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Old 03-01-2014, 04:17 PM  
slownsteady
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Default sagging ceiling

The ceiling in my kitchen has always had a crack down the middle, where the joists are joined. There is a slight sag there, I guess because the joists don’t have enough support. Now that I’m about to replace the ceiling, I want to take out the sag.

There is just an empty attic above – no access. The room runs the full width of the house (24 ft.) with a standard ridge roof above. The ridge runs across the room and is about 12 ft. long. The joists are sistered at the middle but there is not much overlap. It has a piece of ¾ plywood laid on top along the center line (where maybe a beam should have been?). And also there is metal strapping to tie the joists to the rafters (see pictures). I don’t know if all the joists are tied this way or just most of them.

So what’s the best way to fix this? Is it as simple as snugging up the metal straps? I’m not so sure about this. I could also replace the metal with wood ties, so it’s more like a truss setup. If I take this route, would I be adding too much stress to the rafters? We really don’t want to add a beam below the joists – that is not a style we want to add to the kitchen.

There are a couple of collar ties up there, and one option we discussed was to raise the ceiling to that height, giving it a bit of a vaulted look. But we think that might open us up to other problems.



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Old 03-02-2014, 03:09 PM  
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That is an interesting way to avoid installing a beam. And you can see how that worked out. You need a beam. The beam can be install above the ceiling joists.
The rafter appear to be 2x6's and are under sized for current codes. So I would not add any more weight to them.



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Old 03-02-2014, 04:17 PM  
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Two problems / questions about installing a beam above: 1) Can I build one in place instead of a trying to place a single piece? Maybe a series of 2x nailed or bolted into a laminate-style beam 2) Is there some kind of joist hanger that i can use to fasten the joists to the beam above? I'm having a hard time picturing what those would look like.

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Old 03-02-2014, 04:44 PM  
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If you can get 2x10s into the attic that would work fine nailed together with 3 nails every 16" as long as it will will be landing a bearing wall, all the way to the foundation.
Build a temp wall on each side where the beam will go and cut the ceiling joists out leaving a space of 4 3/4" so you can slip hangers in and drop the beam in place. Don't do it when snow is in the forcast.

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Old 03-02-2014, 06:26 PM  
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Sounds like the right thing to do nealtw, but considering the house is about 60 years old and this seems not to be really serious, would it be overkill to place the beam that way. They haven't been resting on a bearing wall in all that time. I understand that the joists help tie the walls together but other than that, they are just supporting the drywall ceiling. I hope I'm not mis-understanding.

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Old 03-02-2014, 06:52 PM  
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The OSB holding the ceiling up doesn't look 60 years old. . Drywall weights a lot. Somewhere around 750 lbs. For a 24x24 ceiling. We can only tell you what should be done. Not do this untested method and your ceiling probably won't collapse.

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Old 03-02-2014, 07:02 PM  
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I have never done a beam over a ceiling joists. But I have seen it done in older homes. No brackets used back then I am assuming they toenailed in some big nails. Today everything needs brackets. Maybe a roof tie or strap will work. You will have too look into it more

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Old 03-02-2014, 09:12 PM  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slownsteady View Post
Sounds like the right thing to do nealtw, but considering the house is about 60 years old and this seems not to be really serious, would it be overkill to place the beam that way. They haven't been resting on a bearing wall in all that time. I understand that the joists help tie the walls together but other than that, they are just supporting the drywall ceiling. I hope I'm not mis-understanding.
Someone along the way has removed the bearing wall!!
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Old 03-02-2014, 09:25 PM  
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Quote:
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I have never done a beam over a ceiling joists. But I have seen it done in older homes. No brackets used back then I am assuming they toenailed in some big nails. Today everything needs brackets. Maybe a roof tie or strap will work. You will have too look into it more
I have seen the beam put over the joists, it is just a little M. M. but you just put a 2x4 block on the side of the beam running down to beside the joist and nail the crap out of it but then you have to block the ends and wedge them untill you have the ceiling level. But that is after you build the temp wall below because you would not want to work over this with out support. If I was going to do it, I would do it properly. It can be done from a bove with out damaging drywall.
http://www.jlconline.com/framing/rep...lush-beam.aspx
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Old 03-02-2014, 11:45 PM  
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Oh, I didn't mean that I would attempt this without bracing from below - I'm just not sure that i want to cut the joists and slip the beam in. i guess i could do it, but I'm not thrilled with the thought.

I'm pretty sure there was never a wall under this. There is another house identical to mine in the neighborhood and it has the same room layout. I don't think my neighbor has ever been up in his ceiling, but now i am curious if the construction is the same. (I never noticed if he had any sag!?). I'm not at all worried about saving the drywall; that is going to go in any case.

And I didn't mean to sound like I was blowing off your suggestion. Just hunting for more options - if there are any.

If I was to truss it up instead of putting in a beam, would I get any advantage by adding additional collar ties?



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