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acerunner 05-10-2010 04:30 PM

creating door in possible load bearing wall
I would like to open up a doorway in a wall that might be load bearing.

At first, I did not think it was load bearing, floor joist above is continuous and sits on a wall ~5ft away & parallel from the wall in question. But after taking down a piece of drywall to explore if there's anything in the wall, I discover that it is a 2x6 wall sitting on a footing. So now, I'm thinking it might be load bearing because it is beefed up 2x6 instead of regular 2x4, and that its on top of footing. Is there another way to determine if it's load bearing or not?

The house is a 2 story (basement below, living space above). Facing the entrance, from left to right:
left side exterior wall, foyer ~5ft wide, the 2x6 wall in question, garage w/ support posts ~6ft from the wall in question, right side exterior wall.
I can't check because garage ceiling is covered, but I am guessing that floor joists from left to right meet on the support post in the garage, but definitely are continuous over the wall in question. Directly above this wall is the center of a bedroom, so nothing weight critical.

If it is not load bearing, I am comfortable opening up a doorway. If not, I may have to call a contractor. Is a contractor able to make the necessary framing decisions for load bearing wall, or will an engineer be required?

Yoyizit 05-10-2010 04:38 PM

With no load bearing wall the ceiling above will have a sag at midspan, about 1" out of 360" of span.
If there is a load bearing wall at midspan, there will be a sag on each side of the wall.
A line stretched outside wall to outside wall will show these small deflections.

kwikfishron 05-10-2010 05:43 PM

199 Attachment(s)
Even if it’s bearing you can do it without a contractor. If all you want to do is put in a door and the wall is load bearing in a house a 4x12 solid header will do (I’m sure there may be a “RARE” exception). Assuming you have a 8’ ceiling and the floors aren’t built up with a bunch of layers your 8’ wall minus 3” for two top plates, a 11 ” 4x12 header leaves you with a standard opening for a 6’ 8” door. You can build a temporary wall to support the ceiling while you frame in your door.

Gary in WA 05-10-2010 08:43 PM

Be safe, Gary

acerunner 05-13-2010 01:26 PM

thanks gary! exactly what i'm looking for.

Gary in WA 05-13-2010 07:58 PM

You are welcome! Be sure to put solid wood blocking in the floor space to carry the load down to a bearing beam or foundation. Use the correct number of jack studs listed and metal strap the header to each side wall's top plate in case of earthquake.

Be safe, Gary

acerunner 07-05-2010 04:33 PM

3 Attachment(s)
sorry to bring up an older topic again.
I am getting closer to starting work and have some more questions.

I've attached images to better explain what I'm talking about. The 3d drawing is not to scale.

I understand using headers for larger opening. But am unsure about cutting the footing.

I see two options:
1. cut the footing only as wide as I need it. Framing will still sit on footing.
2. cut footing down to the slab. then framing can sit on slab.

A contractor suggested the wall is to support the weight of the stairs.

I would like to open up the doorway for sure. And was considering another opening for storage closet under the stairs. How would I go about it? Which is the better option?

Is cutting footings a doable job for DIYer? I think diamond blade is the way to go, but never used one before.

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