Making Wright Right

Land Mark Documents

Front Window Wall Replacement ( 1 )

This photo does a real good job of displaying the curvature of the window wall. It is about 50 feet long and about 15 feet high. This is the beginning where we are taking out the old single pane glass and leaving just enough structure to support the roof. The roof in turn holds the suspended balcony.

The window wall was load bearing. The window wall supports the roof beams. These beams then have steel rods which suspend the second floor balcony. Engineering analysis said that the work had to match current building codes for snow loads. This meant the work we were about to perform had to structurally meet today's standards. Additionally we had to restore the original 6 degree roof tilt to the back of the house.

The process was to take temporary 2x6s and jack up one area at a time to take the load off the window wall in that region. Then after the glass and old sections were removed, we inserted the new double 2x6 main support framing. At the same time we went through and redid the structural aspects of the roof beam structure. All of this was to strengthen the house for snow bearing. We never had to worry about this before since snow always melted as soon as it landed on the roof and washed off the back.

It took a bit to progress across the front because the entire roof was being done at the same time to match up the roof and the new wall structure into an integrated framing.

This shot is kind of fun. We are almost across to the western end of the house with the core restructuring. You can also clearly see 12 inch section of pool wall that we inserted along the window wall for insulation.

The structure to the roof was 2" tongue and grove pine with a rafter system composed of a single 2x6 which ran from facia edge to facia edge. Internal to the windows of the house 1x12s were mated to the 1x6 to make a stronger beam. To meet the new standards we were going to match up a 1x6 from the window wall out to the facia to bring the entire roof beam to the same thickness. Then we were going to notch very long 2x12s so that they were 6 inches to match the facia externally and 12 inches internally to match the existing composite beam.

As the new supports were inserted under the roof prior to the window wall replacement, they were mated to the new composite roof beams. We really had to dismantle the house to fix it up.

The make up of the upstairs walls was such that none of the roof restructuring could be done without taking them down. This small bedroom at the top of the stairs had been mine and was the last one I took down prior to the beam rework.

All of the back window wall had to be removed to redo not just the only the roof beams, but also the single 2x6 supports. These too were doubled like in the front window wall. All of this was carefully integrated as the roof rework was done and the new headers were replaced above where the new windows were going to go.

Just this last front to back wall exists of the small bedroom at the top of the stairs. I had run out of safe places to store the wall sections.

Once the new roof rafters had been stained they had the same visual characteristics as the original composites. We had to had the new strength to do the work at all.

Roof Restructuring

There is about a 6 inch drop under this iron beam.

The plan was to jack the roof back up to original tilt towards the rear of the house and to then retain it there. A 5 inch steel beam was secured to a metal strip inside the facia, cantelevered(sp?) over the stone wall, and secured onto roof rafters which in turn were supporting the suspended balcony. The weight of the second floor would help to pull up the wing tips.

This shot gives a great feel for the actual curve of the house.

Gary works to permanently secure the steal beam to the metal plating within the facia.

The architect is wondering if the simplification of his steelwork to a single beam will work as well. It did, and the roofer preferred( seen later ) much preffered a single beam to insulate around I assure you. As it is, the fellow who bid the roof work did at least one 360 degree spin out on the lawn out of frustration.

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Last modified: 3/8/2009