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Old 09-03-2011, 06:36 PM   #1
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eliminating interior walls


I like open floor plans. I want to eliminate some interior walls to open up my floor plan. These are NOT load bearing walls but I don't want the ceilings to sag. The new open space will be 24' wide by 48 feet long. The existing ceiling joists are 2x6x12' spliced in the middle. I want to install an overhead header in the attic and hang the existing ceiling from it. The header will be centered and directly over the basement girder. One end will rest on outside, gable end, wall (but over a window.. (double 2x12 header x 48")). The length of this open floor will be 48' so I'm hanging 1150 sq. ft. of ceiling. I'm thinking LVL, but how big? Is there a better way?

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Old 09-03-2011, 07:29 PM   #2
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eliminating interior walls


If the ceiling joists are spliced they have to be supported at the splice. Usually a wall is built that supports the splice. This wall would be known as a load bearing wall.............

From what you describe, the load bearing wall would have to be supported by replacing the wall with a beam.
In turn, the beam would likely have to be supported by columns.

A job of this nature would have to carried out with approvals from the building department.
In turn, the building department will require stamped engineering drawings prepared by a professional engineer!

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Old 09-03-2011, 08:42 PM   #3
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eliminating interior walls


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Originally Posted by diymike1951 View Post
I like open floor plans. I want to eliminate some interior walls to open up my floor plan. These are NOT load bearing walls but I don't want the ceilings to sag. The new open space will be 24' wide by 48 feet long. The existing ceiling joists are 2x6x12' spliced in the middle. I want to install an overhead header in the attic and hang the existing ceiling from it. The header will be centered and directly over the basement girder. One end will rest on outside, gable end, wall (but over a window.. (double 2x12 header x 48")). The length of this open floor will be 48' so I'm hanging 1150 sq. ft. of ceiling. I'm thinking LVL, but how big? Is there a better way?
How do you know that they are not load bearing walls? Have you sat down with a architect to look over the structure, draw up plans, consulted with an engineer to make sure that the idea that you have, will keep the structure from flexing during or twisting during storms?

Did you have calculations done to make sure that the structure will be structurally sound as it was originally designed by the original architect and engineer to make sure that you are able to pull the proper permits to do the scope of the work that you wish to do?

By looking over your post, I realized that you have no idea of how bad of an idea that you came up with.
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Old 09-03-2011, 09:00 PM   #4
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I like open floor plans. I want to eliminate some interior walls to open up my floor plan. These are NOT load bearing walls but I don't want the ceilings to sag. The new open space will be 24' wide by 48 feet long. The existing ceiling joists are 2x6x12' spliced in the middle. I want to install an overhead header in the attic and hang the existing ceiling from it. The header will be centered and directly over the basement girder. One end will rest on outside, gable end, wall (but over a window.. (double 2x12 header x 48")). The length of this open floor will be 48' so I'm hanging 1150 sq. ft. of ceiling. I'm thinking LVL, but how big? Is there a better way?
The center wall at the splice is indeed a bearing wall, it is carrying all 72 2x6's, your ceiling material, insulation and any mechanicals up there and with alot of roof framing designs you will find posts from your ridge to the center wall.That is probly why it is directly over the basement girder.
The over-head header you described is a great design but would not work that lengthe.
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Old 09-03-2011, 10:17 PM   #5
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You know - when we removed a 16' section of our livingroom wall I did everything *the right way* - passed inspection, used 2x12 instead of 2x10's that code required.

It's not a load bearing wall - but we still had issues (other than what you're afraid of: the new area sagging)

Removing an existing wall will shift the balance of the ceiling/roof/walls - we experienced cracking, sagging of the remaining walls, and the floor was relieved of it's pressure and settled *up* a little which forced hardwood flooring slats to separate a little.

And so on.

So - my advice: don't plan to eliminate the wall completely unless you are ready and willing to doctor up all the things that the house will undergo due to a change in structure.

You could set up a series of open shelving or arched doorways to open things up without creating quite so many side-effects.
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Old 09-04-2011, 05:04 AM   #6
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Reading back I saw that I did not answer part of your question. If I had a client that had to have this done, the cheapest and only way I would consider doing it would be to blow the whole roof off and set engineered trusses. This is actually not a bad job, give me two good carpenters for a week and I could have it ready for drywall with new roof in place.
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Old 09-04-2011, 12:59 PM   #7
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What would your definition of a load bearing wall be?
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Old 09-04-2011, 01:11 PM   #8
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These walls support only the ceiling above. No roof load. No storage. No utilities. One other option I am considering is to sister a one piece (2x8???)from front wall to rear wall ( 24') along each unsupported ceiling joist.
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Old 09-04-2011, 08:43 PM   #9
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eliminating interior walls


You will need a beam to support the ceiling joists, and posts to support the beam. Either the truss idea or the arched doorways should be considered. A steel beam could work but that opens up a ton of installation problems with the length and weight of the beam needed......and you will still need columns (posts)

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