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jsunsun 01-20-2013 02:24 PM

How to add temporary support to this wall (to open up this wall)?
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I'm looking to knock out the wall shown in the picture. I was told by my structural engineer that this isn't really a load bearing wall, as it's not supporting the floor upstairs, however is still supporting the "wall" immediately above it on the 2nd floor. Therefore I will still need to add a beam if I wish to knock out this wall.

On the image, the red arrows shown the orientation of ceiling joists.

As I understand, to add a temporary support wall for typical load-bearing wall (where joist are perpendicular to the wall), one would build temporary supports parallel to the wall, and on both sides. However, this wall, on one side (kitchen), the joists are parallel to this wall, while on the other side is an open ceiling. For this situation, how would I add a temporary support there in order to install a beam so I can open up this wall?

Directly above the doorway (on the side with the open ceiling), there is a floor above it (2nd floor lobby), I guess I can add a typical temporary support there parallel to the wall while installing a beam spaning all the way across (shown in black on image)?

Thanks all!

joecaption 01-20-2013 02:37 PM

Only a fool would take the word of someone on the net on any site that's never been there, it could be anyone from a 14 year old, little old lady ECT. replying to your question.
Going to need a real on site engineer spec this one out.
Sure looks like that wall would have to be a supporting wall to me.

danpik 01-20-2013 02:51 PM

You will need to open up the drywall on the wall to see what is going on in there. MOst likely there is a header above the existing door. That would have to be removed and a new longer one installed to span the new opening. A cleat lagged to the wall above the opening could be used to put supports under it. I would get the wall opened up and have your engineer come back and look at it with you.

I am neither a 14 year old nor a little old lady

Daniel Holzman 01-20-2013 03:57 PM

So perhaps I am missing something. You had a "structural engineer" come out to look at the project. Did your structural engineer say this was "not really a load bearing wall"? Or is that your interpretation of what the structural engineer said? If the wall is supporting more than its own weight, which by your description (it is supporting the wall above it) it is, then it is a bearing wall. Presumably your structural engineer sized the header as part of his work assignment.

Temporary support is typically the responsibility of the contractor, unless the structural engineer of record assumes the responsibility to design the temporary support, which would be an extra cost service, and not typical. I have never designed temporary support on a residential project, I leave that to an experienced, competent contract, who assumes responsibility for the design, installation and removal of temporary support as part of their work.

That said, temporary support in your case can be a bit tricky, especially since the load being carried by the header has apparently not been computed. I would start there, by discussing in detail with your structural engineer exactly how much load that beam is going to carry. Then discuss with your contract how he plans to temporarily support the load during construction. If you are going to do this job yourself, you may want to pay the structural engineer additional fee to design the temporary support for you, as previously noted by others designing temporary support on a load bearing wall by internet chat room committee is a bad idea.

Joe Carola 01-20-2013 06:49 PM


Originally Posted by jsunsun (Post 1097938)
I was told by my structural engineer that this isn't really a load bearing wall, as it's not supporting the floor upstairs, however is still supporting the "wall" immediately above it on the 2nd floor.

Thanks all!

That makes no sense at all. Explain that. No structural engineer would say such a thing. It's supporting the wall above it....its a structural wall...plain and simple !

gregzoll 01-20-2013 06:53 PM

That would actually be "Balloon" framing for a wall of that height. That means that you could either have 2x4's from floor to ceiling, or they could have traditionally framed it, with the wall above resting on the sub floor. Either way, you are going to have to have a beam spec'd out for that opening, and the net cannot do it.

jsunsun 01-20-2013 08:00 PM

Yeah the structural engineer I hired explained to me, and as I understood it, it's technically not a "load-bearing" wall as it's not supporting any of the floor joists. But it is still supporting/bearing the weight of the wall on the 2nd floor (since this is an open ceiling).

I'm only paraphrasing what the engineer told me to my best ability. Perhaps he did call it a "structural wall", but I don't recall for sure.

So I guess the concensus is that this is not a simple job, so I'll definitely consult with the structural engineer to come up with some drawings and specs. Thanks all!

gregzoll 01-20-2013 09:36 PM

Show us where in that picture you posted, that to the left of the balcony, there is something else supporting the floor joists, for the floor at the second level. If you can find the builder that built the house, they can tell you before they even step foot on the property, that wall opening is not going to be easy, unless you have someone that knows what they are doing, to brace the floor above, while you create the opening, install the header & King studs on both sides.

You may find that this is going to be a bigger project than you realize, and should let the professionals come in and do the reframing. There is no problem with you doing the prep work, by tearing down the gypsum board for the new opening, but that is as far as I would go on this project.

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