Attic Buildout with Truss Reconfig HELP!!!

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Old 03-26-08, 07:10 PM
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Exclamation Attic Buildout with Truss Reconfig HELP!!!

Ok, I had a shady contractor start an attic build out for me. my attic had 2x4 trusses on 24" center. The contractor put in a 2x6's nailed to the 2x4 in the floor, roof, top brace, verticle supports resting on a 2 - 2x10 beam spanning between 2 load walls. The flooring was 3/4" tongue and grove plywood. If you look at the pictues you will see the first 10 feet have been done and the remaining trusses need to be reinforce and cutout.

<a href="http://good-times.webshots.com/album/562909807tbEeMo?vhost=good-times&vhost=good-times" target="_Blank">Attic Pictures with Comments</a>

My concerns:

1. Is this a good method? Do I need additional bracing
2. Should I add more 2x6's in between the 24" in the roof, top and vertical support?

Any other advice and comments would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,

g
 
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Old 03-26-08, 07:53 PM
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Question

first WELCOME!
second, no this is not a good idea! however, it looks like you have already started so we will go from there. trusses are generally used so as to preclude the need for supporting walls/posts. they usually, in a situation like yours, sit on the exterior walls and the center supporting wall. i'm wondering if there is support under the knee walls you show. you mentioned 2-2x10 beams. i didn't see them. the support for the roof now resides on the knee walls. if you continue on down the length of the house(which i gather you are wanting to do), is there going to be support under the knee walls there too?? 2x6 is not sufficient support for a flooring system except for storage. it also looks as if the knee walls have pushed the roof decking upward! my personal opinion is that you are opening a can of worms that will cause problems later on. good luck whatever you decide to do. i'm sure others will weigh in on this problem.

measure twice:cut once!
 
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Old 03-26-08, 10:59 PM
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MikeTN,

As I said, I had a shady contractor advise me on this and since then, I have FIRED them!!!

After reading your post, I went to check on a few things and it is 2x8's in the flooring along with the 2x4 trusses which are on 24" centers. Should that be enough support?

Also, the beam that was put in to help support the roof goes from one load bearing wall to another and the knee wall supports sit on top of the beam. Is that ample?

<a href="http://good-times.webshots.com/photo/2744185910103256140JCtsnG?vhost=good-times" target="_blank">Knee wall & Beam Picture #1</a>

<a href="http://good-times.webshots.com/photo/2330849100103256140RFNRbO?vhost=good-times" target="_blank">Knee wall & Beam Picture #2</a>

So currently 2x6 are nailed to the original 2x4 trusses on 24". Would putting an additional 2x6's with a support on the knee wall in between the existings 2x4 truss support work? That would make a 2x6 at every 12" in the roof.

Thanks for your input!

g
 
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Old 03-27-08, 03:56 AM
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What does your local building inspector say??? Their purpose in life is not harrassment, contrary to popular belief. Plans for this should have been approved before construction began, and they would not have been approved if faulty designs were used.
 
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Old 03-27-08, 08:46 AM
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I'm a computer geek and this is my first house, so sufice it to say that I'm not up to par on the "Should have, would have". I was relying on my Contractor to advise me and now they have been FIRED!!!

Anyway, I know that I'm not in the city limits so I don't think I have to meet building codes. Should I talk to any building inspectors?

g
 
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Old 03-27-08, 03:04 PM
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You don't say where you are, but counties and states have building codes. And unless you are in the most remote part of the country, someone has a code for what you are doing. And increasingly, contractors are require to register. My county license is $400, and there is $1000 fine for not doing things correctly.
 
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Old 03-27-08, 03:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Just Bill View Post
You don't say where you are, but counties and states have building codes. And unless you are in the most remote part of the country, someone has a code for what you are doing.
Harris County, Texas
 
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Old 03-27-08, 03:48 PM
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Hello AC, I have been reading your thread...you seem to be having a lot of trouble.

Do you have a signed contract from this contractor?
 
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Old 03-27-08, 06:43 PM
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Very familiar with Harris county myself, having resided there for 15 or so years. Your home comes under the jurisdiction of the county. You can check their website: http://www.eng.hctx.net/permits for more information. (I hope the url transfers to this post). I've always found them easy to work with and a wealth of information. Good Luck!
 
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Old 03-28-08, 09:28 AM
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Originally Posted by connie View Post
Hello AC, I have been reading your thread...you seem to be having a lot of trouble.

Do you have a signed contract from this contractor?
Connie,

Unfortunately, no I do not have a signed contract! I don't want to get off topic, but this was a customer of mine and once they started the work, things began to look shady! I got rid of them and now I don't have 15K to hire another contracter to repair the damage. This is going to have to be a DIY solution!

Thanks,

PS: Thezster, thanks for the link.

g
 

Last edited by AtticHelp; 03-28-08 at 10:36 AM.
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Old 03-28-08, 09:38 AM
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Going through proper channels does not always = more $$. DIY - properly done - is as good, or better - than the pros.
 
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Old 03-30-08, 01:33 PM
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Originally Posted by AtticHelp View Post
MikeTN,

As I said, I had a shady contractor advise me on this and since then, I have FIRED them!!!

After reading your post, I went to check on a few things and it is 2x8's in the flooring along with the 2x4 trusses which are on 24" centers. Should that be enough support?

Also, the beam that was put in to help support the roof goes from one load bearing wall to another and the knee wall supports sit on top of the beam. Is that ample?

<a href="http://good-times.webshots.com/photo/2744185910103256140JCtsnG?vhost=good-times" target="_blank">Knee wall & Beam Picture #1</a>

<a href="http://good-times.webshots.com/photo/2330849100103256140RFNRbO?vhost=good-times" target="_blank">Knee wall & Beam Picture #2</a>

So currently 2x6 are nailed to the original 2x4 trusses on 24". Would putting an additional 2x6's with a support on the knee wall in between the existings 2x4 truss support work? That would make a 2x6 at every 12" in the roof.

Thanks for your input!

g
as stated by the others, the (shady)contractor should bear some responsibility in this! however, i doubt it will be worth the time and money to try to get him to help.
your trusses seem to be sitting on three(3) supporting/load bearing walls-two outside walls and the center wall. these will have a foundation under them-thus SUPPORTING walls. the double beam you used long-wise to support the roof isn't a supporting wall as there is probably not any foundation under it in the basement/crawlspace. in the span you show, it probably will support the roof. however, you stated that you wanted to continue the removal and extension of the attic expansion and there isn't going to be enough support for the floors or roof as i see it now. in order for the attic room you want to have the proper floor, the floor joists/ceiling joists shoul run from wall to wall(over the center wall). this then would supply enough support for the knee walls to hold up the roof.
trusses are made of smaller(usually) dimensional lumber but are designed for a particular purpose-in your case a roof support not a second floor. without the floor system(2x8) going from wall to wall, i could not trust it to hold much weight.
don't mean to seem negative, that is just my opinion. the trusses also serve to connect the outside walls to the center supporting wall. post back.
 
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Old 03-30-08, 02:08 PM
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OK, well the contractor is gone, the money went with him, and now I guess you're going to learn carpentry! It's not so bad...I mean, on the bright side, it doesn't look like your roof is going to cave in. And that is good news, 'cause that's some of the ugliest carpentry work I ever saw! That guy sure liked his nails, though.


I don't know if Mike or xsleeper can (or should!) talk you all the way through this- I think you should start with some good carpentry books that focus on framing and support. Visit some websites, using search parameters "framing attic" .Do you have any carpentry experience? Do you have tools?

When you feel you have a basic understanding of what needs done, we can answer your specific questions, but I don't think we can advise you how to do any project from start to finish- I'm just not certain- see what the guys think, I guess.
 
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Old 03-30-08, 04:08 PM
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Smile Attic Help

Mike,

Thanks as this is the actual real first bit of help to SOLVE the problem I've gotten.

I was confused by some of your post, but I thought it would be helpful to see the actual floor plan with LABELED supporting walls. Also, it might be easier to deal with each one issue at a time (Floor Support, Roofing, etc).

Originally Posted by mikeTN View Post
your trusses seem to be sitting on three(3) supporting/load bearing walls-two outside walls and the center wall. these will have a foundation under them-thus SUPPORTING walls.
In reference to the Floor Support, I created a photo of the Floor Plan of that part of the house.
Floor Plan Picture

As you can see there are load walls on 3 sides (A, B, C) and the 4th side is the support beam, which spans the 2 side load walls (A & C). The Floor Joists span from the Upper Floor Wall, crossing over the Support Wall ( B ) and resting on the Support Beam (A to C)

I was planning on continuing on the knee wall & support beam from the Load wall where it stops to the right side outside load wall.

Comments?

Thanks again,

Glenn
 
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Old 04-01-08, 07:04 PM
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Originally Posted by AtticHelp View Post
Mike,

Thanks as this is the actual real first bit of help to SOLVE the problem I've gotten.

I was confused by some of your post, but I thought it would be helpful to see the actual floor plan with LABELED supporting walls. Also, it might be easier to deal with each one issue at a time (Floor Support, Roofing, etc).



In reference to the Floor Support, I created a photo of the Floor Plan of that part of the house.
Floor Plan Picture

As you can see there are load walls on 3 sides (A, B, C) and the 4th side is the support beam, which spans the 2 side load walls (A & C). The Floor Joists span from the Upper Floor Wall, crossing over the Support Wall ( B ) and resting on the Support Beam (A to C)

I was planning on continuing on the knee wall & support beam from the Load wall where it stops to the right side outside load wall.

Comments?

Thanks again,

Glenn
it appears to me that A, C, and E are the MAIN supporting walls of the house(which by the way seems to be 30'0"x30"8". is this correct or is the house larger. seems the house is probably larger. i guess i also missed the fact that it is already a two story! sorry for the confusion! for a wall to be a SUPPORTING wall, it must be sitting on something that will SUPPORT, such as a foundation, pier, or some solid supporting structure. anything built on less than a supporting structure is subject to sagging. if the house is a two story, the first floor joists should be at least 2x10 and the second 2x8. sorry if i am reading this all wrong! the trusses originally appear to run from outside wall to outside wall OVER, and supported by, the center wall which is correct. ANY changes to the truss structure will have to be replaced with COMMON framing(floor joists from outside walls to center-tieing the walls together) and knee walls(like you have) on top of the 2x8 floor joists.
by now this must be as clear as MUD!!?? don't know if i have cleared it up on not, but as said, i think you need a book on framing to clear up the picture.
 
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Old 04-02-08, 09:25 AM
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Originally Posted by mikeTN View Post
it appears to me that A, C, and E are the MAIN supporting walls of the house(which by the way seems to be 30'0"x30"8". is this correct or is the house larger. seems the house is probably larger.
Yes, the house is larger. The side of the house is correct ( E Wall ) 30' 8". But the width is approximately 50'.

My house is what some people call a Story and a half. In other words, you only have bedrooms on 1 half of the upstars. When you get to the top of the stairs in the pictures, you have a view in front of you of the lower living room's vaulted ceiling. The buildout is to the right and 2 existing bedrooms to the left. I have a concrete foundation that all my walls sit on.

Originally Posted by mikeTN View Post
the trusses originally appear to run from outside wall to outside wall OVER, and supported by, the center wall which is correct. ANY changes to the truss structure will have to be replaced with COMMON framing(floor joists from outside walls to center-tieing the walls together) and knee walls(like you have) on top of the 2x8 floor joists.
The existing trusses were actually only 1/2 of a full truss. When looking at the pictures into the attic from the door, the wall to the left is just off center of the house and on the other side is vaulted ceiling over the living room down stairs. So the existing trusses don't span the outside walls, but span the front outside wall ( D,F ) and are supported underneath by the ( A, C, E, B ). The vaulted ceiling is supported by 2x8's on 24" centers.

Since I can't go from outside wall to outside wall with my 2nd floor joists Do you think this will be suffice to support the current buildout?

Now on the trusses that are not yet removed, I don't have an outside wall to support on the back. I can support then on the front with ouside wall ( F ), but there isn't a supporting wall on the other end?

What a mess!!! Thanks again,

g
 
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Old 04-02-08, 07:01 PM
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OK! here goes!!
looking at pic. #3, i see a gable vent at the end of the house which means that to the right is the rear of the house! correct? that means a supporting wall. the center of the house, in line with the gable vent, should be a supporting wall. if you are going to do it, this is what i would do(with the givens mentioned).
run 2x8 from the wall just off center to the outside wall on the right looking through the door. attach at both ends and at the center(over the wall). if you can't do all the ceiling joists first, do one(attaching to the bottom chord of the truss. you will have to cut the end to accomodate the angle of the roof. i would put collar ties on all the trusses BEFORE i cut them off. if necessary to remove the upright leg of the truss to install the other floor joists, i would use a TEMP. brace until i could get the knee wall installed(on TOP of the new floor joists.) if possible, i would like to get all the new members in place BEFORE cutting anything out.
what is this room to be used for? maybe an office from the looks of the chair and boxes! good luck and be very careful.
you realize that with the new room, you have almost eliminated the air circulation up there!!
 
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Old 04-03-08, 12:21 PM
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Smile

Mike,

Ok, just to clarify! Are you saying this is what you would do for the remaining Trusses that need to be taken out or you would rip out the existing subfloor which has already been done on the closes half in Picture #3 and start over?

Yes, this is planned to be an office / storage. The ole lady will love you for helping get my office out of the formal dining room. No Waterbeds, Aquariums, Pool Tables, etc.

As for the air circulation, if you notice in Picture #3, there is new flex duct. I had an AC Guy run new ducts that supply vents to the lower living room in the Off-Center wall. They lead back to the J-Box and he has said we can easily put in a supply vent and return to provide air to this room and the AC Unit is large enough to handle it.

Also, if you look at Pictures 5 & 6, I'm assuming these are the previous guy's Collar Ties? Will these suffice or would you recomment replacing them? I think I've just about decided that I can live with seeing the collar ties in the ceiling once the room is finished out.
 
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