A typical home consists of load-bearing and non-load bearing structural components. The former carry both their own weight and the weight of other connected components, while the latter carry only their own weight.
Removing any non-load bearing component, like a wall or non-bearing partition, has minimal impact on the structure’s stability. Meanwhile, removing at least one load-bearing component, like a beam or column, may trigger collapse or render the structure unsafe for occupancy. The same principle applies when it comes to adding weight to any load-bearing component, which explains why any home addition job requires that builders adhere to strict safety standards.
For instance, if a ceiling joist were to be removed to extend a room, the remaining joists will be forced to carry the entire weight of the roof. If these components are not strong enough to resist added tension and compression, they can fall apart. For this reason, trusted home builders in Lancaster, PA—such as Leids Carpentry, for instance—observe extra care when carrying out home addition projects that require the removal of certain load-bearing components.
An article for BHG.com explores the topic further by citing some additions that may cause extra stress on a structure.
Bump-outs put extra stress on one particular section of a foundation. If the material used to build the foundation is in poor shape or if the ground underneath it is unstable, cracking or heaving could occur. One remedy is to add piers outside to help support the extra weight. Another is to reinforce house foundations with steel bars or rods.
The other common structural problem involves floor framing for upper-level additions. The ceilings in many single-story homes are framed with 2×6 or 2×8 joists that, depending on the span, can support themselves plus drywall and insulation but may not be strong enough to support an upper floor without bouncing or sagging.
Homeowners who are looking to add a porch, bay window, or garage must make a point to discuss these plans in detail with their chosen Lancaster, PA home builders. These professionals, in turn, must explain the risks involved in such a project and what techniques can be used to minimize those risks. An oversight can lead to costly repairs in the future, particularly unsecure loading that causes beams and joists to sag or crack.
Rather than discuss home remodeling or addition plans over the phone, it would be more sensible if the home builder can visit the site beforehand and talk to the homeowner while carrying out an actual inspection. This way, the decision to make an addition is entirely based on facts. For this kind of service, homeowners can rely on a builder like Leid’s Carpentry.
(Source: Common Addition Problems, BGH.com)