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RE: Wood Fr-Upgr : What I'll do and two more questions

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Thank you all for your input. I have decided to do a number of things that
may help.
1.) I intend to print out these messages and allow the owner to see what the
professional opinion have been on this matter. Therefore, he will be aware
of my concerns and others in the professional community.
2.) Issue a letter stating my design assumptions on the project which I will
request he sign as a waiver of liablity.
3.) Place the statements on my plans as Bruce Resnick suggested.
4.) Replace the let-in braced panels with plywood sheathed walls (not
shearwall:>)) as I see fit to stiffen the structure and make it perform

The only problem left for me to resolve is in the shear transfer through the
roof. The additions change the direction of the roof slope which requires
that the ridge from the new die into the gable of the old roof. I have
supported the ridge on new columns and foundations and have cantilevered the
portion of the new ridge that dies into the existing framing. This leaves
only the rafter ends which will rest upon the old framing. Fortunately, 70%
of the new roof (California Framed) will rest on adequate (3)2x12 roof
rafers below.
My dilemma is resolving the shear transfer from the new upper roof into
interior walls of the old part of the residence.

The last post supporting the new ridge and cantilever drops down into an
existing interior wall which I believe is non-bearing except for the post
and beam foundations from the old roof. The owner wants to protect the walls
because of the finish (tile or stone). I don't see that this is possible. I
could use another corridor wall about four feet away and extend this wall
from above the existing roof to the upper roof and then shear the wall below
the existing - which is a bearing wall. The down size is that there is very
little solid wall (between openings) to use.

One last question. Inasmuch as there is insufficient exterior shear in the
walls, do I shear the common walls of the new/existing construction for the
the difference in shear caused by the new addition, or do I go back and try
to determine the shear from the old section also acting in this wall and
combine them?

I really appreciate all your help - you have made me comfortable with my
decision. This is the ultimate accomplishment for our list, to help each
other and I have had more than my share of all of your experience.
If I were a businessman I'd have to tout that if we consider the total of
12,000 engineers subscribed, I'm probably getting 120 Milleniums of

Regards to all
Dennis Wish PE

-----Original Message-----
From: Rhkratzse(--nospam--at) [mailto:Rhkratzse(--nospam--at)]
Sent: Wednesday, October 28, 1998 9:12 AM
To: base.engr(--nospam--at); seaint(--nospam--at)
Subject: Re: Wood Fr-Upgr or Not/New Owner

In a message dated 10/27/98 10:51:42 PM, base.engr(--nospam--at) writes:
>What happens if you come to an understanding w/ the current owners about
>existing weaknesses and they sell the house? Are they now required to
"disclose" the weaknesses during the sale (negatively
>impacting their sales price)?
Yes.  (They are required to disclose any information they have regarding
weaknesses in their house.  But who can prove they did or didn't disclose
everything they knew--they can always plead ignorance of technical

Funny how people want to have their (free) cake and eat it too.  "No, I
want to improve my house, but I sure don't want my future selling price to
suffer either."

It doesn't work that way!  Perhaps we can help them realize that if they
their house safer it will be worth more (in a very general sense) and if
don't it won't.

Hopefully, we're getting beyond the era when any money put into the
of a house is money down the drain.  When I inspect a home for a potential
buyer I try to explain in some detail the advantages and disadvantages of
structure, including its weaknesses and strengths regarding The Big One and
what it might take to correct the most egregious deficiencies (no anchor
bolts, weak cripple walls, towering chimneys, etc.).

Ralph Hueston Kratz, S.E.
Richmond CA