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Grand Rapids Remodeling
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
OK I hope I don't get flamed to bad here. Just went to do a estimate for attic finish/remodel. It's all good to go which is rare but collar ties running the length of the attic, as usual I'm fighting for head room in a attic job and would love to see 'em go. Rafters 16 oc, 2 x 6. 8/12 pitch with a ridge board I'd date it about 60's. The ties look to me like a more recent addition with a couple of screws on each end holding them up and cut off square every 4'. I know the safe play is to just leave 'em be but I'm fighting headroom and would make a world of difference. So I'm asking you framers can I lose the collar ties?
 

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The Duke
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OK I hope I don't get flamed to bad here. Just went to do a estimate for attic finish/remodel. It's all good to go which is rare but collar ties running the length of the attic, as usual I'm fighting for head room in a attic job and would love to see 'em go. Rafters 16 oc, 2 x 6. 8/12 pitch with a ridge board I'd date it about 60's. The ties look to me like a more recent addition with a couple of screws on each end holding them up and cut off square every 4'. I know the safe play is to just leave 'em be but I'm fighting headroom and would make a world of difference. So I'm asking you framers can I lose the collar ties?
It depends. Do you have some pictures to show? I've seen homes that have these little collar ties up that do zero good, but every case can easily be a unique situation.
 

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Grand Rapids Remodeling
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I am so pissed that I didn't get some pics. I usually always take a few so I don't forget anything. I'm thinking of calling tomorrow to take a few not just for myself but for the city. Past experience with attic jobs I've found it nice to go to the city with pics for the permit.

To just answer your question, NO. :furious:
 

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I am so pissed that I didn't get some pics. I usually always take a few so I don't forget anything. I'm thinking of calling tomorrow to take a few not just for myself but for the city. Past experience with attic jobs I've found it nice to go to the city with pics for the permit.

To just answer your question, NO. :furious:
Get some and maybe we can answer the question!:thumbup:
 

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Grand Rapids Remodeling
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yeah I know, I've posted the same response to these questions. But in general collar ties I've seen are a fix later on for sway back or whatever and I have always wondered about how much good they really do.

But yes, I'll call the HO tomorrow and see if I can snap a quick few. it happens to be right by my current job.
 

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Hey paulie, glad to hear there is work going on in Mich. you must be good to be working steady given the situation.

collar ties are a thing that keeps a roof system from collapsing are you sure it is collar ties you are dealing with?

Is their something else tying this building together at the plates that the rafters are sitting on I am assuming this is not a truss roof.

Of course nobody here should be giving structural advice.

I my suggest a simple sketch showing the rafters any overlays, ceiling joist,attic joist this would give a good idea what the original design intent was.

There are several generic ways to build something that allows you to remove the ties and gain the head room you are after
 

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You must really be fighting space with an 8 pitch. I have removed every other one but doubled the ones I left in. I rocked it like cathedral, then boxed out the ties. It adds a nice look to the space.

Collar ties may assist weak connections but they're seldom going to prevent downward thrust or bowing walls. They are supposed to hold rafters to the ridge under +/- wind pressures. Even though we've all seen some 1x4 with knots that broke and nothing happened but they have a purpose and should be left. A SE may allow you an alternative of raising them but ask first.
 

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Woodyg
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post pics or a drawing, any dormers?, is the house a box? how deep is the house? just curious are the rafters siting on top of the wall or on top of the joists? what height are the ct's at now?
 

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Grand Rapids Remodeling
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Yep I know, just like I've posted before, if I had a picture I could help you out! Well.....

The two that look alike are shot at one end then the other, both gable ends have windows. the other (bad) shot is a dormer which when I went over to get the shots the HO said he would like to open that up too. :eek:
 

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The Duke
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Those are not collar ties. It's someone's misguided attempt at thinking that actually helps. How does the ridge look for sagging?

Let me say this. It should be fine to just remove them, but you really should get someone up there to look at the structure. Those boards aren't doing a damn thing. You will still have the same situation with those or without those, they do no good structurally.

A structural ridge beam would be at least a better situation. Posted all the way down to the foundation is much better. I doubt you will have the resources for any of these suggestions except just rip the damn things out.
 

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Those are too high to be doing anything, but ask someone with alphabet soup after his name to cya. I bet the hard part is gonna be opening up that dormer, that is going to change the structure some.

I like the beam with posts all the way to concrete, always, but that might be a long way for a beam and if you split it then you are likely opening up lower floor walls.

Doesn't look 8/12 in the photos. but maybe it's just the photos.
 

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Grand Rapids Remodeling
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Doesn't look 8/12 in the photos. but maybe it's just the photos.
Ya know I usually can eyeball 'em but your right, I made sure when I took the pics. The gauge is dirty as hell but you can barely make out the little red line is on the 9.

Good eye. :thumbsup:
 

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Grand Rapids Remodeling
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Those are not collar ties. It's someone's misguided attempt at thinking that actually helps. How does the ridge look for sagging?

Let me say this. It should be fine to just remove them, but you really should get someone up there to look at the structure. Those boards aren't doing a damn thing. You will still have the same situation with those or without those, they do no good structurally.

A structural ridge beam would be at least a better situation. Posted all the way down to the foundation is much better. I doubt you will have the resources for any of these suggestions except just rip the damn things out.
The ridge looks great straight as a arrow.

After the request to open the dormer I already contacted a structural guy I've worked with to go over and give me a opinion.

Thanks Lone. :thumbsup:
 

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Those are not collar ties. It's someone's misguided attempt at thinking that actually helps. How does the ridge look for sagging?

Let me say this. It should be fine to just remove them, but you really should get someone up there to look at the structure. Those boards aren't doing a damn thing. You will still have the same situation with those or without those, they do no good structurally.

A structural ridge beam would be at least a better situation. Posted all the way down to the foundation is much better. I doubt you will have the resources for any of these suggestions except just rip the damn things out.
Framerman all due respect but, What are you talking about? What do you think they should be doing? Collar ties shall be install in the upper third of the roof usually 32 to 48" o/c, and shall be a minimum of a 1x4 or 2x4. This attic is typical. There is nothing wrong there. Structural beam thats crazy. Collar beam are not responsible for sagging they stabilze the top area. As for head room 7ft is acceptable, you must be right about there. What are you really going to gain here?
 

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Grand Rapids Remodeling
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
MRC reads that ceiling height is allowable at 6' 8" but has to be at 3' 6'' in width. The 2 x 4's are 6' 8" in height but not 3' 6" in width. To be honest it's kinda grey area with the different attic remodels in different counties I've done around here. Some just want 7' and that's that but others have let me go. I posted this because I'm not a true framer and have always been unsure about collar ties and there value to structure. If I can offer the customers more headroom I think it will sell the job.
 

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Woodyg
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I would get a structural engineer to sign off on it so you are covered. the attic looks atypical to me also. in my State your collar ties have to be in the upper third of the space, at least 1x6 and no greater than 48" apart. i have finished a few space like that. I usually put the new "collar ties" at about 7.5 feet if you can. It might be the picture but those rafters look like 2x8's to me. my rule of thumb for figuring out if a space is usable. if you plumb down kneewalls so they are 4 feet high and you have 12' between the walls and the ceiling is 7.5 feet it is usable. how are you going to insulate? build down the rafters? Icynene?
 

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Woodyg
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I only have 4 posts on this forum so i don't want to come across like a know it all and in full disclosure I am not a framer by trade, but the purpose of the collar ties is to keep the rafters tight with the ridge. To keep them from separating. If you move the new ones up and put them 16 oc. they are acting like a gusset. imho I dont see a need for a solid ridgebeam (as long as you dont change the other gable, where the dormer might go)the floor joists will keep the structure from sepaerating.
 

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Grand Rapids Remodeling
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I would get a structural engineer to sign off on it so you are covered. the attic looks atypical to me also. in my State your collar ties have to be in the upper third of the space, at least 1x6 and no greater than 48" apart. i have finished a few space like that. I usually put the new "collar ties" at about 7.5 feet if you can. It might be the picture but those rafters look like 2x8's to me. my rule of thumb for figuring out if a space is usable. if you plumb down kneewalls so they are 4 feet high and you have 12' between the walls and the ceiling is 7.5 feet it is usable. how are you going to insulate? build down the rafters? Icynene?
Hey woody I'm right with ya. Everything you said. The thing is everyone is looking for more head room in a attic. I'm so close I wanted to CMA and ask some "true" framers about it. I still wonder about the actual value of a collar tie though.

No the rafters are 2 x 6's.
 
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