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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey folks,

Started demoing my 1903 balloon framed house. As typical in balloon frame the joists run wall to wall,face nailed into the studs. I am only renovating the 2nd floor, and one thing I'm doing is adding a bathroom. Where the bathroom will be, I am going to double up the 2x8 joists with 7 1/4" LVL. The LVLs will be bolted to the existing 2x8s. I was wondering if there was a way to strengthen the connection of the joist to the stud. Not only in the bathroom but throughout the house. I'll post pictures if you guys like.
 

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diplomat
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Pics. Depending how much wall is open above and below, I have several suggestions.
 
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Sometimes there are let in 2x4's sometimes not.
Went into a home owner started renovation once, where the owner cut out a section of wall to expand the kitchen.
The only problem was that the house was balloon framed and he had gone through the back wall into a shed addition. :eek:
The fix wasn't cheap or easy, but it was a fun job.
She divorced him. :laughing:
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I can't say for sure if there is a ribbon. I'm hoping to be able to tell tomorrow when the floor is ripped up. But looking at the ceiling joists, the original house has a 1x6 ribbon. There was an addition put on probably in the 30's, and that section of ceiling joists is not sitting on a ribbon. And that is the area where the bathroom is going. Tomorrow I will post some pictures here
 

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Box Builder
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You should plan on getting into the 1st floor walls and ceiling. That way you could carry loads better. I basically gutted my house this summer. Ended up putting all floors on a ledger around the whole interior with fire blocking. Lots of hangers
 

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diplomat
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Thats scary. So only nails holding up the floor system?
Well no let in ribbon, but the walls were sheathed on the inside with 1x cedar, so there were those additional nails in shear but no wood bearing to wood.

Just started another one and have a wall open, I'll snap a pic Monday.
 

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stacker of sticks
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Sometimes there are let in 2x4's sometimes not.
Went into a home owner started renovation once, where the owner cut out a section of wall to expand the kitchen.
The only problem was that the house was balloon framed and he had gone through the back wall into a shed addition. :eek:
The fix wasn't cheap or easy, but it was a fun job.
She divorced him. :laughing:
I did a house last year that had an intersecting gable. The front and back of the house both had additions and literally nothing was holding it up. Even after everything was gutted and I could see. Maybe the gable wall and ridge board? Pretty scary. And on the other side of the house they had an 7' arch way that the ribbon ( 1x4) was all that was holding that section
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Morning Wood said:
You should plan on getting into the 1st floor walls and ceiling. That way you could carry loads better. I basically gutted my house this summer. Ended up putting all floors on a ledger around the whole interior with fire blocking. Lots of hangers
I'm trying my best not to do any work on the first floor for now. To switch gear slightly, I'm wondering if I can cut out 1 1/2" of the stud below the ceiling joists and slip a top plate in to carry the attic floor joists. Then in a few years when I renovate the first floor do the same thing to help carry the load of the 2nd floor.
 

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Its amazing how long those old houses can stand while defying gravity.
 
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diplomat
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I find there are a lot of unconventional things, by today's standards, holding them up. Dimensional sheathing that acts as a bunch of independent 1x beams, etc.

You may want to be careful trying to put in a top plate if I understand right then you'd be splitting the continuous 2 story studs, and there's some strength there that could be keeping something together. Each project is different but sometimes you have to carefully evaluate load paths and the diaphragms that restrain ends of members from moving around.
 

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I wouldn't cut the studs. You could

A) put a ribbon in.
B) sister the studs so the joist is sitting on a stud, and the new stud will sit on the joist below, but that will take away from insulation.
C) frame up a new wall against the old wall. You'll be able to get a higher r value, and get the stability you're looking for.

You do know usually you start in the basement and work up in these old houses right?
 

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diplomat
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I wouldn't cut the studs. You could

A) put a ribbon in.
B) sister the studs so the joist is sitting on a stud, and the new stud will sit on the joist below, but that will take away from insulation.
C) frame up a new wall against the old wall. You'll be able to get a higher r value, and get the stability you're looking for.

You do know usually you start in the basement and work up in these old houses right?
This would be my suggestion too but I wanted to see a pic. Even sintering for 12-24" gives you a lot more nails in shear. It's possible you could do that from above.
 

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Don't go cutting the studs, you'll be sorry you did. Based on your question, I'd suggest you don't do anything that would require a structural engineer's stamp most places.

If someone were to ask me about improving an old balloon framed house, (and they don't care about saving the plaster) I'd suggest pulling the plaster / lath off the outside wall, put whalers at the top and bottom of the wall and on each stud, offset to pick up the joist. Cut and install extensions, then insulate and drywall.

Unless something is moving, I'm not sure why you want to mess with it.
 

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I was wondering if there was a way to strengthen the connection of the joist to the stud. Not only in the bathroom but throughout the house.
I'm not sure why you are sistering, other than ease of routing plumbing.

Any reason why you can't just use something like a HUC412?
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
hdavis said:
I'm not sure why you are sistering, other than ease of routing plumbing.

Any reason why you can't just use something like a HUC412?
Not sure where you would attach the hanger, as the joists run to the sheathing, there is no rim joist. Reason I am sistering is strengthen the floor for a bathroom and to level out the floor

The plaster and the lath are all gone.
 

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I ran a 2x8 around the tops of the walls ledgerlocked into the studs then 2x4 or 2x3 on the flat on top of existing studs. Seemed to make everything secure and made hangin drywall crown and cabinets super easy.
 
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