Major Remodel - Adding Bathrooms - Please help

Discussion in 'Remodel Forum & Blog' started by cindyet, Jan 8, 2009.

  1. cindyet

    cindyet New Member

    Jan 8, 2009

    I am new to the forum and have searched extensively for the answer to this question, so please forgive me if its already been answered. We have an odd shaped 2 story (not counting the basement) colonial. When we bought it it was 2 stories connected to one story then 2 stories then a one story cathedral ceiling room. One 2 story contains the garage and an inlaw apartment. the second two story has a huge master suite which we are breaking up. We added a second story to the one story between the 2 story portions. The outside walls are all 2 x4. we need to move the bathroom and add a second one for the kids. We would need to run drain lines down the wall between the 2 story and the cathedral room. It is structured like an outside wall but has the cathredral room on the other side (so freezing is not a problem). My question is can we cut the joist for the 3 inch drain to run it vertically down the wall? Since the room next to this wall is sunken, a regular boxed out header (not sure this is the right terminnology) would not work, is there way to build a legal support around the pipe connecting a header from the next joist to the 2x4 wall supporting the joist we wish to cut? The joist in question is supported by the wall below on the second floor and by short wall and foundation on the first floor.

    Thanks to our professional carpenter friend, we had water leaks when adding the additional room between the 2 stories, so I was able to look at the plumbing coming down from the inlaw apartment. The sheet rock got wet and has to be replaced. The original owner/builder cut through most of the joist right through to fit the 3 inch drain line and bring it down to the basement on both the second floor and the first floor. Is this safe (I would think so as the house 15 years old and the house seems stable) and legal (may have been then but not now)?

    The house is kind of 4 smaller houses with with common walls between each . I was told you can run the pipe through 2 x 4 walls, but don't know what to do about the joist. I am assuming on the common walls, since each of the 4 sections are different sized and the living room with cathredral ceiling is sunken, there is a joist right in line with it.

    Hi, the set up is similar to a split level. All walls again are 2x4. The wall with the opening and the railing is where I want to run drain pipes. Excuse the interior pictures, they were taken when the estate people were setting up the estate sale (stuff everywhere). We havent done much except I put an island in the kitchen, installed hardwood instead of the pink carpet and changed the light fixtures. The rest of the kitchen remodel will have to wait until the upstairs and bathroom issues are settled. :confused::confused:I am a jack of all trades, master of none.

    The last pic is the drain pipe from the inlaw apartment through the joist and down the 2x4 wall. its a 3 inch pipe.

    Hubby is laid off for another 3 weeks so I want him to help me start putting up walls, but we can't get that started until we settle the plumbling issues.

    Any assistance is greatly appreciated

    Thanks again for any input.



  2. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Aug 31, 2004
    San Diego, CA
    I think some pics are missing, but anyway, there are structural specs for cutting joists, and I don't have a link to it, but someone will . Plumbers have an infamous reputation for "hacking up" the structure of a house, sometimes well deserved! Just because the house doesn't fall down doesn't make it right or a good idea.'

    A good builder can advise, and the more pics you post could create a account ( free ) and start an album there. Anyway, the more pics, the more advice you will get here.
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  4. cindyet

    cindyet New Member

    Jan 8, 2009
    Remodel - adding baths -more pics

    Somehow I got smileys in my last post and had to remove 2 pics, so here they are:


  5. frenchie

    frenchie Jack of all trades

    Dec 30, 2006
    Brooklyn, NY and Fire Island, NY
    Despite the pictures, and your description, I'm having a really hard time understanding exactly what your question is. You want to drill a hole for 3" pipe, where, exactly? Through the joist, or the top plate of the wall? Through one joist, or a whole bunch of them?

    Rules for holes & notches...

    Hole can be anywhere in a joist. Depending on your state, the max size for the hole is 1/3 or 1/4 of the joist depth. You must leave 2" of solid wood untouched, above and below it. On a long run through multiple joists, that can limit your options, since you need 1/4" per foot drop on drain lines.

    If you leave less than 2" on one side, it's considered a notch - ie, it falls under the rules for a hole that was right on the edge of the joist. Notches can be any bigger, height-wise, than 1/5 or 1/6 of the joist depth (depending on your state); and they can't be any longer than 1/3rd of the joist depth. And they have to be close to a point where the joist is supported, within 1/3rd of the span. IOW, they can not be made in the middle 1/3rd of a span.

    Here's a basic guide with drawings, probably a lot easier to understand:

    If you find that these rules make it impossible, you can also buy steel reinforcements for the joists. One example:

    ...Your carpenter friend really should know this stuff, it's pretty basic.
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