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Old 02-10-2012, 05:11 PM   #1
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Please identify if this is a load-bearing wall


I have a closet at the end of a hallway I want to tear out, in whole (preferrably) or in part. Obviously I want to determine whether I am dealing with load-bearing walls before I proceed.

Pictures in this case say a thousand words; here are several photos I've taken: https://picasaweb.google.com/1097334...eat=directlink. I've removed the drywall, so the framing is exposed. It should be relatively easy for someone familiar with the subject to identify I would think. I also diagramed the closet/house layout so that you have some context of where this is happening in the house (see photo #9).

I've read that walls perpindiciular to ceiling joists are a tell-tale sign of load-bearing walls, and walls parallel to ceiling joists are usually not load-bearing. One of the walls is perpindicular, and 2 are parallel to the ceiling joists. I don't feel comfortable removing the perpindicular wall without an engineer giving me something in writing backed up with insurance, so I will probably not remove that one.

Thank you all for your help. My cousin who is a general contractor has been advising me, but lately its been hard to get in touch with him and I really wanted to make some progress this weekend on this project. I planned on bringing in a structural engineer to get his opinion, but he quoted me $500 just to look at it.

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Old 02-10-2012, 05:31 PM   #2
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Please identify if this is a load-bearing wall


Sorry but your pictures weren't much help to me---a drawing of the ceiling structure with the walls you wish to remove would help---a shot down the hall identifying the old out side wall would also help.

The old outside wall---can you get a well lit shot of that from the attic? are the ceiling joists lapped on top of that wall?

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Old 02-10-2012, 06:08 PM   #3
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Please identify if this is a load-bearing wall


Thanks for your reply. I posted a shot of the closet and the hallway behind it (see picture #10). When you look at this in conjunction with picture #9, its the wall running parallel with the hallway to the right that I suspect is the original exterior wall. I don't want to risk taking out the left-side framing/wall of this former-closet (parallel to the original exterior wall), but I would like to take out the framing/wall above the door-frame on both the end closest to the camera and that on the other side of the closet. On the other side of the closet, I'd also like to remove the framing that is on either side of the doorframe...if I were to do this, the edge of original exterior wall would run straight from the end of the hallway to the opening in the dining room...as you can see from picture #10, the side of the door frame breaks the continuity of the line/wall.

Can you explain what you want in the drawing of the ceiling structure? Is photo #3 helpful at all, because this is basically the ceiling in this closet. The ceiling seems to be supported by the one wall I am afraid to tear down (left side of photo 3) and the original exterior wall (right side of photo 3)...see how the boards supporting the ceiling are supported by the framing from these two walls? Of course, thats just my layman observation, I could be missing something.

Getting a well lit shot of the original exterior wall from the attic will be close to impossible, though if it is critical, I can attempt tomorrow to do so...but I have no artificial light in the attic and I have no ladder to get up there---I used a wobbly stool to get the shot I got and even then I had to do a pull-up to get that shot. Even if I get up there, the attic is littered with spare boards and the insulation masks a lot of the joisting...the original exterior wall was not clearly evident the last time I got up there---I would have to crawl to the other side of the attic through insulation to see if the joisiting was resting on it. But this makes a lot of sense---if the joisting is resting on that wall, I am probably safe to take out at least those two walls I that are parallel to the joisting.

I may try to get up there tomorrow, especially if it would make determining the status of these walls more black and white.

Last edited by ihavezippers; 02-10-2012 at 06:11 PM.
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Old 02-10-2012, 06:28 PM   #4
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Please identify if this is a load-bearing wall


I can not make a judgment from the pictures---I think you are right about leaving the old exterior wall and pulling out the others --but I just can't make out the details of the ceiling supports from those photos--
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Old 02-13-2012, 07:29 PM   #5
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Please identify if this is a load-bearing wall


I got a structural engineer to provide his assessment on the walls, and he said aside from the wall which runs down the hallway, the walls I want to remove aren't load-bearing...which is great news to hear...

So now I will begin the process of removing the framing. Is there a recommended way to do this that doesn't damage the integrity of surrounding framing/etc? I want to be particularly careful because while the walls I want to take out are not load bearing, they sit immediately adjacent to a load bearing wall (the engineer was careful to emphasize over and over again that this wall was load-bearing).

I don't have a wide array of tools at my disposal, although if something is recommended I will purchase it. If I can remove the framing all the same with minimal tools/expense though with the same amount of care, I'd prefer the minimalist path.
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Old 02-13-2012, 11:12 PM   #6
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Please identify if this is a load-bearing wall


Safety glasses and gloves. Thick soled boots.

Leave the sledge hammer to the "Reality" TV shows.

Reciprocating saw with a "Demo Blade"

Use flat-bar or framing claw to wedge studs apart, then cut nails with saw.

Clean as you go.

Strip or flatten nails as you go, so nobody goes to the ER for a tetanus shot.

Put on some Rock & Roll and have fun! I read somewhere that Demo guys have one of the highest Job Satisfaction scores of anyone.
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Old 02-14-2012, 08:14 AM   #7
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Please identify if this is a load-bearing wall


The walls have a load on top of them so they are load bearing. I can see load on top in photo # 3 & 8.


Last edited by jasin; 02-14-2012 at 08:19 AM.
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