Video: Structural Framing Problem on Whole House Remodel Part 1


Part 1: Brian Freeman gives a video walkthrough of a serious structural framing problem that was discovered after pulling down the ceiling drywall on this whole house remodel project. We knew we had a structural problem due to almost 2 inches of deflection (sag) in the beams that are over the kitchen so the initial demolition was to discover the actual problem we were dealing with.  We are now working with a structural engineer to come up with a fix. Below is the transcript from the video.



Brian Freeman: Okay. We’re in the living room. To give a little orientation where we’re at here. This is where the old fireplace was. This is the far side. Here’s our stairs going up to the second story. We got posts there that are bearing. We have our kitchen on this side over here. What the issue is is this area right here, this is the wall from the upstairs, second story. They have transferred the load onto these joists at mid-span and there is nothing underneath it. There is no beam here. Those are the 2×6 studs that are running down and they’re just scabbed onto the side of the ceiling joists.

We need to put a new beam in here. We want to put a flush beam in. So, we get rid of everything, and we don’t have anything dropping down, if it can fit. What they did here, these beams, if you look over here, these beams are sagging. There’s probably about an inch, maybe a two-inch sag in this beam here in front of me. And there’s, even more, sag in this beam here right over the kitchen. When they put the second floor on, they shimmed to get it level. You can see the shims here. There are a lot more shims in the center of the beam where it’s lowest versus on this side there is very little. There’s actually not one in that one, but you can see there that there’s only about an inch and a half versus over here it’s close to two and a half inches or more, in the center.

I think actually this area here, we have about 14.5 inches from the bottom of the floor sheeting on the second floor to the low point on this ceiling joist. We have about 14.5 inches for a beam, a flush beam to go in this space. We’re going to put new joists in here depending on what the fix is or we will scab another joist on the side of these ones and make it flat to get that bow out of the ceiling. So, we’ll go back all the way over to this outside bearing wall.

The other thing we’ll have to do underneath this beam is we’re going to somehow figure out how to get posts along this beam line in this room to support these beams. The number of posts will depend on the length of the beams. This beam right here, there was nothing underneath it. No post. It’s just toenailed on each ceiling joist running along the whole span of these here. That’s just hanging up there is all it’s doing. It’s really not doing a whole lot. And the same thing here. This is the other beam that’s close to the outside bearing wall. That one’s just hanging, it’s just hanging there.

But over here where they headed out for the fireplace that was torn out, this masonry fireplace, this has been left in with a post going down just to support these few joists that are right here that aren’t being supported by that fireplace any longer.

Watch Part 2


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