Monthly Archives: July 2011
Yesterday was day one at our Bernal Heights job. We will be converting 2 bedrooms into one master suite, add a nice walk-in closet and remodel the existing bathroom. Yesterday was a site prep and tool load in day, while today was scheduled for demolition. The wall between the bedrooms was scheduled for demo as well as the existing master bath. We had done an initial visit of the house a couple of months ago and were able to take a peak up in the attic space. At first glance it appeared that the wall to be removed between the bedrooms was in fact load baring. It was clear that there would be a beam of some sort, either below the top plates or above the plates, inside the attic space. If it were to go inside the attic we could post up on either end and hang the top plates off the beam using steel straps. However when we received the approved plans there was no detail for a beam and it was stated on the plans that the wall was in fact non-load bearing. Once on site it is a must that we confirm this ourselves before demo takes place. Maybe the architect caught something we didn’t when he stuck his head up there; you never know. Sure enough we confirmed our initial assessment to be correct. The framing was atypical with multiple point loads. It was apparent that the house had been reconfigured in a way that resulted in this atypical framing. Next comes the fun part of our job and that’s problem solving. There was a major point load that was not so obvious at our fist look at the job. We spent a better part of the day up and down in the attic and locating walls on the other level to identify scenarios that could pick up this point load. There was no way we could place the beam in the attic due to the varying roof lines and atypical framing above. After a lot of brainstorming we came up with a plan to span the load. Although it would be nice to have a flat ceiling, in this case as in many of this type we will be spanning the space with a beam below the ceiling. The trick here was to land that new beam on a post that is supported below by either a wall or another beam. You can’t just put a post where you want, it must transfer the load above to a supporting structure down below. We spent some time on the phone with our architect so that he could get a full understanding of the situation and provide us with a proper detail to install the new beam. This detail is the result of calculations from our structural engineer. The day started out a little slow with some frustrations but ended with a solid plan of attack for tomorrow. We were able to pick up some framing lumber, remove the plumbing fixtures and put together tomorrow’s plan of attack. Tomorrow we are going to break down the wall and get our demo on.