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Framing Question


mossman's Avatar
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Join Date: Mar 2009
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VA

02-04-16, 06:52 PM   #1  
Framing Question

I'm considering doubling the size of my master bedroom by extending it into what is now empty space (vaulted ceiling) above my dining room. I already know the wall is non-load bearing, so no worries there. My uncertainty is how to tie in the floor joists to the exterior wall. The wall is comprised of 2x4s 16" on center. Can I remove a strip of drywall and attach a 2x10 header to the existing studs, or would I need to somehow support the header underneath all the way down to the foundation? If so, what would be the best way to do this without disrupting the existing structure? Notch out each stud and install the header flush? I'm hoping there is a simple solution because I'll be doing the work myself. Otherwise, I may decide not to do it, considering the ceiling is sloped and I would be losing the open feeling provided by the vaulted ceiling. I'll post a pic here shortly.

 
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02-04-16, 07:01 PM   #2  
Here is the area I am referring to. The master bedroom wall is on the left and the exterior wall I would need to tie into is on the right. The left wall would be removed and the new space would extend from the beam to the back wall (where the slider is). Joists would run left to right in the photo.


 
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02-04-16, 07:38 PM   #3  
Mossman, you've been around long enough to know that the standard reply to questions like this is: get permits and get a structural engineer involved. You need someone qualified to look at all the factors involved that we can't see. When doing something like what you propose, the structural engineer will look at the existing load path and how your proposed changes will increase those existing loads. For all we know, adding additional floor space above could mean that support below (which is adequate for the way it was built) might no longer be sufficient.

To try and answer the questions that we can... no you can't just remove drywall and attach a ledger onto the studs as a header. Floor joists sit on the top plate... and there should be a top plate on both sides that new floor joists would rest on. The question is whether or not the rafters provide enough height for the dimension of lumber you would need for floor joists of that span. Or are you changing the roof line, and removing that portion of vaulted ceiling completely?

If you wanted to open some holes to investigate, you would remove some drywall along the ceiling where it meets the top plate. This would allow you to determine the height available above the top plate. You would also remove the drywall at that same height on the left wall to expose the top plate and floor joists (you will likely find the end of the floor joists are covered by a rim joist) on the left wall. The rim joist would need to be removed and new joists would likely need to overlap the existing bedroom joists, since they would need to rest side by side on the top plate. Blocking between joists would take the place of the rim joist that has been removed. And this assumes that the wall on the left has sufficient support to handle the added load, because at a minimum, the first story portion of the wall on the left is MOST CERTAINLY a load bearing wall.

I would have to question how you came to the conclusion that wall on the left isn't load bearing. We certainly can't provide very good helpful suggestions to your plan based on that little thumbnail... or without a complete framing floor plan.

I'm sure others will want to weigh in on your idea as well.

 
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02-04-16, 07:46 PM   #4  
Thanks for the info, and I agree I should consult with someone first.

Now that I think about it, there is a laminated beam that runs down the hallway upstairs that ends right where the master bed begins. This beam supports the rafters above. Since the beam doesn't extend into the master, that wall must be supporting the rafters above the master. This reno doesn't sound feasible. I just need to buy a larger house!

 
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