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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2008

    Default Sagging Ceilings in OLD Schoolhouse - What kind of framing is it?

    Hi, I own a 20x40 schoolhouse in upstate NY that has pretty badly sagging ceiling which I'd like to have fixed. The usual way to fix this I've seen is to jack from beneath and then install something on the ceiling joists to keep them level. My problem is that I can't really do this due to the way it was framed. I'm told this schoolhouse was built in the 1860's, and perhaps even earlier, and I'm unfamiliar with the way the ceiling was framed. Basically, instead of ceiling joists spanning the 20 feet and resting on the top plates, there are large logs about every 10 feet. These logs are notched, and the ceiling joists are installed perpendicular to them in the notches. Can you tell me what this framing method would be called, and what might be the best way to support these logs holding up my ceiling joists? Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2007

    Default Re: Sagging Ceilings in OLD Schoolhouse - What kind of framing is it?

    I can't say what that construction is called but I would have to guess maybe the cost effective way to help correct the problem would be to support the center section. You may have to build a support wall or install some sort of beam or a combination of the two. This support will probably need to go all the way under the floor as well.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    San Diego, CA

    Default Re: Sagging Ceilings in OLD Schoolhouse - What kind of framing is it?

    I agree with bsum1's solution. If your situation doesn't lend itself to cutting the room in half, you could get into the attic and run braces from the ceiling joists to the centerpoint of the rafters, much like a truss is constructed. Based on the joists being timbers, they'll have a lot of weight causing them to sag.

    Based on that, I'd use carriage bolts to bolt the bracing between the joists and rafters. Nails may not be strong enough and you don't want to do it twice. It'll be a tough job as it is. If there's anyway to put up bsum1's wall, I'd find a way and do it.

    Good Luck.

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