Removing a Structural Chimney

Two summers ago I received a call from some homeowners who wanted to remodel their kitchen and, as part of the project, remove a brick chimney that ran up through the center of the house.

The ends of ridge beams were actually supported by the abandoned chimney.

With the help of a structural engineer, I devised a way to support the ends of the existing ridge beams with a pair of site-built trusses.

The upper ends of the chords butt to the sides of the existing ridge beams and are held in place with upside-down joist hangers.

The lower ends land on the existing stone exterior walls and are connected end-to-end by the rods.

The 5/8-inch rods connect in the center with turnbuckles and pass through holes in the LVLs, where they terminate with washer plates and double nuts.

The support trusses do more than just free up space in the center of the room — they create a visual break between the new kitchen and the existing great room.

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