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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
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    British Columbia
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    6

    Default framing clerestory windows

    what is the proper method to frame clerestory fixed glass windows when you have no load bearing walls under it to support it.I understand that i'll need a beam to support the roof load but how would I frame on top of the beam?How do I calculate the roof load?
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Fort Worth, Texas 76109
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    313

    Default Re: framing clerestory windows

    edwardo. If I'm wrong please accept my apology, but from your post I get the feeling your are not in the construction business. At least in the structural part of it.
    However simply stated you would handle the clerestory windows framing the same as you would any other window.
    That is with the roof load supported by headers above the widows, bearing on jack studs bearing on an existing wall / beam below.
    As to the size of everything, that depends upon the anticipated loads. Dead loads, live loads, snow loads, etc,

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
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    British Columbia
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    Default Re: framing clerestory windows

    You are correct,I do electrical work.I am however designing my own house.I will post what i've done so far.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Branford, CT 06405
    Posts
    3,662

    Default Re: framing clerestory windows

    edwardo
    The lack of info precludes anyone from telling you much about the required beam. Such specific structural info I doubt will be forthcoming from this site.

    That said, you also DO NOT want to include in your plans structural suggestions from a DIY site either. The simple answer in this case is you need to have someone familiar with your locale determine the appropriate size beam depending on the roof loads, snow load, dead weight, length, exposed decorative or covered in dw, etc.

    A structural engineer, architect or professional designer is the place to start. Your local lumber yard may be able to specify the beam for you, however, at some point man-made parallams, LVLs, and built-up beams may be overshadowed by a simple steel beam!

    I do not even know the snow load requirements there!
    Take Care

    Jim

  5. #5
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    Jul 2011
    Location
    British Columbia
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    Default Re: framing clerestory windows

    Thanks for the information.I will take my drawings to a engineer once i've figured out exactly what I want.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    11,339

    Default Re: framing clerestory windows

    Tricky, especially with no wall below. I'm betting you wind up with a lot of hardware to lock the two beams together and prevent them from twisting, too. Just imagining a cathedral design with no interior partitions...
    http://www.lavrans.com

    "He uses statistics as a drunken man uses lamp posts; for support rather than illumination." -Andrew Lang

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    off the coast of new england
    Posts
    514

    Default Re: framing clerestory windows

    I have framed lots of those in the early eighties .lots of different ways ,one subdivision had model with the clerestory which was all cathedral .I remmeber a beam below picking up the lower rafters and a "pony" wall on top with the window openings the beam was a steel flitch bolted to 2x12 and I think it was 18ft . That was the time when builders started thinking great rooms were a good idea

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Fort Worth, Texas 76109
    Posts
    313

    Default Re: framing clerestory windows

    Edwardo. What you are wanting to do is probably not all that complicated, but is hard for professional on this site to give you detailed help with out the required information and data which can be difficult to communicate verbally and with photos.
    As has been suggested, I would first get with a local architectural designer (architects are nice but can be expensive) and your local lumber yard (not big box stores) that has engineering services through their suppliers. (Engineers are nice too, but can be expensive.
    Just for your own information and education, you might walk through some houses in your area that are in different stages of construction. Good Luck.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Caldwell, NJ
    Posts
    3,153

    Default Re: framing clerestory windows

    Quote Originally Posted by edwardo View Post
    what is the proper method to frame clerestory fixed glass windows when you have no load bearing walls under it to support it.I understand that i'll need a beam to support the roof load but how would I frame on top of the beam?How do I calculate the roof load?
    That picture looks like the clerestory goes out to the end of the house. What is yours doing that the ends of the beam doesn't go out to the end of the house? Is the house for example 40' and the section of the clerestory 20' centered in to house? I've framed many of these 22'-26' wide but the ends of the beam were supported inside the outside walls.
    Joe Carola

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    11,339

    Default Re: framing clerestory windows

    Quote Originally Posted by olllee View Post
    I have framed lots of those in the early eighties .lots of different ways ,one subdivision had model with the clerestory which was all cathedral .I remmeber a beam below picking up the lower rafters and a "pony" wall on top with the window openings the beam was a steel flitch bolted to 2x12 and I think it was 18ft . That was the time when builders started thinking great rooms were a good idea
    Did they bolt the upper and lower beams together, or are they generally just a single lower beam with standard framing/minimal beam on top?

    I've repaired a few clerestory roofs which had a single large beam below and basically a 4x6 on top. The combination of beams was fine structurally for weight, but not enough to stop sag, and when that happened the top beam flexed more, causing the seals on some of the windows to break. We put in a larger beam on top and ran all thread between the two beams to unite them at the partitions between windows.

    I haven't built any myself (cathedral roof with clerestory), only fixed a few, so I really don't know what's standard for building. I know there's an issue with span, etc., just curious what you and others have done in that situation.
    http://www.lavrans.com

    "He uses statistics as a drunken man uses lamp posts; for support rather than illumination." -Andrew Lang

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