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Re: 4x12 on top double top plate

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Ken,
 
        As I understand this you want to extend the wall height; this will create a hinge at the existing top of wall; and the 4x12 is to take the horizontal reaction at the hinge point to provide lateral stability.  I think this should work well as long as you can accommodate the architectural affect of having the 4x12, be it as a plate rail or as valance lighting, or whatever.
 
        Another possibility if you are replacing the drywall is to sister the existing studs.
 
        Alternatively, you might extend the studs.  A lap splice three or four feet long glued and screwed should enable you to extend the studs 11.25".
 
        Depending upon the amount of electrical wiring in the walls you may find some combination of all three of the above options to your liking.  You're almost certain to have to replace at least some of the top plates in any event.
 
        In any event I strongly recommend that you hoard in the building to protect against rain.  Any water used to fight the fire may also add to the problem.  It is important to dry the building out slowly; rapid drying may cause significant splitting of the wood structural components thereby increasing the amount of damage to repair.  I can't over emphasize the importance of being prepared to deal with problems arising from excess water.
 
        I did oversee repairs to a major heritage building suffering much the same damage as you describe.  You can get some idea of what was done by going to www.heritageproperty.ca and clicking first on "Completed Projects" then on "Lorraine Block".  There is a video on this website that you may find interesting.  There is also a video which you should be able to access through television's "The History Channel" dealing with the restoration of Windsor Castle in Britain.
 
        I hope something I have said is helpful.
 
Regards,
 
H. Daryl Richardson
----- Original Message -----
From: Ken Ng
Sent: Sunday, May 15, 2011 12:02 AM
Subject: 4x12 on top double top plate

I have a fire damage two level house.  The fire damaged area is located upper level and the existing will be replaced with a new roof.  Interior drywall and exterior siding will be removed maybe the sheathing can be saved.  The owner would like to raise the ceiling about 11.25".  I could place a new 4x12 on top entire existing double top plate.  
Does anyone ever done this extended ceiling height before?