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Loft Ceiling Reinforcement & Boarding in 1958 Semi

Postby AshSmith95 » Wed Sep 08, 2021 3:00 pm

Loft Joists.png
I have just purchased and currently renovating a 1958 Semi-Detached property.
There are lots of cracks in the 1st floor ceiling and after further inspection it looks like over the years the ceiling joists have dropped.

My ceiling joists are 2x3" with nailed joins across the ~8m span of the loft. What I don't understand is what is supporting them. There aren't any solid walls on the 1st floor, only an empty stud wall between the master to the front of the property and the 2nd bedroom to the rear.

Can Stud walls be supporting the Ceiling? If I want to insulate and board, can I do this using loft legs and chipboard or will this put too much stress on the ceiling joists?

Looking for some advice...
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Postby stoneyboy » Fri Sep 10, 2021 10:21 pm

Hi ashsmith95
Yes the stud walls will probably be providing support for the joists.
The joists are not really adequate for the span involved and are definitely not strong enough for your proposed boarding.
Regards S
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Postby AshSmith95 » Mon Sep 13, 2021 2:44 pm

Hi Stoneyboy. Thanks for your reply.
What would you suggest do to strengthen?
Can I prop the joists up by building a dwarf wall connecting the joists to the truss'? Would this provide adequate support for the boarded flooring or would this put too much strain on the roof?
Thanks
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Postby stoneyboy » Mon Sep 13, 2021 9:24 pm

Hi ashsmith95
Suggest you fit new 100x50 joists above the existing ones and at right angles to them. Support the ends on the walls bed 3, landing, wc and fit a wall plate the other end so you can use joist hangers. You don’t need to do the whole loft, only the useable area where there is enough headroom. Screw down through the new joists and into the existing ones - this will stabilise the existing ceiling.
You will then be able to insulate 175mm under the new floor and just lay more insulation over the remaining areas.
Regards S
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Postby AshSmith95 » Wed Sep 15, 2021 2:54 pm

Hi Stoneyboy,
Raising the loft floor to fit adequate insulation is another reason I want to reinforce the loft, so that would be great, and I would only board the usable space, however; The wall you have suggested resting the new joists on (bed 3, landing, wc) is also a stud wall. Would this provide adequate support?
Would it make sense to bolt a wall plate to bot walls (Left and Right) and use joists hangers on both sides, or is this going to put too much stress on the walls?
Thanks
Ash
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Postby stoneyboy » Wed Sep 15, 2021 9:01 pm

Hi ashsmith95
Doing as you suggest with wall plates on both side walls would be ok but would you get that length joist into the loft. If you can you would gain the advantage that the stud walls bed3 landing wc could be moved.
If you do not have any plans to move these walls they should be fine for supporting the joists. Check by having a look in the loft, expose the top of the stud wall and make sure it is solid - there may be a wall plate on the top.
Regards S
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