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Attic braces structural or leftover from construction

Attic braces structural or leftover from construction

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  #1  
Old 08-16-17, 03:12 PM
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Attic braces structural or leftover from construction

Hi folks, longtime lurker, first time poster on here. I have a 1924 house and the roof has a slope of (I think I'm calculating this correctly) 20/12. In the attic (see linked photo), there are collar ties (1x4's) 80 inches above the ceiling joists (2x4's), and below the ties there are two braces (1x4's) crossing in an X. The braces are connected directly to one side of the rafters with 3 nails on each end and seem to all be in contact with the top plate, but are not nailed or screwed to the top plate or seemingly connected in any other way. The walls themselves look to be 2x4's 16 OC (not sure that matters). The collar ties and braces are every 2nd or 3rd rafter (that is, they're not consistently spaced).

My question is whether it's possible to tell, based on the details above, if those braces and/or the collar ties are structural (maybe they're an old-school version of a truss?) or if they're some remnant from construction days that could've been removed but weren't.

I'll add that when I push on those braces, they are fairly flexible, which probably doesn't mean anything since they are old and thin.

Thanks for any feedback you can provide!

Link to photo (tried to upload to this site but keeps on saying it failed): https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B5h...ew?usp=sharing
 
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  #2  
Old 08-16-17, 06:45 PM
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Welcome.
It's hard to tell from a picture. I would recommend you do a search for "purlins".
This is really a question for an architect, but purlins allow you to exceed standard rafter span tables.
My guess would be they are structural and shouldn't be removed.
 
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Old 08-16-17, 08:32 PM
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The braces are connected directly to one side of the rafters with 3 nails on each end and seem to all be in contact with the top plate, but are not nailed or screwed to the top plate or seemingly connected in any other way.

They aren't nailed on both ends?
 
  #4  
Old 08-17-17, 08:20 AM
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Looked up purlins. Thanks for the education on that because I didn't know those existed (or rather I've seen them in the past but didn't know what they were called or what they did). Seems likely, as you said, that those braces and ties are structural because the 2x4s are just not adequate to support the room on its own. Follow up question if I can ask: if you upgraded the rafters to either 2x6 or 2x8, and you did remove the ties and braces, would you also have to upgrade the ceiling joists to 2x6 or 2x8 so that they keep the added weight of the beefier rafters from pushing out on the walls? Or is the added weight of beefier rafters not really great enough that the walls would all of a sudden start pushing out?
 

Last edited by tkm11; 08-17-17 at 08:25 AM. Reason: Forgot to say "thanks" for the welcome from Handyone!
  #5  
Old 08-17-17, 08:23 AM
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Originally Posted by XSleeper View Post
They aren't nailed on both ends?
They are nailed to the rafters at both ends. That was just confusing language on my part.
 
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