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Cross Beams in Loft?

Discussion in 'Floors, Stairs and Lofts' started by imroberts, 20 Dec 2020.

  1. imroberts


    18 Jul 2007
    Thanks Received:
    United Kingdom
    I've started boarding out my loft and I have a question about some cross battens and their purpose.

    Photo 1 - Where the roof rafters meet the ceiling joist there is a batten running the full width of the house. This looks to be fastened at each side with wall straps and is nailed to every ceiling joist. I assume this is structural, maybe something to do with preventing lateral movement?

    Photo 2 - Roughly in the middle of the house, there is a wall strap attached to a single batten which runs just over half the width of the house. On one side this looks like a structural timber however the other side is just a piece of floorboard. In both cases this is attached with a single nail to the first two joists and nothing beyond that.

    What is the purpose of these battens? If it's safe to do so, I'm hoping to take out the two nails and remove the wooden batten, and then screw the wall strap back into the ceiling joists through the new flooring.

    Firstly, I assume nothing untoward is going to happen in the hour or two the nails are removed and I'm safe to crack on? My question is more what is the purpose of these battens and straps and do they actually do anything, or are they just temporary braces that were put in place while the house was being built and are actually now redundant?

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  3. tony1851


    23 Feb 2012
    Thanks Received:
    United Kingdom
    If the battens are fixed to the gable walls with metal straps, their purpose is to provide lateral support to the gable walls when under wind load. There are usually (or should be) similar straps connecting the gable to the sloping rafters higher up.
    It would be safe to remove the fixings in the short term, as long as they are re-fixed timely.

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