RyanDe

Lumber size restrictions and ridge board/beam

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I'm playing around with a vaulted ceiling and noticed in the framing section that the rafters are 256" long and the center frame pole (what's this called?) is 342 5/8" long. I don't think they make dimensional lumber this large and it probably wouldn't be very good if they did but Chief has chosen normal 2x6"s so is this something I have to watch and change myself?

 

Also, same plan the ridge board seems pretty dinky. Is this something chief would recognize/fix for me or would I have to do it? I can't figure out how to put in a ridge beam even if I wanted to...

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1) Chief architect knows nothing about engineering. if you want your 250' ceiling held by 1"x1"s - 250' long have at it.

 

You need to use strucalc or something similar to determine correct loads.

 

2) Framing: chief generates based on your wall definitions. Spanning 28' rafter (56') on the single side is insane :

LVL, LAMs, MicroLams

 

3) "Also, same plan the ridge board seems pretty dinky

But this is what you set it at. Garbage in  - garbage out. Some of that depends not just on thickness of a material but also on species, grade such as M29.

 

 

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1) Chief architect knows nothing about engineering. if you want your 250' ceiling held by 1"x1"s - 250' long have at it.

But this is what you set it at. Garbage in  - garbage out. Some of that depends not just on thickness of a material but also on species, grade such as M29.

 

 

Well, what's odd is CA put in an I-beam and LVL boards for the floor joists so it knows something. Maybe it's easy for it to understand some things but others are either too complicated or it doesn't feel right adding them?

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You can use beam charts like I do but really, you need to consult with an Engineer. With one of the engineers we use, I put in what should work according to the chart but the engineer makes the final decision since he's signing off on the structural. Some of the engineers, I just send DWGs and let them do it for they supply all structural.

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I'm playing around with a vaulted ceiling and noticed in the framing section that the rafters are 256" long and the center frame pole (what's this called?) is 342 5/8" long. I don't think they make dimensional lumber this large and it probably wouldn't be very good if they did but Chief has chosen normal 2x6"s so is this something I have to watch and change myself?

 

Also, same plan the ridge board seems pretty dinky. Is this something chief would recognize/fix for me or would I have to do it? I can't figure out how to put in a ridge beam even if I wanted to...

Both the rafter sizes and ridge board/beam size can be specified in Chief's roof framing dbx. Make sure auto roof framing is turned on and you can change sizes in the roof framing dbx.

 

The rafter depth is hidden in the structure dbx and the width specified below. The ridge is spec'd separately. Sizing them is another question but once you know the sizes you can tell Chief (not the other way around) what size to make those members in that roof framing dbx.

 

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Ryan,

 

As other users have stated:

 

Chief doesn't know anything about engineering.  It puts in the framing according to what you have specified in the Framing Defaults.  You should study those and as previously mentioned - Consult with an Engineer or Architect.

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Thanks, I'll definitely run everything by an engineer but should I worry about any of these changes altering the overall layout? I was thinking I should get it right now (size wise maybe not type etc) so it doesn't affect the plan but if it's autogen maybe that doesn't matter? We'd also like to have exposed beams but I'm not sure how that affects the load/framing and if we can use those as rafters or not.

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My role is to guide and direct how I want things to look. My engineers role is to define sizes of member (etc.). There is often a back and forth after he presents his initial information where I sketch something out to work out how to get the look I am after and hope that is possible. Starting off with a rational direction at the beginning is helpful/critical to success.

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Thanks, I'll definitely run everything by an engineer but should I worry about any of these changes altering the overall layout? I was thinking I should get it right now (size wise maybe not type etc) so it doesn't affect the plan but if it's autogen maybe that doesn't matter? We'd also like to have exposed beams but I'm not sure how that affects the load/framing and if we can use those as rafters or not.

I'm curious Ryan, are you building a house for yourself? What is your overall plan? Your knowledge seems to be very limited and your experience as well but I don't want assume such things without knowing what your overall plan is.

 

To answer your question more directly, exposed beams will effect the overall structure and load/framing if they are engineered to do so but they don't have to. You can also install exposed beams that have very little to no effect on the load/structure as well but again it's an engineering question as much as a design question and very difficult to answer in any definitive manner on this forum.

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I generally consult the engineer as soon as I see something in question or if I feel the engineering could run up the cost of the job so I can let the builder or homeowner know before I proceed. Sometimes engineering what a builder or homeowner wants could get expensive depending on the situation.

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I'm curious Ryan, are you building a house for yourself? What is your overall plan? Your knowledge seems to be very limited and your experience as well but I don't want assume such things without knowing what your overall plan is.

 

To answer your question more directly, exposed beams will effect the overall structure and load/framing if they are engineered to do so but they don't have to. You can also install exposed beams that have very little to no effect on the load/structure as well but again it's an engineering question as much as a design question and very difficult to answer in any definitive manner on this forum.

 

No, I will not be building it myself, I'll be hiring a builder/contractor. I've always been interested in architecture (almost went to school for it until I found programming) so now that we're planning on building our house I want to be involved. I'm using Chief to plan everything using photos and plans from other houses we like. I have some books coming to teach me the terminology etc so hopefully I'll be able to communicate my needs and questions better. :-) My plan is to get the plan as far along as I think I can take it and then hand it over to a pro to correct/finish. 

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I generally consult the engineer as soon as I see something in question or if I feel the engineering could run up the cost of the job so I can let the builder or homeowner know before I proceed. Sometimes engineering what a builder or homeowner wants could get expensive depending on the situation.

 

And that's what I don't know but need to know. If doing X will cost $20k extra ideally I know that now while I'm planning the layout. I probably should find a local architect that will work with me hourly to go over my plans. Do some work, bring it in and go over it with him to catch things early.

 

An example of this is my current plan is 33' deep but I read that if the plan is less than 30' it's easier to do certain things (not sure why) so if I know these "rules" going into it I can plan better.

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No, I will not be building it myself, I'll be hiring a builder/contractor. I've always been interested in architecture (almost went to school for it until I found programming) so now that we're planning on building our house I want to be involved. I'm using Chief to plan everything using photos and plans from other houses we like. I have some books coming to teach me the terminology etc so hopefully I'll be able to communicate my needs and questions better. :-) My plan is to get the plan as far along as I think I can take it and then hand it over to a pro to correct/finish. 

That's as good a strategy as any and I would focus on the design, and leave the structure alone for now, as that should free up your creative energy to design what you want free from structural restraints. Then when you get what you want design wise, see if it can be built and how much extra it might cost to stick with your design versus making some changes to save on the budget.

 

This strategy allows for much more freedom in the design process and one I employ a lot. Others will surely disagree and think that the structure should be considered during the design phase but I find that it just gets in the way and almost any design can be built as long as you are willing to write large enough checks.

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That's as good a strategy as any and I would focus on the design, and leave the structure alone for now, as that should free up your creative energy to design what you want free from structural restraints. Then when you get what you want design wise, see if it can be built and how much extra it might cost to stick with your design versus making some changes to save on the budget.

 

This strategy allows for much more freedom in the design process and one I employ a lot. Others will surely disagree and think that the structure should be considered during the design phase but I find that it just gets in the way and almost any design can be built as long as you are willing to write large enough checks.

:)  Thanks. I should probably find someone to give me an hour a week of their time since I seem to be doing "not normal" stuff that is probably really expensive to do. :-) We want to keep cost down while making a house we want to live it for 50 years.  :lol: My big questions now are these roof questions w/ beams etc and we want a wall of windows like this: http://www.linwoodhomes.com/house-plans/plans/everett2/ which probably has it's own structural challenges.

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we want to live it for 50 years

 

Hi:

 

besides structural you want to consider "universal design" principles

also know as "aging in place"

 

these principles can have an impact on you overall design

 

lots of websites out there giving examples

for door size - hall size - bathrooms - light switch placement - outlet placement

shower size etc etc etc

 

Lew

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we want to live it for 50 years

 

Hi:

 

besides structural you want to consider "universal design" principles

also know as "aging in place"

 

these principles can have an impact on you overall design

 

lots of websites out there giving examples

for door size - hall size - bathrooms - light switch placement - outlet placement

shower size etc etc etc

 

Lew

 

Good point, I think the books I got will show me that + common sense + looking at other plans. I also have to worry about code stuff (outlet placement, lights, etc) which should be easy to fix/adjust after the plan is done.

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Design the floorplan using span tables. Here is simplified one <here>

Use ACA rated subfloors, supply house will verify the spans. Choose 19.2" or 16" o.c.  distance between floor joist. 

 

Select either dimensional lumber or ijoist. For dimensional lumber pick either 2x10  or 2x12.

2x10s are much cheaper, but will limit room sizes. Try using / sticking with the same floorjoists and  spans.

 

 

If you can use trusses or common trusses (way to go) - give your plan to truss manufacture. 

They will do the engineering and stamp the truss plan for you.

 

>My big questions now are these roof questions w/ beams etc and we want a wall of windows like this: http://www.linwoodho...plans/everett2/ which probably has it's own structural challenges.

These are two 2"x6"x16" o.c. window walls ( since they are over 10') framed with 8" between r/o, what structural issues?

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I will say this just once.  Find a good Architect or Building Designer in your area that you are comfortable working with - then hire them to do the job.  Preferably you can find one that is proficient with Chief Architect and that will work/consult with you on what you want/need.  A good residential design professional will save you many times the fee they charge for their work.  Not only will the finished product (your home) be less expensive but it will be done much faster and it will function much better for you.  The training and experience is they have is invaluable.

 

You will spend hundreds if not thousands of hours learning to use Chief proficiently and you will still not be as good as a design professional.

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Good point, I think the books I got will show me that + common sense + looking at other plans. I also have to worry about code stuff (outlet placement, lights, etc) which should be easy to fix/adjust after the plan is done.

Being a licensed builder with over 30 years of experience designing and building homes, I want to thank you for bringing a smile and a good chuckle out of me.

I know your intentions are good and you mean well but trying to put together a set of plans for your dream home is going to lead to a lot of frustration, especially when the plan reviewer takes a look at your work.

Please allow me to suggest you heed Mr Carrick's advice above. It will save you time and money in the long run,imho.

Plus, it will give you more time to practice operating the excavator for digging out your foundation and utility hook ups.

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I'm sorry but I see nothing wrong with learning what you can

and put together some ideas

 

Ryan has indicated that he plans to hire professionals

 

why not go to them with some ideas worked out first

 

why go on day 1 instead of day 100

 

as long as you go ???

 

Lew

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Thanks everyone for your advice, I'm definitely going to get professional help but I really enjoy this so I figured I might as well learn and do as much as I can do have fun and to save some money.

 

After my first few days in CA this is what I have so far. I'm going to focus on the layout more and try not to focus on the framing just yet and try to find a local architect to agree to sit down with me and be patient. :-)

 

Feel free to comment on my design, I have thick skin and since it's my first time ever in CA or designing a house I'm sure I've done a lot of things wrong. ;-) Obviously it's not done either so keep that in mind.

 

 

 

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Ryan,

Consider the following:

Increase interior room entry doors to 36" for aging in place considerations.

Grab bars in the bathrooms for the above reason. Put the blocking in the framing now if you do not want the bars now.

Use bifold closet doors instead of pocket doors. This will allow you to access the closets with a wider door(s).

A pantry for the kitchen. Where do you plan to store your groceries?

Also, consider sustainment costs such as utilities, maintenance, etc. A well designed energy efficient home that has low heating and cooling costs will save you money in the long term. Geo thermal and/or solar help in this arena. The building exterior materials that you use also affect your long term costs. Do you want to paint your home every x years or would you like something that does not require this effort.

Bob

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I'm sorry but I see nothing wrong with learning what you can

and put together some ideas

 

Ryan has indicated that he plans to hire professionals

 

why not go to them with some ideas worked out first

 

why go on day 1 instead of day 100

 

as long as you go ???

 

Lew

Lew, if he is going to hire professionals, why not start day one?

Now on the other hand, if someone is just renting CAP for $200/mth and can get professional designers to critique his work for free...

I just had a client bring me his "plans" that he had worked on for over 2 years... that were functionally obsolete. He was upset at first when I told him we would redraw his plans. When we got done he was very happy... And said he wished he had come to me earlier.

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Parkwest:

 

all depends on the talent and dedication of the user

 

I just don't think it is "mandatory" to seek a professional on day 1

 

some DIY may be capable - some may not

 

Lew

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