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Old 08-05-2014, 11:15 AM  
Lev
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Default Reframing window and cutting studs in existing Balloon framing construction

Good day all and thanks for reading,

I am completely redoing my bedroom in a balloon framed house.
Directly below this room is a bedroom, and above this room is 1/2 a story, "in law" style bedroom.

One of the walls has 3 windows with widths in this order: half width - full width - half width. (see panoramic pictures. The pics are distorted because I'm new at taking panoramic pictures). Between the windows are studs. Consistent with Balloon Framing, those studs go from foundation all the way up.

The wall and window(s) in question:
http://tinyurl.com/k8n226d

Top of the inside room walls:
http://tinyurl.com/la8luxg

The wall of the above window from outside the house (front of the house):
http://tinyurl.com/nztzned

I would like to replace these 3 windows with one large window. In order to do that I need to cut the studs and create a large window framing. The framing part in itself I'm comfortable with. The cutting of the studs is what I want to ask about.

The ceiling joists, floor joists etc, are all running from side to side, parallel to the wall in question, so don't appear to be leaning on that wall.
Above the bedroom is a half floor, and then a shingled gable roof.

My guess looking at inside and outside, that there's not much leaning on these studs. But I wanted to ask here and see what opinions people might have.

Appreciate any advice and opinion you might have.

Thanks,
Lev



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Old 08-05-2014, 11:34 AM  
bud16415
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It doesn’t look like there is much in the way of a header above the window now. On that end of the house with how the roof and floor and ceiling joists are running I would say most of the roof load is going down the wall on the side of the room.

You should be able to brace that opening without much trouble and cut out what you need and reframe around it. Normally I think you add in studs equal to what you take out but there is no plate to set them on. I would still add in some studs sistered to the ones left.

I’m not a pro but the pro’s will be along shortly.



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Old 08-05-2014, 12:16 PM  
beachguy005
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Your question aside....I'm wondering if you have fire blocking in all the stud bays and between floors. Another issue would be your siding...is it asbestos?

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Old 08-05-2014, 12:20 PM  
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Those studs going all the way up are carrying your gable end and the roof..What do you think will happen when you but the center out of them? I guarantee it won't be good.

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Old 08-05-2014, 12:33 PM  
bud16415
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If those studs are running all the way to the basement and carrying weight they will be running right in front of the French Window below. You should be able to stick something down that stud bay and see what’s above the French window in the way of a beam that the studs now are resting on.

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Old 08-05-2014, 12:34 PM  
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A lot of the wood looks rotten. Looks like major work reframe that. Has the house had water damage?

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Old 08-05-2014, 01:02 PM  
bud16415
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As far down as you have it stripped I think I would take the base board off also and give you a little more room to work below the window.
Once you know what’s below if you see any concern for the weight of the gable maybe a face beam the whole length of the room above the window and screwed into every stud a couple places and braced at the ends as a temp.

Fire blocking is important and quite a few of these framed houses have some but not all stud bays. My old house I found a couple drops running the whole way. Great for wires not so great in a fire. Look into the best way to correct that as you find areas that need it. I wouldn’t get to excited about the siding whatever it is.

I don’t see any rotten wood looks like 200 year old yellow pine that’s been baking inside those walls for 100 years and good for 100 more.

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Old 08-05-2014, 02:43 PM  
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Look like they painted the inside of the walls black. Kinda cool!

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Old 08-05-2014, 04:55 PM  
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There is no roof load on the gable except for the overhang. Unless they cheated on the rafter over the wall and they did cheat sometimes, so you can't trust it.
I would still install a header, 2 2x10s nailed together, on balloon framing you notch out a stud on each side of the window, which will make your header longer than you would normally need. Sister another length of 2x4 on the outside of the notched stud to tie it all together. Run your lower sill all the way out to the notched studs. Then put 2 2x4 jacks on each side of the window opening, then install the top sill betwen those doubles. Your rough opening should be a standard size and the window should be 1/2" smaller hight and width.

This the latest code for window install.

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Old 08-05-2014, 06:58 PM  
Lev
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Thanks everyone for the responses, especially bud16415 and nealtw.
Good advice, I'll check what the studs are resting on below this floor to get a sense of the load.

I'm trying to understand your suggestion, bud16415, for face plate above the window and nailing/screwing to as many possible studs, and bracing it at the end.
So for example, take a long 2x4, maybe a couple, place above the window against the studs and nail them to the studs? And add a steel brace at the end to the studs that will remain? Assuming there's no meaningful load on the studs, they should hold?

Agree that fire blocking is important. I'm thinking about a plastic conduit in the walls for wires, that would allow for wire movement, and then fire blocks and insulation. I'm going to remove the baseboard, just haven't gotten around to it.

Agree that header on the window is important, and thanks for the window framing guide, nealtw.

There's no water damage, nor anything is painted black. Thanks for the concern, Jungle. But if you have anything to say on the topic it would be most helpful.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bud16415 View Post
As far down as you have it stripped I think I would take the base board off also and give you a little more room to work below the window.
Once you know what’s below if you see any concern for the weight of the gable maybe a face beam the whole length of the room above the window and screwed into every stud a couple places and braced at the ends as a temp.

Fire blocking is important and quite a few of these framed houses have some but not all stud bays. My old house I found a couple drops running the whole way. Great for wires not so great in a fire. Look into the best way to correct that as you find areas that need it. I wouldn’t get to excited about the siding whatever it is.

I don’t see any rotten wood looks like 200 year old yellow pine that’s been baking inside those walls for 100 years and good for 100 more.


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