Introduction: How to Replace Ceiling Joists

Picture of How to Replace Ceiling Joists

We recently purchased a house. One of the things that I am ecstatic about completing now that we are settled in, is turning the run-down garage that came with it into a fully functional shop. There is a lot to be done, but one of the first things was the ceiling joists. Some weren't even connected and the ones that were connected were in very poor shape. That being said, I thought I would share kind of an overview of what I did to replace them.

Materials Needed

This depends heavily on your needs and the size of the building.

  • 2x6 Pine Lumber
  • 2x4 Pine Lumber
  • Spax Screws or Bolts
  • A saw of some sort for cutting down the lumber

Step 1: Check Out the Video

The video is a vlog style video in which I explain why I replaced them and a little more detail about how we did it. Check it out and consider subscribing if you are interested in following along with any of the other shop renovation projects that will be coming out in the very near future. If videos don't interest you; read on.

Step 2: Assessing the Situation

Picture of Assessing the Situation

This is one of the main original joists. It is a 2x6 that is buckled in the center with nails. This also served as a support for a landing that was built on it with various boards that served as a floor. As you can see it is in pretty rough shape.

The third image shows a top view of the joist and some of the remaining floor boards. Not only was the first one starting to fall apart, so were most of them as you can see further back.

Step 3: New Lumber, New Joists

Picture of New Lumber, New Joists

We used the same method to install the new ones, but used 2x8 lumber instead.

In this section of the shop, instead of attaching the joists to the rafters, we attached them to the wall studs. We used Spax screws, which are very thick and will last a long time. These two joists will hold some weight, so I went a little overboard on the number of screws.

Lots of screws on the buckle were necessary.

Step 4: Wall to Wall

Picture of Wall to Wall

Notice how the joists run from stud to stud. This helps in keeping the already bowing walls in place. We also remedied that a bit by pulling the walls back in with a heavy-duty cargo ratchet strap, which you can see a bit in the next step.

Step 5: Non-load Bearing Joists

Picture of Non-load Bearing Joists

All of the other joists were replaced as well. These were replaced with 2x4s since they won't be load bearing. They were also attached to the rafters instead of the wall studs. Instead of buckling the boards, we scabbed them, which consists of running two lengths of board end to end and then attaching them with a shorter piece in the middle, "scabbing" over the seam. This works well since there is no weight on these.

Hopefully this will be helpful to anyone that needs to replace some joists. If you have any questions I am more than happy to answer them to the best of my ability. Thanks for checking out this project.

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