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Reinforcing Floor Joists


There are several ways to beef up attic floor joists so the space above can be used for a bedroom, home office, or a second family room. Usually the best approach is to double- up the existing joists. This means gluing and screwing a board of the same size to the side of the joists that are already in place. Make sure that each new joist is installed with its crown pointing up, and that itís long enough to reach from the top plate of the outside house wall to the top plate of a bearing wall in the middle of the house.

 

1. If any of the attic floor joists is sagging more than 3/4 in., it should be jacked up so itís straight. To do this, wedge a 2x4 post (that is just a couple inches longer than the room is high) under the bottom edge of the joist, and push it up until the joist is flat.

 

2. Spread a thick bead of construction adhesive along the side of an existing joist using a caulk gun. Apply a winding bead so both the top and bottom of each joist will be glued to the new joist.

 

3. Screw the doubled-up joists together with 2 1/2-in.- long drywall screws. Drive three screws in a vertical line every 16 in. along the length of the joist. Then go up to the floor above, and screw the floor plywood to the top of the new joists.

 

 

 

 

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