Old 08-03-06, 10:53 AM
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I am wanting to raise a small portion of my bathroom ceiling (3' x 5') in the center. It does not involve any load bearing walls, but directly above where I want to raise the ceiling, there is what I have always called a strongback (2 - 2" x 4"'s nailed together in an L-shape). Can I put a new one to each side of the raised section and remove the one there? I've never quite understood it's purpose (although I'm sure there is one).
Old 08-31-06, 11:08 AM
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One purpose of a strongback is to keep the ceiling joists on the same plane. Some joists may crown more than others and that can cause problems with the sheetrock on the ceiling. Ussually this happens when there is no floor above the ceiling (like in an attic) to keep the joists in line. In the case of a typical gable roof the ceiling joists that form the attic floor also serve the structural purpose of collar ties. This means that they are important to resist the outward force of the roof rafters and should not be cut. In short there are many structural parts of a house other than load bearing walls. I think that you should have a qualified professional check your plan.
Hope this helps,

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