kitchen table shed dormer plans

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Old 05-05-06, 08:36 AM
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kitchen table shed dormer plans

We want to remodel our attic, including adding a shed dormer. We will be hiring a carpenter directly, or a contractor to do the work. Our city does not require architectural plans--just kitchen table drawings. An architecht would charge us around $4000 to draw the plans, but the project will only cost (we hope) between $15-20 thousand.
My "Permanent Boyfriend" with whom I own the house is trying to draw the plans himself and thinks he knows what he is doing. He has done some work with architects in the past (doing acoustical work) and is familiar with reading architectural drawings. He is drawing everything to scale, and believes he understands how the dormer must be placed in relation to the floor/ceiling joists. We also know the basic BOCA requirements, such as minimum dimensions of the room, egress and hallway requirements. We plan to pay a structural engineer approve it all before we go forward.
Is it foolish to try to do this without an architect? What might my "PB" probably do wrong or forget to do in drawing up the plans so that they are good enough for a carpenter to use them in contructing the dormer? Thanks! JKM
 
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Old 05-05-06, 12:26 PM
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I have built room additions and barns from drawings in the dirt with a stick, so a good carpenter will know his limitations and as long as you are available to answer questions, he will be fine with rudimentary drawings. You will need to specify the size of lumber to use so he won't have to guess, and the pitch of the dormer roofs will need to be clarified, window size, ingress and egress methods. Be a part of it, and communicate to him your desires. A good carpenter, again, will not build anything that won't stand up to codes. Get references and see some of his jobs if possible.
 
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Old 05-05-06, 03:40 PM
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jkm,

Is it really an "attic", or is it a 1 1/2 story house that was built with the intention of having habitable space up there? Do you know what the joists are up there? Are they 2 x 6 or greater on 16 inch centers or are they just 2 x 4's on 2 foot centers?

Other than the floor issue...as far as really flubbing something up by building the dormer in regards to it's support structure....hey Chandler, can you think of anything that the boyrfriend really needs to pay attention to that could structurally compromise the house, with the load or any lateral stresses? Other than the floor, I can't really think off anything off hand. Can you?
 
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Old 05-05-06, 07:26 PM
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I think you covered it. Consider live load (30 psf) of the structural members of the flooring. If the span is not too long and the wood is wide enough, then live load shouldn't be a problem. For instance yellow pine 2 x 6 can span 10' 9" in grade #2 with 16 inch centers. The same wood on 24" centers can only span 9'4"
 
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Old 05-06-06, 01:39 PM
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Thanks

Thanks for the advice!
 
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Old 05-06-06, 05:09 PM
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Originally Posted by chandler
I think you covered it. Consider live load (30 psf) of the structural members of the flooring. If the span is not too long and the wood is wide enough, then live load shouldn't be a problem. For instance yellow pine 2 x 6 can span 10' 9" in grade #2 with 16 inch centers. The same wood on 24" centers can only span 9'4"
I was in a condo today fixing a malfunctioning high efficiency furnace (had the burners out and everything) and noted that walking across the first floor's floor, the knick-knacks and bricabraca like you'd find in a china shop all was rattling on bureaus and coffee table and curio cabinets as I walked across the floor to get to the basement stairs. So I looked up at the ceiling, once in the basement and the first floor joists were 2 x 10's on 16 inch with metal bridging and spanning 14-6 in places. The floor upstairs felt 'solid', but yet the rattling of all the old ladies ju...stuff, was annoying. Amazing.

So...2 x 4's up in that attic just wouldn't cut it. And maybe not even 2 x 6's...depending on the span across cross walls down below.

Then jkm has to consider whether weight loads were ever intended to be not just transfered to the cross walls below, but all the way down to the basement where the real support to everything comes from. Got to plan for that King size water bed going in up there, you know?

..........................................

That's why I (probably we) would like to know more about this existing attic of yours.
 
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