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ryanxo 07-20-2012 01:34 PM

Can I Remove this Wall?
Hey everyone.

I want to take out a wall in the middle of my house and I want everyones opinions on whether it is load bearing or not due to conflicting information I have read online.

My house is 1546 sq ft including the garage.
Here is a drawing of the layout I drew up in paint.

As you can see I want to make the living room and den 1 big room!
My house is factory truss built. Each is made with 2x4s and those metal plates with the long metal fingers into wood on each side.
The trusses are 23" on center apart in the attic for the whole length of the house.

Here are pics I took....

Trusses in attic... Please excuse the mess I am redoing ductwork as well.

More of the truss

Bottom of one of the truss connection points:

More truss

Pic from above the wall I want to remove. The truss is nailed to that wall but I can see light underneath to the other side.

For the record I work at the engineering command for the navy and asked a structural engineer for their opinion and got a response. I just want to get more opinions from some other guys who might know their stuff.

Thanks in advance!

CopperClad 07-20-2012 02:22 PM

That is not a bearing wall. That is one advantage of a truss roof. Feel free to remove it. Be careful when removing the wall as it appears the framers put 2 toe nails through the truss and into the top plate of the wall. You just don't want to yank the top plate out and possibly rip the nails through the bottom chord of the truss damaging/splitting it. Good luck on your project !

GBrackins 07-20-2012 04:50 PM

what was the opinion of the structural engineer?

mae-ling 07-21-2012 12:03 AM

Please do not take the advice on this from any one on a forum who can not see it.

Once before we had this question and everyone (including me) figured it was not load bearing, he did have someone look at it and it WAS LOAD BEARING!!!!
So glad he had someone come look at it in person.

mae-ling 07-21-2012 12:07 AM

BTW thanks for the excellent drawing and photo's.

My guess id that it is _______________________ .
As I don't want to falsely lead you I will only say after you tell us what a structural engineer said.

gregzoll 07-21-2012 12:32 AM

I would have to say that it is load bearing, but only way to know, is to get a visual inspection of someone in your area familiar. I would not be pulling that wall down, without knowing first what may happen, if precautions are not taken first hand.

Gary in WA 07-21-2012 01:17 AM

That is a non-bearing wall because; 1. the web members do not bear or connect over the wall on the bottom chord at that point; 2. the "fink" design (pictured) does not bear other than at the ends, 3.


rickilala 07-21-2012 01:33 AM

Your pictures bring up some questions. In my area a truss should not be nailed to a non bearing wall. We would use a 1x4 top plate so the truss would not touch the wall. A clip would be nailed to the truss and the top plate giving the truss a small amount of movement up and down but not sideways. With that thought I would say your wall is weight bearing BUT IF it is a bearing wall then there should be a member in the truss straight up from the wall to the top of the truss, this would be a three point truss meaning it would rest in three places where a two point would be on the outside walls only. Can you tell if there is a footing under that wall? Footing equal bearing. Worst case if its bearing have a engineered beam made to support it. I say engineered because it would be smaller then a 4x16 beam
Which is what it would probally take for a 16 foot span.
Then again how lucky do you feel LOL


tony.g 07-21-2012 05:27 AM

Regardless of whether or not the studwork is carrying any load from the truss (probably not, but we don't know for sure) could it be a shear wall providing some lateral stability against wind- and seismic loads? It seems to be in line with the wall at the back of the garage which suggests it might - just a thought.

Gary in WA 07-21-2012 09:56 AM

LOL. Tony, I was going to add similar to my statement this morning, you beat me to it! Here is basic shear-flow for a 90MPH wind zone; Many times the S.E. will make an existing wall sheathed with plywood/osb for new shear-flow when removing an interior wall, just what Tony is saying. Check with the local AHJ, when you apply for the permit to change the structure. You may also need more truss bracing to meet current code which may be required with the wall removal.

The longer the bottom plate length, the better the racking resistance;


tony.g 07-21-2012 12:57 PM


Originally Posted by GBR in WA (Post 970847)
I was going to add similar to my statement this morning, you beat me to it!

Bad luck! It's purely the time difference; we're GMT +1 ! :)

mae-ling 07-22-2012 12:02 AM


Originally Posted by GBR in WA (Post 970694)
That is a non-bearing wall because; 1. the web members do not bear or connect over the wall on the bottom chord at that point; 2. the "fink" design (pictured) does not bear other than at the ends, 3.


But as we can not see all the trusses and everything associated this is a possibly dangerous statement to make.

I have seen load bearing walls that were not as they should be but upon further looking realized they were in fact load bearing.

ryanxo 07-22-2012 03:25 PM

Thanks for all the responses.

The SE said that it was not load bearing especially since the trusses were only 23 inches apart on center across the entire house.

Footing? I don't think I have footings I'm on a slab that is flat on the ground.

I have never heard of a sheer wall.

The truss being nailed to the wall worried me a bit too but the SE just told me to be careful taking out the wall since there were nails from the truss to that wall. He didn't seem concerned. The architect said I could take it down no issue too.

So mae-ling... you said you would answer after I said what the SE said. Whatcha got?

And btw I wasn't going to take the wall down solely on the advice of people on a forum. I asked a SE and an architect. My friend who is a general contractor is coming out this week to check it too.

I always like to post questions I have like this on the DIY forum just to get some added opinions and hope that it may help others who have the same question. Is anyone on here actually an architect or a SE?

GBrackins 07-22-2012 03:56 PM


first off, I am neither a licensed architect or engineer .... I have worked for over 20 years in various civil engineering firms as a technician.

a shear wall is a combination of building products, i.e., wood studs, sheathing, gypsum board, fasteners and/or metal connectors that are designed to resist the forces of wind acting upon a structure. See this link for forces that must be resisted Sometimes these "shear walls" are only located on the exterior of the building, sometimes that are also located on the interior of the building. Sometimes shear walls are referred to as braced wall panels.

depending where you are located determines what the wind forces are. For example I'm located on the coast of Massachusetts therefore buildings in my area are required to resist 110 mph wind forces, which falls outside of the prescriptive requirements of the building code. The 2009 IRC has bracing requirements based upon wind speeds of less than 110 mph therefore we cannot design shear walls/braced wall based upon the building code but must use another design manual such as the Wood Frame Construction Manual or ASCE-7.

Typically trusses should not be nailed to the top plate of interior walls as changes in pressure within the attic causes the bottom chord of the truss to raise and lower. If nailed it can prevent the chord from moving and could lead to cracking of the ceiling finish. Normally the ceiling to interior wall connection is made flexible by using a special drywall clip to connect the ceiling to the wall.

I believe the point many were making is that "actual eyes on the site" works a lot better than seeing a couple of photos and trying to decide, sometimes trusses can have internal load bearing points, it all depends on the original design of the truss. For example if my eyes were on your site I would have known prior your home was slab on grade.

Posting questions online is a good source of opinions and suggestions as well as information. And there are some extremely knowledgeable and experienced people on this forum. Glad to see you are using a thoughtful process in your project.

Good luck!

ryanxo 07-22-2012 07:28 PM

I am in virginia beach and we get hurricanes all the time.

Its funny you mention the ceiling pant cracking because that has happened over the past year I have lived in the house.

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