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walkereng, Consultant
Category: Structural Engineering
Satisfied Customers: 2571
Experience:  Over 30 years of Structural Engineering experience.
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My home has a 1.5 to 12 pitch. The entire roof was done in

Customer Question

Hello my home has a 1.5 to 12 pitch. The entire roof was done in "open beam" style with about 80% with a horizontal ceiling and attic. A roofing contractor applied forces that split a lot of the end connections. I am spanning 13 feet with as many as 5- 4 x 10's (glued/ fastened together) spanning load bearing walls with 3 of them attaching to a fireplace. This is because my ridge beam extends 21' with no support. Then I will go with 4 x 4's (glued/ fastened together) vertical from my new 4 x 10 rafters to under the ridge beam. (New rafters are 3/4" above old rafters and ceiling drywall) My question: my new beams are adding some weight in an 18 feet wide area, but it will make my roof no longer like a trampoline. The roofer added lots of excess metal flashing to my new standing seam metal roof. I hope the weight of my 5 new beams is not excessive when spread out. My hired architect is no longer available, and was not "a structural expert", and my construction contractor went bankrupt so I have to finish it myself. What is your opinion on my added weight? Thank you! Craig.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Structural Engineering
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Correction my 5 new 4 x 10 ceiling joist headers are about 13 feet each in length. My unsupported section of ridge beam is 21 feet out of 48 feet total. My new joist spacing is about 3.5 feet between each with 2 skylight wells spaced 7 feet apart in between. My "18 feet wide area" of beam spacing (above) is incorrect, It is instead 4 equal spaces of 5 beams with 3.5 feet on center = 14 feet total (not 18 feet). I may be later fabricating a truss appearance using single 2 x 4's after my 4 x 4 vertical columns are in place attaching to the ridge beam. I am using #10 cinch screws initially into connections followed by Home Depot 3 1/8" x 7" galvanized plates & #8 screws. My 3 fireplace connections are into an existing 4 x 10 mantle board up in the attic space that is 8 feet wide, connected using galvanized double joist hangers and Simpsong #10 x 2 1/2" screws. Thank you, Craig.
Expert:  walkereng replied 1 year ago.

Let me take a look at your question when I get into my office this morning.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
OK, thank you I'm interested in your suggestions. The old sole plate connections were nailed in, and most of the original roof rafters are split at the ends with the old nails very loose or not even holding any more. The weight of snow and too many roofers and chimney masons on the roof all at once apparently pushed most of the rafters outward too much. -Craig
Expert:  walkereng replied 1 year ago.

Sorry for the delay.

Do you have any pictures you could share with me?

How about any plans or sketches with dimensions?

There is a button you can use to attach files to the Chat Window.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I figured each new beam at 116 lbs for Douglas Fur, city inspectors have reviewed sketches of what I am doing and respect the architect but he is no longer available to me; they say I don't need a building permit since its inside my house. I also explained to the inspectors that the last severe winter fatigued my house structure, and the architect proposed at least 2 direct vertical supports be added, and if more supports are added- even better. I am going forward because the new chimney and roof are leaking and need to be reworked next spring. The contractor declared bankruptcy and is gone so I am fabricating these beams myself. I have one beam in place so far, its second from starting at the north end on the sketches. There are 4 pages of PDF's- my 11 x 17's & the architect's 8 1/2 x 11's. The images are: #1 Looking West, added 2 x 4 reinforcement's under new beam (2nd beam starting from north); #2 Lkg. W, 2 x 10 chimney mantle board at proposed location of south most 4 x 10 beam; #3 Lkg, SW, new beam (2nd from north) & new 4 x 6 to attach z-brace to; #4 Lkg. S under ridge beam, skylight behind; #5 Lkg. W at west 1/2 of new beam, skylight behind- the 2 x 4 brace was the contractor's idea, but the architect who I hired later said "it isn't hurting anything, but not really helping much"; #6 Lkg. W seeing full length of new beam, this is taken at the access opening to the attic; #7 Lkg. N through the 21'-8" long dining room from the kitchen with 2 skylights in view; #8 Lkg. NE at fireplace, image #1 is taken looking from behind the picture frame. I am hoping that the 600+ pounds of new beams will work, if not I can eliminate some if needed. Note that at one time there was more than one foott of snow on the roof that I shoveled off. Then there were 15+ contractors on the roof removing old roofing and re-working the chimney. That was when I hired the architect, who said "no more that 4 at a time on the roof, spread out over at least 100 square feet, but some structural fatigue damage was already done. Thank you for your advice, Craig.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I am stating here that I am responsible for all legal aspects of our conversation. I am asking only for an opinion or any helpful suggestions. I am attempting to prevent dynamic forces of snow, ice, and wind; and dynamic forces of future work crews on my roof from making my entire house structure wobble like it has in the past. My scheme will spread the loads evenly to the load bearing walls and forces will now be directly vertical and controlled, instead of allowing the roof peak to sink and push the walls outward, which weakens all the connections in time and causing more drywall cracks appear. I am adding 16 gauge framing tie plates to all the old nailed 2 x 8 roof rafter to ridge beam connections. Thank you, Craig.