct ...
8
votes
1answer
3k views

How can I safely remove and replace a wall?

The Wall: This is about 25' long, and it separates my kitchen from my living room/Dining room. Underneath it, we have a double 2x8 floor joist, which is supported midway on an 8 inch steel I-beam. (...
8
votes
1answer
16k views

Can I safely make a door frame taller?

UPDATE: April 22 What I ended up doing was removing the trim non-destructively. Above the door frame, it was clearly not load bearing, so I continued and was not so non-destructive. The end-result ...
7
votes
3answers
1k views

Are these integrated diagonal wall braces structurally important?

I was helping a friend expand the width of a closet door, and when we pulled the drywall off the interior wall frame, we noticed some 45-degree wall braces in the interior wall. I am pretty sure ...
7
votes
2answers
4k views

What are these beams for in my loft?

I have very good building experience but in a house we bought recently I have been wondering what the heck to do with my loft. Initially its converted to a mini workshop / storage The max height is 1....
7
votes
3answers
36k views

What size ceiling joists and rafters should I use for a 14' span?

I'm going to build a single story addition to my home with a width of 14ft. I plan on using ceiling joists every 16" but I'm not sure which size to get. The roof will be asphalt shingles and the attic ...
7
votes
1answer
22k 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

Closet Wall, is it Load Bearing?

Trying to figure out if the front wall of this pantry cabinet is load bearing. We'd like to remove the front of the pantry and install cabinets here instead of the closet, but unsure if we can pull ...
6
votes
3answers
23k views

How can I choose the best lag screw / lag bolt?

I will be fastening Unistrut vertically along studs to facilitate garage storage, and want some guidance on choosing the "best" lag bolts to use. I want them large enough to handle hundreds of pounds ...
6
votes
1answer
404 views

Should I replace a carport post as it was originally built or with an upgraded column?

I’ve got a 60s era carport with a rotted post. It’s a low slope cantilevered roof about 20 feet long. It has two posts on each corner at the front, and the back is supported by the house. The rotted ...
6
votes
1answer
2k views

Should I worry about sagging joists?

I have a two story house and some of the joists between the floors are sagging about an inch or two. When I walk around upstairs I can feel the level difference and downstairs you can slightly see the ...
6
votes
2answers
290 views

Is my closet load bearing?

I want to remove the closets that are in the hallway off of my garage so I can install new cabinets for a mud-room. I want to make sure the closets are not load bearing before I remove. Here are some ...
6
votes
1answer
421 views

Designed a floating corner table, unsure of its potential strength. Any ideas?

I pretty much want to attach some angle iron to the studs and some threaded rods to the angle iron. I'll rout out the profile of the angle iron into the butcher block so it sits flush and so that when ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

What are chances of split/weakened joists from ceiling hanging hardware?

I was supposed to hang some stuff to make space in the garage. So I started indiscriminately screwing a bunch of crap into the joists. Now I realized that I was stupid in my haste. How do I evaluate ...
5
votes
1answer
460 views

2x4’s embeded in the foundation wall

A home is going up right next door, and I noticed that the foundation walls have 2x4’s embedded in them. Won’t that cause the concrete to crack when the wood gets wet?
5
votes
2answers
291 views

Holes drilled in parallam beam: is this a structural problem?

The electrician drilled 3/4” holes on PSL parallam beams. Both beams are is 4”x12”. The first beam measures 13’ft long and the holes are about 3’ft away from the end. The second beam measures 23’ft ...
5
votes
2answers
184 views

How to go about building an aquarium into a wall?

I plan to install a 180 gallon aquarium in my basement. The dimensions are 72" x 24" x 25" About 2000 pounds after sand and decorations when filled How should I go about doing this without having ...
5
votes
2answers
6k views

What should I do about this load bearing wall that is only supported by a joist floor?

My floors pitch in the same spots as they do on the 1st and 2nd floors. My home was built in the 1890's. I have some soft spots in the basement joists and added 4x4" posts to each side of the main ...
5
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
9k 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. ...
4
votes
2answers
23k views

How much sagging is considered normal for floors in old (100+ years) houses?

I am currently looking at a house in New England that dates back to the 1820's that has a sagging floor in the living room. The floor dips down about one inch near one of the walls and I was told by ...
4
votes
1answer
639 views

Reinforcing a Load Bearing Wall

I just finished removing 100 year old plaster/lathe combination over a long load bearing wall in my basement. It revealed quite a bit of termite damage to a load bearing wall and header going across ...
4
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
388 views

Building a free-standing wall on top of a retaining wall

My house is well below street level. The slope from the sidewalk down towards the house is visibly eroding, to the point where I can see the entire side of many of the sidewalk slabs. The yard looks ...
4
votes
4answers
6k views

How do I deal with a joist in the way of where I need to run a pipe?

I'm in the process of installing central vac lines (2" OD) in a finished house, and I am trying to run a line into the upstairs hallway. I have removed drywall in the garage below and drilled a hole ...
4
votes
1answer
2k views

Can a load bearing beam be offset from lapping joists?

I'm replacing a section of 4'' load bearing wall by a large 8''x8'' steel beam, and due to the size of the beam it would stick out to one side too much if I were to install it exactly centered with ...
4
votes
1answer
10k 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,...
4
votes
1answer
10k views

How far can I move ceiling joists up?

The second floor of our house has a fairly low ceiling, perhaps 6'8" or 6'10". The width of the structure is only about 16' with standard construction and the ceiling joists running parallel to to the ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

When will drilling through wall members affect structural integrity?

When can you freely drill medium to large sized holes in studs or door jambs, and when do you need to be concerned about damaging the structural integrity of the structure?
3
votes
3answers
8k views

What is the right way to mount a support column to a deck and to a header?

Situation: I have an existing deck with a roof overhang. I'm in the process of planning a rebuild and need to detail how the columns will A: attach to the existing roof and B: to the deck. I can find ...
3
votes
1answer
723 views

What is the point of this doorway “header”, and can I simply remove it?

We're remodeling a room with a severely undersized doorway - it is much shorter than the standard 6'8", so much so that I hit my head on the jamb if I don't duck when walking through it. After ...
3
votes
4answers
14k 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

Is This Basement Window Frame Structural

I'm renovating a bedroom in the basement, and I am trying to upgrade the window to meet the local egress requirements (Ontario, Canada). We have a standard bungalow with cinder block walls, built in ...
3
votes
1answer
378 views

Unsupported Subfloor Hanging Over Joist

I'm renovating a 2nd floor bathroom and I made the mistake of cutting out the subfloor flush with the wall shared by the doorway. The problem is that this wall sits between 2 joists so my new and ...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

What is involved in enlarging a concrete garage door opening?

I have a concrete garage with an opening measuring 99" wide by 85" high. There is 10" of concrete from the door opening to the left and right walls and about 1' above. All walls are 8" thick and ...
3
votes
1answer
72 views

Temporarily moving 2 walls off of a slab

The very quick backstory is that in order to remain grandfathered to retain my current setbacks (i.e., too close to property line and alley), I must retain those 2 original walls of my garage. I ...
3
votes
1answer
138 views

Illegal power connection, how should I handle this situation?

I saw a yellow (old flat style) extension cord wired to a power pole way above the meter and then the cord dropped to the front of the structure and was wired to the base of an unmounted porch light. ...
3
votes
2answers
146 views

Do these “rafter ties” tie anything together?

I've been wondering if I can open this ceiling up for a tall room. I've been reading that the ceiling joists are often also rafter ties so I went up there today to take a look. I can see a few are ...
3
votes
1answer
79 views

Remove Foundation Concrete Block

We are having HVAC ductwork installed in our crawlspace and one of the companies mentioned they do not remove foundation concrete blocks due to liability. Unfortunately, for us to have registers in ...