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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
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    Default structural joists on old barn ceiling?

    I recently removed a tongue and groove ceiling in our old timber frame barn ~1900 that was attached to ceiling joists (long 2x4's) nailed to every other rafter. Then, assuming they were not structural, removed about 2/3rds of the joists to open up the space before it occurred to me that they could be. A friend told me they likely were not given the beefy timber frame construction and the fact that the rafters join the big beams and are likely supported by them but he suggested I check here just to be sure. unfortunately I can't seem to attach images-- maybe because I'm a noob? Anyway, based on my description is there a chance the roof could sag or spread? I'm thinking the joists were nailed there just there to attach a ceiling but want to be safe.

    Thanks for your help!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    Default Re: structural joists on old barn ceiling?

    I'd put the joists back, or better yet, replace them quickly with 2x6s.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
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    Fayette County, Ohio
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    Default Re: structural joists on old barn ceiling?

    E-mail pictures to me jackson_l_mcdaniel@yahoo.com and I'll post them for you. Put "TOH PICS" in the subject line and include the link to this thread or your TOH user name.

    Generally speaking the timber frame is a free standing structure with other elements added atheistic or utilitarian purposes not to add to structural integrity.

    Jack
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

  4. #4
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    Jun 2007
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    Default Re: structural joists on old barn ceiling?



    The 2X4 in the picture above are called perlins and supply support for the roofing material and keep it from sagging between joists.



    The long 2X4's in the above picture are called ties and help to keep the roof from pushing out the sides. They should not be removed unless they are replaced by others higher up.

    Jack
    Last edited by JLMCDANIEL; 11-16-2012 at 04:26 PM.
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
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    Default Re: structural joists on old barn ceiling?

    thanks for your replies!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Tennessee
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    Default Re: structural joists on old barn ceiling?

    There are alternatives if you really want that open ceiling look. BTW, moving the ties up higher is NOT a good idea unless you have a structural engineer involved, but then doing anything to modify what you have should involve a structural engineer.

    You could but in a hefty ridge beam. Considering the size of your structure, I think it would need to be a large LVL or a steel I beam that you could box in afterward. You can use fewer ties if they are larger. You might be able to get buy with just two or three good sized ties.

    Another option would be adding a loft to one or both ends. The floor of the loft would also serve as the ties. For this you should probably get an architect.

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