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Help! Second story support??  RSS feed

 
Holly Guerrero
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Has anyone built a 2-story cob house? We are running into some difficulty figuring out how to actually support the second story long-term, but the plot of land we have to build on is not large enough to have a single story home. I found a sample floorplan online (the mountain cottage off Clay and Straw), that we were basing this off of, but after consulting with some architects, we were told that there is not enough support for a second floor. =/ Super bummed, and that means back to the drawing board. We have to figure out exactly what is needed on the first floor in order to support a second floor...

All we need upstairs is two bedrooms and a bathroom. Not large rooms but one needs to be large enough to accommodate a king size bed and a dresser. The other will be a kids rooms with bunk beds and dresser.

Can anyone offer some advice or point to resources for this kind of I?

TIA!
 
Ardilla Esch
Posts: 225
Location: Northern New Mexico, Zone 5b
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The normal approach is to use post and beam/timberframe to support the second story.  The mountain cottage design you were looking at already has the timberframe.  If the frame needs to be more substantial to accommodate your larger second story - you should be able to ask the architect to propose options.  Why is it that you have to figure out the framing if you are consulting with an architect?  IMO an architect should be able to take the concept you want and tweak it to make it work.  Maybe you should talk to some timberframers near you or a different architect.  The cob infill becomes largely irrelevant structurally with the framing - so that shouldn't cause too much trouble (unless you are trying to have the cob bear the load).

There are a lot of timberframing books.  I'm not sure which are best.
 
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