No Interior Bearing Walls
QUESTION #1: Tim, is it possible to build a multi-story home with no, or few, interior bearing walls or beams? I’ve looked at lumber span tables and regular lumber doesn’t seem to be able to do what I want to be done. What are my options and have you ever solved this problem before? Stewart F., Portland, ME
can build a multi-story home with no bearing walls. It’s been done for
decades. The most amazing thing about how to do it is one just uses
regular 2x4s to solve the problem! No, that’s not a typo!
first discuss the span tables that Stewart mentioned. A span table is a
chart that shows how far a certain floor joist can span and not bend
too much depending on several factors. The wood species, the grade of
the lumber, and the height or size of the floor joist are the primary
things taken into consideration when creating the tables.
important to realize that different species of lumber have wildly
different strength characteristics. When I was building every day,
Douglas Fir was one of the strongest types of lumber you could buy.
Southern Yellow Pine was also very strong. Hemlock, on the other hand,
was somewhat weak.
Decades ago, I used floor trusses made with ordinary 2x4s to create the floor of a large room addition for a client. He refused to have any interior load-bearing walls or beams and also wanted a floor that was as solid as concrete with no bounce in it. Magic floor trusses solve problems like these and offer much more to architects, builders, and homeowners.
floor truss is made in a factory where common roof trusses are made.
Advanced computer technology designs the exact size and shape of the
truss to meet whatever specifications you require.
end result is a wood floor truss that looks much like large steel
bridges that span rivers and canyons. I’m sure you’ve seen hundreds of
these where the horizontal top and bottom members of the bridge are
connected by numerous other pieces of steel that look like a bunch of
connected letter W’s one after another along the side of the bridge.
This design can be done with steel, 2x4s, and even toothpicks for class
heating and cooling, and electrical contractors love working with floor
trusses. They have virtually unlimited places to run pipes, ducts, and
cables never having to drill one hole. The center of each floor truss
almost always has a wide-open chase for a heating or cooling contractor
to install his primary supply ducting down the center of the entire
floor from one end to the other.
floor truss can be designed to span 30, or more, feet with ease. The
truss manufacturer can build them so strong that there’s no bounce to
the floor at all. This comes in very handy if you desire a tile floor.
Tile and grout can crack if installed over wood floors that are springy
or three carpenters can easily move around these giant floor trusses.
You don’t need to have a large crane on a job site to set them. Each
truss is an identical copy of the one next to it so the finished floor
is flat and smooth with no humps or dips in it. These imperfections are
quite common with normal dimensional lumber floor joists.
You can discover lots more about floor trusses as well as the closest lumberyard near you that can order them for you. Visit: http://go.askthebuilder.com/bestwaytoframe
Since each job is different, these epic building materials are not a
stock item you can just go pick up today. This is why you’ve probably
never ever seen them before. I guarantee you’ll be spellbound when you
discover all that floor trusses make possible.
Be a Plasterer
QUESTION #2: Tim, the builder, I hope you can help me. A recent bathroom remodeling job turned into a larger project resulting in a large patch of wall plaster that’s got to be replaced. My contractor’s drywall people have never done plaster repair. How would you fix this 3-foot by 3-foot hole in the wall if it were your home? I’m tempted to try to do the plaster repair myself. Do you think this is a folly as does my husband? Ann W., Montrose, CA
Situations like this had to be part of the inspiration for the children’s book The Little Engine That Could.
My moniker around my home is ‘dream crusher’ because I often inject
reality into family discussions. More often than not in DIY situations,
my reality creates smiles. I say, “Get a simple plastering trowel out
and get to work!” Yes, you can achieve professional results with the
right attitude and some guidance.
blessed to be living in an age where technology permits the easy
sharing of knowledge. Quite a few professionals have invested vast
amounts of time and resources to create excellent step-by-step videos of
how to do thousands of projects. I’ve been doing it for nearly twenty
years and have over 650 DIY videos on my AsktheBuilder YouTube channel.
Giordano is another example. He’s a professional plasterer that lives
and works in the Bay Area of California. He’s created hundreds and
hundreds of videos sharing his hard-earned knowledge about plaster and
Kirk is a great teacher and has several videos that show you exactly how to make the plaster repair that Ann’s facing. What if I told you that you could have the repair completed start to finish in less than two hours? The plaster you need is probably in a bag at a local plaster distributor not too far from your home or you can buy it online and have it delivered to your home!
The special plaster trowel you need with the curved corners is also affordable and readily available. You’ll be blown away when you see how easy it is to apply the fresh plaster and trowel it so it’s smooth. If you completely botch the job, then just chop it out and try again. But I’m convinced that after watching Kirk’s videos, you’ll get it right the first time!