DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum

DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum (
-   Carpentry (
-   -   Knee wall - load bearing (

pineapplemsw 03-30-2013 02:16 PM

Knee wall - load bearing
Knee wall on north of attic is definitely not load bearing.

South wall - I think could be.

On south wall total of 26 feet - there is a 2x6 for about 18 feet from outside (front) wall to a 2x4 at the other end at the top of the wall and another that is about 2" off the floor running the length also.

The stud in the front is notched to hold it. But the only thing between the two is 2x6 that only goes from the top 2x6 to bottom 2x6 and does not sit on the floor.

Then there were 2x6s angled from the middle stud (attached to the 2x6 cross to the bottom 2x6 on each end) - it does not sit on the floor but attached to the bottom 2 x 6. So the middle stud kinda floats. And the angled boards do not seem to transfer the weight anywhere.

I cannot take pics since I took out the cross 2 x 6s - no disaster or anything, but wondering if because the boards were angled there was intention for holding weight. But that did not make sense since the end studs are 2x4 only and I could not figure out how 1 2x4 at each end would be enough to hold a header that long. Nor did I see where the weight was being distributed to.

I am doing something different on walls and putting in doors to access storage. So i am thinking just to be sure I need to put 2x6s on each rafter and attacah to the top 2x5 and the bottom 2x6 with the exception of a couple of them that I would not do in order to be able to use the doors. Or add 2x6s or larger at each end to go up and down and go to the floor that would be better support for the cross piece. (or both)

Again I cannot figure out how it would be load bearing if has such small studs at each end. And does not seem to distribute weight.

The other possibility of why it is how it is would be when my dad finished the attic about 50 years ago, he used plywood on the walls and put the angled boards to make it easier to put up the plywdood instead of putting in studs. (I grew up in this house and jsut recently inherited it.)

I know this is difficult without pics, but I do not have them.

jagans 03-30-2013 02:54 PM

Are you asking a question? I am sorry, but I cannot make heads or tails of what you are saying. If you could submit a sketch of what you have, or what you are trying to do, along with where you live so someone has an idea of the live load requirements in your area, maybe someone could help. Pictures would help too, even if you already removed something. All cell phones have cameras today, as far as I know, and laptops have webcams for the most part. It sounds like what you have removed may have been wind bracing, but its hard to tell.

GBrackins 03-30-2013 04:08 PM

I'm lost too jagans ..... if roof rafters are bearing (sitting) on the knee walls then they are load bearing especially if there is a top plate on the knee wall.

a few 8x10 glossy photos will help get useful replies

pineapplemsw 03-30-2013 06:48 PM

1 Attachment(s)
I posted a reply with pias, but it is not showing up. So here we go again.....

What you are seeing is the one "stud" in the middle and part of the angled piece (including seeing section I cut out)

YOu can see an outlet that is actually attached to about 12" piece of 2x4 - the extra "stud" by the outlet that runs all of the up and down spread I put there to use for nailing (it is not straight nor needs to be for what I am doing).

Since the only "stud" in the wall (when I started) does not go all the way to the floor, I was confused about if it could be load bearing.

As to rafters sitting on it - they appear to but that could be just because the wall was put there when the attic was finished.It might not have been there before. I was very very young when Dad did the attic project. I remember exposed rafters but that is all (I was in about kindergarten / 1st grade at the time, which was well over 50 years ago).

Just to be sure I am thinking putting additional supports on each side of the two small doors I am putting in (they are each 34") and a few other extra studs is a good idea. but the top plate (if it can be called that) does not run the whole length of the wall nor does it set like I am used to seeing the top of a wall sitting (nor the bottom "plate").

GBrackins 03-30-2013 07:37 PM

what was the finished surface on the knee wall originally?

pineapplemsw 03-30-2013 07:48 PM

stained pieces of plywood. I am putting up fence pickets - some horizontal and some vertical.

GBrackins 03-30-2013 08:08 PM

thought it would be wood of some type. hard to have a load bearing wall if you don't have a wall

have to post some photos when you're done

pineapplemsw 03-30-2013 09:55 PM

Before Dad did the attic, there was nothing there - he might have put something to strengthen it but not a "real" load bearing wall.

It does not meet any "code" for header, so I am going to have someone look at it to be sure, but guessing all the bracing I will do is enough. But need someone to see it in person to be sure.


pineapplemsw 03-31-2013 01:02 AM


Originally Posted by GBrackins (Post 1149320)
thought it would be wood of some type. hard to have a load bearing wall if you don't have a wall

have to post some photos when you're done

The idea of hard to have a load bearing wall if there is no wall - been thinking about that. That is kinda why I did not think it is load bearing. There is not actually a wall. Since it is not a stud wall and it does not span the entire wall - just a section - might have had a different purpose.

Will post when I know more.

pineapplemsw 03-31-2013 03:48 PM

Paranoia is good sometimes. I am not sure it is load bearing, but do not think it is. Just to be sure ...

SInce the angled pieces were already out, I put 2x6 studs under each rafer between the top and bottom horizontal 2x6s - this is to keep the load as it was when the angled pieces were there. I put 2x4s between each of those angled. I did not brace the rafters where my doors are (each door is 34" so only one rafter for each) and each of those have extra 2x6s on each side of them.

I left the bottom plate as it was - just means I have to go over it to get things in and out of storage.

I also put 2x4s on each rafter inside the storage right next to the knee wall but not in the door.

This all seemed logical to me as it was like putting a full stud wall back and keeping headers in place to carry the load. The part that had me most baffled is the lower piece was a couple inches off the floor. THen wondered if that was because there is not a load bearing wall beneath it and the idea was to keep the weight from being on a place where there is nothing below it to carry the weight. It might have been designed to keep the living room ceiling (Below the knee wall) from caving in from the weight.

I have ended up with something that distributes the load as it was but with stud wall instead of angled pieces - it still does not rest on the floor.

Any other ideas? Or does that sound reasonable?

GBrackins 03-31-2013 03:54 PM

to create a knee wall that was non-bearing I typically place a 2x plate on the floor and run 2x vertical alongside a rafter, attaching to the rafter with a 8d finishing nail. this holds the 2x in place to allow for attachment of the wall finish but should the roof try to impose a load onto the wall the finishing nail can bend slightly and not transfer its load onto the floor.

pineapplemsw 03-31-2013 03:59 PM

So I might have gone over cautious. :)

I just was paranoid about doing too much to change what was set up already.

I do appreciate your response - makes me feel more at ease with the setup.

I will get a contractor to look at it this coming week to double check, but I am pretty sure I am going to be okay now.


GBrackins 03-31-2013 04:25 PM

you're most welcomed Carol

pineapplemsw 04-02-2013 02:38 PM

The wall is wind bracing as someone suggested. So what I am doing to compensate will work. In fact I am probably over-doing it. :) Got the vertical pieces at the rafters and added 3 more at each end that are turned to fit the braces (notched and fit on them just as the very end piece that was there is). So now I have six inches at each end and a brace under each rafter. Overkill? maybe....but it's not going anywhere.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:44 AM.

vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
User Alert System provided by Advanced User Tagging (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.

Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.1