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Old 07-28-2009, 03:48 PM   #1
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Load-bearing or not?


Hi all, how can I tell if I divider wall is a load-bearing wall?

This wall creates a small foyer...it separates the area in front of my entrance door and the rest of the living room, and juts out perpendicularly between the entrance door and the living room wall...about 6 feet.

My master bedroom is above this area, and the there is not a corresponding wall in the bedroom.

I want to basically cut the top portion off of the wall to open things up a bit.

Thanks!!
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Old 07-28-2009, 07:58 PM   #2
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Load-bearing or not?


With 2-story framing there could be a beam carrying the second-floor joists . Maybe it's not, though. I don't know about your place, but some ceilings are furred down with 1x material, so you might not be able to tell by beating on the ceiling or with a "stud-finder." You might poke around with an awl or cut a narrow strip of drywall around the perimeter of the wall to make sure. If there's a beam on on the wall you have limited options barring major rework, but if there are just "finger joists" or "deadwood" you could cut it out. If there are joists above perpendicularly oriented and they span across the wall and are of sufficient size you can cut the wall. You might consider placing a header into the wall and a column at the end if you find it's a bearing wall.

Anyway, I'm just throwing my $.02 in there. It's not a big deal to alter the structure of a home so long as the loads are transferred properly. Even for the faint of heart or just plain scared, you can consult with a structural engineer on something like that for less than $100. DIY
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Old 07-29-2009, 01:15 PM   #3
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Load-bearing or not?


If it runs in the same direction as the joists it is most likely not bearing. Bearing walls usually run at right angles to the joists.
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Old 07-29-2009, 05:04 PM   #4
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Load-bearing or not?


Do you have a crawl space or unfinished basement under said wall? Which way do the joists there run-- with or against? Is there solid blocking or double joists under said wall? Be safe, G
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