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HELP!!! - Poorly Framed Wall

 
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Old 10-07-2006, 05:10 PM   #1
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HELP!!! - Poorly Framed Wall


Greetings folks,

Take a look at the latest challenge, a large window wall that was framed incorrectly - I get the lovely job of fixing it. The wall is 28ft high and 21ft wide with lots of windows. The original framer built the wall using 20' balloon 2x6. Instead of building up the balloons and keeping a continuous load path from floor to roof, he stopped the 2x6s at the 20ft point, put in a triple 2x10 header, and then framed above it. This created a hinge point and now the wall is far too flexible. This gable end faces into the wind, looking over the water, in a hurricane zone!

My thought is to cut the header in the center of the wall and install parallams that run from floor to ceiling. I'm running the numbers now on the size parallams needed to do the job, but I'm thinking of 2 - 3 1/2 x 5 1/2 that are lagged into the existing 2x6 structure as well as the header.

Anyone out there have any other ideas - very interested in feedback.

Many thanks,
NAILBIRD

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Old 10-07-2006, 05:22 PM   #2
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Re: HELP!!! - Poorly Framed Wall


Looks like a job for some steel.

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Old 10-07-2006, 06:07 PM   #3
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Re: HELP!!! - Poorly Framed Wall


I'm not familiar with hurricane zone codes but here's my 2 cents.

Cut the headers like you said, then just sister 2x6's along side the 20' king studs already there. Starting at the box out where the recepticle box is, going up to the rafter plates. Two on each side, should stiffen up the wall considerably, I would think.
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Old 10-07-2006, 10:24 PM   #4
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Re: HELP!!! - Poorly Framed Wall


my 2 cents.leave the frame as is.from here on use a good poly glue for everything you install.i will assume this will be trimmed in wood.sheath the inside with 3/4 plywood,using common sense where you break the plywood.cover with choice of 3/4 material, including inside of windows.trim as necessary. with plenty of glue,the wall should be solidified.additional solidification with glued exterior trim.
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Old 10-07-2006, 11:21 PM   #5
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Re: HELP!!! - Poorly Framed Wall


You could stiffen it too with a microlam running horizontally across the bottom of the 2x10's, where the little cripples are above the third set of windows, but why not get an engineer involved and take away (pass on) the worry?
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Old 10-08-2006, 02:03 AM   #6
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Re: HELP!!! - Poorly Framed Wall


Similar to what casey said, secure inside and redo the outside with adhesives and fasteners. These are called 'torsion beams' and it's likely that your BD is unfamiliar with the concept, mine is.

As far as hurricanes, that's a lot of area with little support. Will a second floor tie into it? What zone are you in? That shouldn't really make any difference unless you are just skating code. After the last few years, code ain't cutting consumers concerns anymore.
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Old 10-08-2006, 07:36 AM   #7
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Re: HELP!!! - Poorly Framed Wall


Quote:
Originally Posted by Nailbird View Post
Greetings folks,

Take a look at the latest challenge, a large window wall that was framed incorrectly - I get the lovely job of fixing it. The wall is 28ft high and 21ft wide with lots of windows. The original framer built the wall using 20' balloon 2x6. Instead of building up the balloons and keeping a continuous load path from floor to roof, he stopped the 2x6s at the 20ft point, put in a triple 2x10 header, and then framed above it. This created a hinge point and now the wall is far too flexible. This gable end faces into the wind, looking over the water, in a hurricane zone!

My thought is to cut the header in the center of the wall and install parallams that run from floor to ceiling. I'm running the numbers now on the size parallams needed to do the job, but I'm thinking of 2 - 3 1/2 x 5 1/2 that are lagged into the existing 2x6 structure as well as the header.

Anyone out there have any other ideas - very interested in feedback.

Many thanks,
NAILBIRD

If it's wrong, why are you the one who has to come up with a solution? How come the Architect hasn't stepped in and figured it out?

You can get twenty different ways to frame that wall here but what one will you pick and is it the right one for your area?
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Old 10-08-2006, 07:52 AM   #8
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Re: HELP!!! - Poorly Framed Wall


These are all great ideas! Can't thank you enough for taking time to assist!!! I will indeed sheath the wall with plywood to create a torsion box.

This house is in Maryland which is not a huge high wind area, but who knows what lies ahead; best to take extra step now. Obviously the wall has to resist wind to avoid breaking these windows. Fortunately the wall is atop a very good foundation.
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Old 10-08-2006, 09:00 AM   #9
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Re: HELP!!! - Poorly Framed Wall


I am with md...great place for steel. I would use 3/8" wall 4X4 square tubes, anchored top and bottom, clipped and lagged to the king studs. You could easily pocket the tubes next to the studs, between the windows, and the header can be cut through and bolted to the steel. You might go with a lighter wall thickness, but I would be very concerned with 150 mph wind loads. I would also place a steel load beam in a horizontle plane, but only if you have a fake ledge or trim to hide it...maybe attach it right to the header and then "fake" a wood beam to it.

One thing for sure, all this is only fun guessing, since you really need an engineer/architect to put a seal on it...but if you suggest some of these ideas, they may go with it.
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Old 10-08-2006, 09:07 AM   #10
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Re: HELP!!! - Poorly Framed Wall


Quote:
Originally Posted by Nailbird View Post
These are all great ideas! Can't thank you enough for taking time to assist!!! I will indeed sheath the wall with plywood to create a torsion box.

This house is in Maryland which is not a huge high wind area, but who knows what lies ahead; best to take extra step now. Obviously the wall has to resist wind to avoid breaking these windows. Fortunately the wall is atop a very good foundation.

If it's wrong, why are you the one who has to come up with a solution? How come the Architect hasn't stepped in and figured it out?

Can you answer that?

If not, why would you make yourself liable for something like this of your solution isn't right?
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Old 10-08-2006, 09:24 AM   #11
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Re: HELP!!! - Poorly Framed Wall


Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Carola View Post
If it's wrong, why are you the one who has to come up with a solution? How come the Architect hasn't stepped in and figured it out?

Can you answer that??
I can answer that with a question, Joe. What makes you so sure that there's even an architect involved with this project?
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Old 10-08-2006, 09:36 AM   #12
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Re: HELP!!! - Poorly Framed Wall


I would agree w/ MD and Joasis,

Steel would be best.
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Old 10-08-2006, 09:39 AM   #13
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Re: HELP!!! - Poorly Framed Wall


Quote:
Originally Posted by mdshunk View Post
I can answer that with a question, Joe. What makes you so sure that there's even an architect involved with this project?
That's my point!

If there isn't, there should be!

Even though I've been framing for over twenty years and have framed many different ways, they're always designed by an Architect or Engineer. It's not up to me even though I have many answers from what I've framed.

This guy is guessing at it and asking people on the internet to fix a problem that someone else made. If his fix doesn't work, what do you think the owner will do? He's liable now since he has just touched someone elseís framing.

I've fixed other bad framing work before with a new set of plans or just following the original set of plans that the framer didn't follow.

Usually when I ask about an Architect, that person wonít respond or then they might come back and say that there isnít one.

So that means that there will be no inspections or the Homeowner drew the plans themselves and there wasnít an Architect (you donít need an Architect for your own single family home around here). Maybe thatís where heís at and the plans were drawn by the HO and it will still get inspected.

What happens if the inspector doesnít like his fix?
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Old 10-08-2006, 09:43 AM   #14
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Re: HELP!!! - Poorly Framed Wall


Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Carola View Post
This guy is guessing at it and asking people on the internet to fix a problem that someone else made. If his fix doesn't work, what do you think the owner will do? He's liable now since he has just touched someone elseís framing.
Nope. You may well be overthinking this. Consider this... perhaps he's just gathering a set of ideas (because, after all, somebody has already solved this problem at some point in the past), so that he can present some of the best one's (in his opinion) for consideration by the engineer?

I know that I certainly think out problems that I'm facing, and ask advice of others, before I blow my cash on outside experts. It pays dividends to do a little due dilligence before hand, which is what many guys do on this site when they're seeking answers to problems.
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Old 10-08-2006, 09:53 AM   #15
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Re: HELP!!! - Poorly Framed Wall


Quote:
Originally Posted by mdshunk View Post
Nope. You may well be overthinking this. Consider this... perhaps he's just gathering a set of ideas (because, after all, somebody has already solved this problem at some point in the past), so that he can present some of the best one's (in his opinion) for consideration by the engineer?

I know that I certainly think out problems that I'm facing, and ask advice of others, before I blow my cash on outside experts. It pays dividends to do a little due dilligence before hand, which is what many guys do on this site when they're seeking answers to problems.
I'm not over thinking anything. I agree with him asking all the questions and he should be just like I would be doing if I was trying to figure out how to fix a problem. It's just that he is still responsible in the long run as soon as he touches this.

I run into problems all the time with framing that are structural and I come up with solutions but the ultimate one is that I run it by the Architect or Engineer who drew the plans and they give me the ok or their solution. I canít change anything structural on the plans

If there is no Architect and he gathers up all the info here or else where, what does he do with it? Does he pick one and go with it and trust it, or does he then spend the money and get it engineered?

This is framing here and is not taken lightly. Isn't it worth it to spend money to have it done right and structurally sound?

I just want to see this guy protect himself from the other framers mistakes.
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Old 10-08-2006, 11:01 AM   #16
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Re: HELP!!! - Poorly Framed Wall


In terms of architecture - this house was built from plans for a home previously built, but they contained no details on the framing on this wall. However, window walls like this should not be a great challenge to a skilled framer. Afterall, a framer is part structural engineer in bone.

My reason for posting this message was to gain insights from skilled framers. I am an engineer by training, and the numbers will be run to make sure that the final result isn't going to cause problems down the road. However, I've learned that engineers aren't an exclusive source of good ideas. I will always ask a craftsman how they would tackle a problem. A good deal of the time the craftsman has a better idea that I can come up with. Like 'mdshunk' said, due diligence always pays off.

Joe is right that the numbers have to work too. Code requires that this house withstand 90mph winds, but I'll run the numbers to the next highest category (110mph) with gust to provide an extra factor of safety. Who knows what will happen with the weather in our future - better to be safe than sorry.

I find the information I get from this forum to be of incredible value and I thank all of you for spending time to respond!
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Old 12-06-2008, 08:59 AM   #17
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Re: HELP!!! - Poorly Framed Wall


For what it's worth, I visited the andersen wndw plant in the early 90's. The rule of thumb they were touting at that time was, if you use 2x12's for studs you could stack windows in there in any configuration you wanted, inclusive of traps & specials. I do not know if that would be enough in a hurricane zone, never worked under those rules. d55c
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Old 12-06-2008, 09:28 AM   #18
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Re: HELP!!! - Poorly Framed Wall


Building that style wall here in a hurricane prone area, an Arch / Engineer's letter / drawing, ect will need to be included or should have already been, when reviewed at the planning board for plan approval prior to getting the permit.
It is always great to have ideas when addressing a problem with experts brought in, but it is also nice to catch these problems prior to them becoming a problem, not always the case and maybe why others are brought in now it has been built. Unless caught during a framing inspection.
Just for g/p, look back and see what the plans called for.. May have called for horizontal steel to have been incorp. Vertical steel or other members not having the same shrink rate as the rest of the wall supports creates floating problems down the road when all supports have acclimated.
We once has to cut the steel colomns in a 3 story open octogon room in a 12,500 sq ft house on a mountin top because after completion and the 1st year had past, hahaha that thing swayed enough to crack the drywall thru out most of the home. But it was drawn by a young arrogant Arch and even after a few seasoned Engineers adviced cutting the steel columns he had to bring in his Father, (a retired Arch) who said, cut the columns.. See sometimes Fathers "do" know best..
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Old 12-06-2008, 09:48 AM   #19
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Re: HELP!!! - Poorly Framed Wall


Quote:
Originally Posted by cmwacasey View Post
my 2 cents.leave the frame as is.from here on use a good poly glue for everything you install.i will assume this will be trimmed in wood.sheath the inside with 3/4 plywood,using common sense where you break the plywood.cover with choice of 3/4 material, including inside of windows.trim as necessary. with plenty of glue,the wall should be solidified.additional solidification with glued exterior trim.

I know this is an old thread, but this would do it, rather than cutting everything apart, sheath and glue both sides in 3/4 cdx, screw it off, where is it going to go?
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Old 12-13-2008, 08:31 PM   #20
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Re: HELP!!! - Poorly Framed Wall


I don't see the "baloon" element ... there are no floors attached to this wall.
There are a couple elements that seem strange though, but I can't really see.
How is the triple 2x10 beam fastened? It looks like there isn't a top plate, also, how does it tie into the hip?

The central post that transfers the load from the ridge beam actually looks fine. We have made similar designs, just get Engineering to approve of the transfer load. It need not go straight to floor directly below the ridge, the transfer load needs to do this, which it seem to be doing fine via that triple 2x10 and then down the king studs. It IS odd though that one of the king stud assemblies seems to have 4 deep lumber while the adjacent corresponding one has less.

Again, I can't see some things.
As far as wind, you really want to avoid shear more than anything. Long runs of contiguous loads will shear far less than a multi-wafer system that isn't laterally fastened. In your example, there could be logic to the long run of king studs. The details I can't really see that I mentioned make me pay far more attention than the long king studs alone. That tripled beam is actually very good at stabilizing shear, it looks like it is incorporated oddly though. If you want to go with steel, you will also want this type of lateral transfer to take the pressure off of that window wall. You will also want to tie the steel into a concrete foot that is in the ground, or a concrete foundation.

I suggest you address the central post with 2 more pieces of lumber.
Even out the king studs, maybe add more to the right side.[east?]

The one thing I see happening in high wind is your windows breaking. It would be nice if they had headers, that would have been nice to incorporate originally.
Some would argue that this is "advanced" framing ... I think I have to disagree though.

These are just my thoughts over coffee, so-to-speak.
You should consult your local authority before continuing, they will at least be able to give you a list of changes required, that you can then consult an engineer on if you decide to change the design.

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