Friday, May 4, 2007

The Structure is The Thing pt 1

Dan here with my first post to the house blog. Today I met our foundation contractor Jim Duvall at the house with his Structural Engineer (SE) who is a Dan also... We talked about what we hope to do with the downstairs and I had him peek at the framing on the top floor to give me his opinion on what was structural or what was just there to hold up the lathe and plaster.
<-At first we talked about getting rid of this wacky beam and posts in the garage so we can get an actual size car in there...The beam appears to be there to mostly pick up the load of the stairway and not much else as there is a load bearing wall just past it that the rest of the joists in the garage bear on. The SE is going to work out how to pick the load up using the foundation under the stairs and then maybe re-inforcing the header over the doorway. Here's where I learned that you can't rush an SE when he's thinking...they get a little testy (just kidding Dan). Next we moved onto what we want to do with the rest of the downstairs. Before Pic here

Here's a pic of what we want the downstairs to look like. We will probably have a raised pad for the car-motorcycle parking and a giant art studio for us to make 'art' in. Can't call it a metal studio or we will have to make a 2hr fire wall between it and the rest of the house and well...we are told that its very difficult to do. In this version we have a small bathroom plus a guest bedroom on the same floor along with a utility area and a spiral stair case up to the second floor. This plan will require us to enclose the area under our sun porch to get the space for the staircase. Its the only place that we could figure out to put a staircase that would not screw up the flow of the rest of the house.-plus I've always wanted a spiral staircase.

The framing on the bottom floor is a bit odd...its 2by6's on 32" centers along the outside perimeter then its sorta on 24" centers along the center bearing wall. Its not balloon framed here there is a beefy 4by6 top-plate here. It looks like the upper two stories are then balloon framed on top of this 'platform'.

The center bearing wall is weirdly discontinous. Its broken up into three sections. Here's a shot of the back section.

Here's a shot of the front part with the much bigger offset.

Weird huh? I guess they did it this way to follow the upstairs walls and create a continous loadpath to the foundation. The wall from the door pictured forward all the way to the garage door is going to be removed and replaced with a beam.

Don't know if they thought about continous load paths back in the day though.

Here's the joist shot showing depth...
They are full 2by10's which is nice. I am impressed with the bottom floor framing. These joists are not overspaned at all. If you use a 50 live and 20 dead load these give a deflection of l/720!!!! That's awesome!! Course I have no idea if thats the right loadings for these joists with a story and a half above them...

Here's a shot showing that they floor joists are in fact 16"oc.

I am worried about the front stairs. Heres a shot from underneath. Does not look rotted or anything right?? According to the city permits we have these were rebuilt only a couple of years ago..

But then on the outside they look like this? They seem to be falling away from the house on the right side of this picture. I know Leroy kept newspapers piled up on these steps like waist high for years. I can imagine that they got wet and stayed wet and thats why the landing is rotting. But why are the steps collasping? Its a mystery. I'll have to get under there and look at them but the space under there is full of raccoon poop and I don't really feel like crawling around in it.

That's it for my first post I will do a second post on the structure of the top floor and the wacky framing that's gone on up there...

If someone could please tell me an non-aggravating way to add pictures to blog posts here at blogger I would greatly appreciated it. Formating these posts should not be hard-complicated but it sure is now...arrgh!!!!


Wayne said...

it looks like the stringer on the right is resting on a rotted out rim joist, causing the whole thing to sag to the right. New PT sills look good, but those stairs are a rip & replace. No need to crawl around in the racoon poop - just go in from the top!

StephenB said...

Nice overview of the structure so far, Daniel. You guys have done a great amount of work so far and I'm enjoying reading about and seeing the progress.
As for blogger, I believe that Windows Live Writer can post to Blogger and it is WYSIWYG with an insert photos option.

The MadScientist said...

Hi Wayne and sorry this took so long to get back to you.
I hope you are right. But actually since we are having the foundation completly redone we can get in there and fix the stairs then.

The MadScientist said...

Thanks Stephenb,
they just changed up blogger to be able to post up to 5 pics at once. Thats making it a hell of a lot easier.