Joints to use in a lintel for French doors

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Pavesa

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Hi Mako1

I apologize profusely. The tread switched over to a new page before I noticed your response so I didn't see it!. I live in rural Nova Scotia.
 

nealtw

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Hi Mako1

I apologize profusely. The tread switched over to a new page before I noticed your response so I didn't see it!. I live in rural Nova Scotia.
You can change somewhere here so you get 20 posts per page.

Will this be one door or 2 and what size are you going for?

Mako1, Bud and Snoonyb

I think we can agree if this is timber framed, it will be pretty straight forward but if it is balloon framed,we should come up with a plan a couple plans so when Pavesa opens the wall he can get it back together in short order.

The floor joists just above are not landing here, I think I read that they are running the same direction as the wall.
If that is right the floor does not add much weight to the wall and maybe it even add strength as the one joist will be nailed across the studs or let into them.

I'm thinking of the trick used by house movers when they move a garage, they go around the inside with 2x12s lag bolted to the studs as temp beam to hold everything straight.
He could do that across the area anywhere above the cut out area, maybe on the inside even above the floor.

Ship lap isn't good at keeping things square how much do we worry about an angle brace that he will likely find in there?

Thoughts?
 

Pavesa

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Hi

thanks for coming back to me on this.

It's going to be a 2 door French door initially. It's a south facing wall so we want to see how warm it gets and we have an option on putting another window in further along the wall if it seems a good idea. The width is about 71 inches for the 2 doors.

It's still pretty cold here in Nova Scotia (10f last night). My plan is to get all the internal work done, including pulling off the drywall and the framing for the door and installing the header then when there's a good weekend hit the job of cutting through the outer wall (shingles) and putting the door in in a day or so.

I was interested in the idea of using a temp beam to hold everything straight. I've been toying with this idea myself. I have a nice old straight length of 4.5"x2" and I was thinking of attaching this to another piece length-wise to make an L section maybe with some triangular reinforcement to hold the L from collapsing. I'd then screw this to the studs and the posts from the outside of the wall to keep the studs supported by the corner posts while I'm installing the header.

Another thought to supplement this support is maybe only to cut out 2.5" from the studs D and E (the 2 to be removed - see picture 4 above) when making the notch for the header to fit in. As the studs are genuine 2"x4", this would leave 1.5" of wood in place in the stud leaving some support from the studs while I'm fitting the header. I'd then just cut the stud off flush with the bottom of the header when it's in place. The header would still be 2.5"x5" section inside the joint which I think would be plenty strong enough and there would still be 2.5"x2" of the stud sitting on top of the header which I think would be fine. Do you think this would work?

From what you're saying about timber framing though, it sounds like this may be completely unnecessary if there's no weight on the studs. I guess I'll find out when I pull the drywall off from the top of the wall.

You're right, the floor joists above don't land on this wall, they're parallel.
 

bud16415

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Just so we are all on the same page I marked up your picture as to just where you want the new French door. The small addition to the left of the red line looks like an addition and is most likely stick framed. The main house may be timber or it may be balloon. Ether way a major load point is the long red line at the corner and I’m assuming you want your door to the right of the red line.

I always try and do as much as I can before cutting thru the skin of the house and then when does get opened up it’s a quick job setting the door or window and the least amount of siding on an old place like this is disturbed.

We can make all kinds of plans but till we see the framing it’s a lot of guessing. I say clean most of that wall off inside and see what you have and then we can figure out how to best brace it for the header.

The fact that the floor joists run opposite to the rafters makes me think you are timber, balloon framing they would have anchored the joists into the studs and went on up to hold the rafters I would think. Ether way that wall is load bearing it has all the weight of the roof on it.

P1010274.jpg
 

Pavesa

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Hi Bud,

Thanks for the posting and taking the time to think around my problem. Yes, that's exactly exactly where the French doors are to go. You,re also right about the extension, I think it dates from the 70's maybe. Depending on how warm it gets in there I might put another window in the wall to the left of the French doors, ie/ to the left of the vertical red line on your drawing.
 

bud16415

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Hi Bud,

Thanks for the posting and taking the time to think around my problem. Yes, that's exactly exactly where the French doors are to go. You,re also right about the extension, I think it dates from the 70's maybe. Depending on how warm it gets in there I might put another window in the wall to the left of the French doors, ie/ to the left of the vertical red line on your drawing.
Sounds great and you are welcome. It is far from a blueprint but sometimes a thumbnail sketch clears up a lot of what people are guessing at. The second window should be pretty straight forward in the single story little bump out.

I have cut studs out from the inside with the clapboards still attached and then pried them off the siding from the inside. There are two reasons to add the temp beam on the inside. The main one is to support any load from above but also to hold the studs firm when you are cutting as to not loosen everything up above. I would highly recommend attaching it all together with heavy deck screws and the temp stuff goes together and comes apart without a lot of stress on other places you want to stay tight.

The very last step I like to do around here is cut the siding and pop in the window or door and slap up the trim and the nosey neighbors never wonder what’s up and when they ask about it later I say no that door was always there I cant believe you never noticed it before.
 

Pavesa

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OK, so I took the drywall off from above the window to see what I could find. I thought I'd not go up to the ceiling initially as the join with the wall is going to be taped and the ceiling is what we would call "artexed" in the UK - sort of scroll plastered - so if I can avoid smashing that up unnecessarily it would be a good thing.

Above the window, I found 3 2"x4" studs cut off and completely unsupported, see the photos below. In fact the left and middle one are being used as a support for a more recent horizontal piece of stud which was used as support for the drywalling. The whole thing looks pretty stable, no sign of any subsiding. Maybe this clinches that it isn't a balloon frame house?

P1010725.jpg

P1010726.jpg
 

bud16415

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On the right hand side of the window when looking out should be the corner of the original house before the small addition.

Did you remove enough to get a look at that post / studs in that corner?

If the studs they chopped off for the window are just hanging they figured they had a strong enough strength in that corner post and the studs to the left that the ledger up stairs would carry the rafter load. You are going to double that span so just because it worked for 3 studs it might not work as good for 6. There will be two ledgers one for the second floor to land on just like a joist / last joist attached to the studs and one at the rafters. Both are acting like a beam keeping the weight off that window area.

Looks like some blown in insulation behind the lath. What did they mostly use in your country back then. Wouldn’t hurt to take a sample and have it checked out. It looks like the ground paper stuff we see here.
 

Pavesa

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Hi Bud

no I didn't get to look up there as I left the top part of the wall intact. I could carefully chip out the remaining couple of inches just to see what I can see.

Yes, there's a mixture of insulation - some glass fiber and some of the blown in paper-based material.

I finished tearing off most of the drywall and took some more photos of what's in here.

The first is the top left of the window. Stud D as expected runs up into the ceiling but stud E next to it that I thought also ran into the ceiling actually stops at about window height and a new stud was added to the right of it that stops at the same place. Stud E and the new one both go to the floor. A further new stud has been added to the left of the window that runs from floor and up into the ceiling. I noticed on the back of the some of the drywall that it says 1988 and 1989 so I guess that's when the new window was fitted. There isn't one in the corresponding position at the other end of the house.

The second photo is of the top right of the window. There's a header over the window made of 2 pieces of studding but rather surprisingly it doesn't actually go right across to attach to the corner post. Maybe the bottom right does. As you can see from the photos I posted a bit earlier, the header isn't attached to the sawn off studs either! I probed into the blown in insulation with my screwdriver all the way down the right side of the window and there seems to be no attachment there at all.

It is certainly possible that they figured there would be enough strength in the corner post and the left stud D to carry the load. Is another possible explanation that the corner posts A and F in my diagram have a beam running between them between floors and the studs' sole function is to be internal carcassing for the wall?

P1010727.jpg

P1010729.jpg
 

Pavesa

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Arghh, you can read my writing on the pictures.

First photo going left to right comments are..

Stud D

Stud E stops here

New Stud Stops here and like E goes to the floor

New stud added goes into ceiling


Second photo

Header above window not attached to corner post
 

bud16415

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Well it’s to late to turn back now.

Do you know the rough opening for your door? How much is left over in height to the plaster ceiling?

If the weather is not to cold and spring is coming soon I would remove the lath and bag up the insulation and take it down to the studs to get a good picture of what you have. You could put up some plastic or a tarp as a wind break in between working on it. Sure looks like balloon framing and I would plan on as tall and thick of a header across the span as I could fit in. Take your sawzall if you have one and cut right down the corner at the ceiling there will be nothing to be saved leaving that little strip at the top of plaster. Your ceiling for sure try not to touch as that is hard to replace. I would add new studs in on each end to support the header and also some to go up in sistered to ones that are there now. The trick is going to be how to best brace it till you get the header in place. If you have enough height you can do it inside if not you may have to work something outside. I’m hoping that the two ledgers above will be good enough till you get the header in.

Once you have it opened more Neal and the other framers here will have some pointers. Just don’t cut any structure until you are sure what’s going on. Getting down to the studs is no worries seeing what you have.
 

bud16415

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Yours looks a lot like mine I ripped out a couple years ago and I found between the old real 2x4’s and the thickness of the lath and plaster in my case and drywall in yours. I was able to use 2x6’s for new studs with just trimming them a little. It’s easier to rip the replacement studs from 2x6 than it is to shim everything to come out flush on both sides, plus the extra strength cant hurt.

The header above the window looks to be about 20 years old as you thought as does the window. I doubt they really figured anything out. I think they just made a hole and filled it back in. they used two 2x4 for the header but put them in flat. Just looks like a DIY job and it worked out ok as nothing has cracked or sagged we can tell.
 

Pavesa

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Hi Bud

thanks for the thoughts...

I don't think the work was a DIY job though. The previous owner lived here for 60 years so this was definitely one of his projects. Thing is, I've seen plenty of his home made stuff and they really are, well, sort of just about up to the job if you ignore the aesthetics... In this case, the drywalling is quite nicely finished off and held in with drywall screws and joins done nicely and it's generally a pretty tidy job. For sure, he employed someone to do this.
 
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Pavesa

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Found some straw in the wall for insulation.. those were the days!
 

Pavesa

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Hi

well, made pretty good progress this weekend getting all the drywall from the inside and the lath removed and explosing what's inside.

I just exposed this, see photo.

Seems there's a prop (PS/ I call it a "prop" but I'm sure that's probably not the technical name!) at the bottom of the corner post of the building (Post F). It was actually cut off when they put the window in in 1989-1990 as the end shows a fresh cut. You can see the bottom of the prop almost butting up against the 2"x4" just to the right of the fiber glass insulation but it stops about 1/8" away and isn't actually attached - no nails, screws or anything. The strut to the right of the 2"x4" isn't attached to the prop, in fact that's a piece of the strut removed when the window was put in and reattached for support but it isn't attached to the prop. The prop is fairly lightly nailed to the middle strut you see and I would guess that some of the boards are nailed to the prop.

I really can't fathom why they cut this off the way they did; surely the 2"x4" could have been attached very securely to the prop and it could have been left for structural reasons.

Still, given it's been sawn off like this, I would guess it is now doing relatively little structurally and if it was done 25 years ago I guess that's given plenty of opportunity for stress testing and the building seems not to have moved. I would guess that there's another matching one on the other side of the post. Anyone have any thoughts on whether this can be removed?

P1010733.jpg
 

Pavesa

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I am minded to add here that there are fairly substantial boards on the outside of the building - full 1" thick which will be providing some more support to the building and the plan is that these will be removed.

Also, thinking again about my idea that there's another prop the other side of the post, this is is likely incorrect as beyond the post is the stick framed extension. I think it's doubtful they would bother to put a prop the other side. If they thought strength was an issue, by far the easiest thing would have been to leave the existing prop in place rather than go to all the trouble to build a very robust frame the other side of the post to put in another prop there.
 

bud16415

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In these old houses the sheathing was planks run back and forth like yours are. In new construction we don’t think of a sheet of plywood as being a diagonal support but they are as the one sheet has corner to corner strength. What they worried about was walls racking and they added those braces. You are right for 25 years without it the other members did the job of holding the house square.

I wouldn’t remove any more of it than I had to and then secure the ends like you thought they should have. How far over is your rough opening going?

I would leave all the sheathing except what you remove for the opening and do that last after you have your new framing built and attached to the sheathing from the outside. Those boards add a lot to the structure. Around here sometimes they went on the outside and sometimes the inside. My old house had just wood siding on the outside and the sheathing wood was the inside walls at first until they got around to plaster in a few years. The house we are at now was built like yours. Save all that wood you cut out it will come in handy putting it back in someplace else.
 

Pavesa

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Hi Bud

The plan is/was to put the doors right up against the post. ie/ Where this prop is!
 
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