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Re: Wood Framing - Upgrade or Not

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I would do as you have done Dennis, tell the owner about your concerns and
leave it at that.  If they want to do the upgrade, great, but if they decide
against it, there is not to much that you can do.  It would be great to get
the whole house to function the way that you want it too, but the economic
reality is most people can't afford this (or want to know about hidden
problems which occur when you open up some of these areas; termites, dryrot,
etc.).

I had a similar experience when I did the addition/remodel for a friends home.
The new common wall between the new and existing building was designed to pick
up significant amout of the tributary area of the existing building, but it
was not in his budget to redo the front of his two story home (the addition
was to the rear of the home).  I was able to reinforce the cripple walls below
the first floor, and provide some additional plywood wall sheathing in the
kitchen when the existing plaster became so cracked that it had to be
replaced.  But that was the extent of his budget.  The though was that the new
two story addition would help anchor the rest of the house (at least this is
the portion of the house they wanted to be in during an earthquake).

Is it possible in your design to drag the existing building loads into the new
addition by means of attaching to the existing wall double top plates or roof
joist.  If you have a means to drag the majority of the existing load into the
new addition, you are greatly enhancing the performance of the building.

Just some of my thoughts

Michael Cochran