Existing Conditions - Mid Atlantic

I saw this house as I was driving down the road one day. I stopped and took this picture. This is wonderfully typical of home construction in the time period around World War II and shortly after.

I hope the viewer can zoom in to the image to see it clearly. This is even better than an X-ray.

For starters it shows the basic materials and trades of house superstructure.

  • Exposed concrete footings
  • Brick and block exterior walls
  • Steel post and beam
  • Wood floor, wall and roof construction.

If you look hard enough you can even see the dormer framing at the rear wall of the roof.

This photo is a lesson in circa 1940 construction and structures. The basement columns sit on masonry piers, which in turn sit on solid concrete footings that are approximately 36" square to help spread out the loading.

The top of steel column is bolted to the steel I beam which is then pocketed into the masonry wall. The masonry wall is all block below grade and then the brick veneer ties in at every second course of block on floors one and two.

The floor joists are 2 x 10's (actually 2" by 10" at the time, not the 1 1/2" x 9 1/4" we have today) and are spaced at 16" on center. The interior walls are actual 2 x 4 and again spaced at 16" on center with some minor deviation.

The roof is framed with actual 2 x 10 roof rafters now at 24" on center. There are 1 x 6 wood collar ties at the top to help triangulate the load. finally there is no roof sheathing per say but rather 1 x 8 wood plank sheathing acting as the sub-roofing.

These are the basics that you will be dealing with as your existing conditions in mid-Atlantic circa World War II housing stock.