Right now, I’m filming in the living room. To give a little orientation of where we’re at here, this is where the old fireplace was, this is the far side, and here we have the stairs going up to the second story. These old posts are bearing weight. Over here we have our kitchen on this side. The issue we face is this wall from the upstairs, second story. The weight load is transferred onto these joists, mid span, and there is nothing underneath to support the weight. There is no beam here. Those are 2x4s that are just scabbed onto the side of the ceiling joists.
We need to put a new beam in here. We want to install a flush beam, if it can fit, so that we don’t have anything dropping down after drywall and paint. You can see that these beams over here are sagging. There’s probably a one inch, maybe a two-inch sag in this beam. If you look in the kitchen, there’s even more sag in that beam. When the previous carpenters put the second floor on, they shimmed the floor to make it level. You can see the shims here. There are a lot more shims in the center of the beam where it’s lowest as opposed to the side, where there is less. That one is actually missing a shim, but you can see that there’s only about 1.5 inches, rather than the center, which is nearly 2.5 inches or more, in the center.
We have about 14.5 inches from the bottom of the floor sheeting on the second floor to the low point on this ceiling joist. That gives us about 14.5 inches to fit in a flush beam, which will hide in the ceiling. After the beam is in, we will install new joists here, depending on what the best fix is, or we will scab another joist on the side of these ones to make the ceiling flat and remove the bow. We will straighten the ceiling all the way over to this outside bearing wall.
Reframing Where the Fireplace Used to Be
The other thing we need to do underneath this beam is somehow figure out how to install posts along this beam line. The posts we want to install in this room will support these beams. This beam right here has nothing underneath it, no post, it’s just toenail onto each ceiling joist, which run along the entire span. That beam is just hanging up there and not doing a whole lot. We have this same situation here. This other beam, which is close to the outside bearing wall, that beam is just hanging as well.
Over here, where the carpenters headed out for the torn-out fireplace, this has been left in with a post going down that supports these few joists right here. These joists are no longer supported by that previous fireplace.
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