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Overbored 2x4s in load bearing wall (balloon framed)

Squidmarx

Registered User
Joined
Mar 23, 2021
Messages
6
Location
CT
We have a 1920's balloon framed cape home. We opened a bathroom wall and noticed that six consecutive studs were bored approx. 75% of the way through; this is in an exterior load bearing wall on the first floor of the house. This was done at least 50 years ago and there's no bowing or compression in any of the studs, but we are doing some structural work above these studs and we want to ensure they are structurally sound before doing so. Typical responses as to how to fix this issue usually involve A, replacing the stud or B, using a stud shoe. B doesn't work for us because stud shoes are typically sized to today's smaller 2x4s and we have true 2x4s, so the stud shoes wouldn't fit. Given that the house is balloon framed, replacing the 2x4s would be extremely time consuming and probably expensive, and just adding a new 2x4 next to it would be equally as difficult for the same reason. My understanding is that sistering the 2x4s wouldn't be much use either as the load would be transferred to the fastenings as opposed to the new 2x4s.

Would very much appreciate any thoughts on how to resolve this issue or if anything I've said above is incorrect!
 

Squidmarx

Registered User
Joined
Mar 23, 2021
Messages
6
Location
CT
Treat this area as an opening, cut the studs short at their top and install a header above it so it spans from good studs, ad one or two jack studs on each end.
Wouldn't this involve adding new king studs? How would you even go about adding a new stud in a balloon framed house given that the studs are two stories tall?
 

Squidmarx

Registered User
Joined
Mar 23, 2021
Messages
6
Location
CT
Can you sister a 2x4 on the flat next to the stud?
Apologies for my lack of understanding - I'm not sure what "on the flat" means. We can sister the stud, sure, but the stud is 16 feet (because it is balloon framed) tall and our sistering would only be for 8 feet of the 16. My understanding is that this would shift some of the load to the fasteners that fasten the new 2x4 to the old one but wouldn't necessarily transfer load to the new 2x4s so may not be very effective. If I am off base here please let me know!
 

Joe.B

Registered User
Joined
Dec 4, 2020
Messages
600
Location
Myrtletown Ca
We have a 1920's balloon framed cape home. We opened a bathroom wall and noticed that six consecutive studs were bored approx. 75% of the way through; this is in an exterior load bearing wall on the first floor of the house. This was done at least 50 years ago and there's no bowing or compression in any of the studs, but we are doing some structural work above these studs and we want to ensure they are structurally sound before doing so. Typical responses as to how to fix this issue usually involve A, replacing the stud or B, using a stud shoe. B doesn't work for us because stud shoes are typically sized to today's smaller 2x4s and we have true 2x4s, so the stud shoes wouldn't fit. Given that the house is balloon framed, replacing the 2x4s would be extremely time consuming and probably expensive, and just adding a new 2x4 next to it would be equally as difficult for the same reason. My understanding is that sistering the 2x4s wouldn't be much use either as the load would be transferred to the fastenings as opposed to the new 2x4s.

Would very much appreciate any thoughts on how to resolve this issue or if anything I've said above is incorrect!
Do you have a contractor or are you doing owner builder? Do you have a permit?
 

e hilton

Bronze Member
Joined
Jul 2, 2014
Messages
2,368
Location
Virginia
Get an engineer to design a custom stud shoe, dimensions to fit, and install a couple of those. A sheetmetal shop could possibly bend them for you.
 

Glenn

Corporate Supporter
Staff member
Joined
Nov 1, 2012
Messages
785
Location
Denver
Not even sort of enough information. So many variables at play. So easy to mis-communicate. When I first read, I thought you meant "six consecutive studs" as in: nailed together as a post. That was very common in the past to bore large holes. Bigger holes, more studs. The code has the same principles, but maxed at two. Anyway, I ramble, I don't think this is what you are talking about.

Which exterior bearing wall is this? Joist framed into it or not? Is there still something going through the bored studs? Plumbing? Or is it clear?

What "structural work" are you doing above? Changing or adding loads?

Photos have lots of answers to lots of questions, which will help get you more informed answers.
 

Glenn

Corporate Supporter
Staff member
Joined
Nov 1, 2012
Messages
785
Location
Denver
Apologies for my lack of understanding - I'm not sure what "on the flat" means. We can sister the stud, sure, but the stud is 16 feet (because it is balloon framed) tall and our sistering would only be for 8 feet of the 16. My understanding is that this would shift some of the load to the fasteners that fasten the new 2x4 to the old one but wouldn't necessarily transfer load to the new 2x4s so may not be very effective. If I am off base here please let me know!
Just because the studs are 16 ft. high doesn't mean all the load they support is that high. Do the second floor joists frame perpendicularly into this wall or run parallel to it? Do the roof rafters bear on this wall?
 

redeyedfly

Registered User
Joined
Feb 22, 2021
Messages
378
Location
Minneapolis, MN
My understanding is that this would shift some of the load to the fasteners that fasten the new 2x4 to the old one but wouldn't necessarily transfer load to the new 2x4s so may not be very effective.
This sentence makes my brain feel weird. Load paths don't stop until they make it to the ground (and then the geotechs take it from there). Where would the load go once it got into the fasteners? vanish?

You could possibly sister the studs partial height. You would need an engineer to design the fastening pattern. Depending on the loading you could possibly get enough fasteners above and below the holes to transfer the gravity and lateral loads around the holes through the sistered stud.
 

north star

Sawhorse
Joined
Oct 19, 2009
Messages
4,237
# ~ #

Squidmarx,

There have been a lot of good suggestions as to
"maybe" how to add structural integrity back in to
your wall, however, because none of us on this
Forum are actually at your site, and I believe your
question, and your stated variables, are outside the
normal prescriptive realms of the IRC.

IMO, ...you would be well served to hire a structural
engineer to analyze your application and design an
engineered solution.

Yes, ...you can continue to supply more information
to the Forum audience, but there again, none of

us are actually there.......We can beat this horse as
long as you want to. ;)


# ~ #
 
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