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Old 02-17-2008, 12:11 AM   #1
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How do you tell if a wall is load-bearing?


Without consulting an architect/engineer/soothsayer, how can you tell if a wall is load bearing or not?

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Old 02-17-2008, 01:24 AM   #2
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How do you tell if a wall is load-bearing?


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Originally Posted by wfischer View Post
Without consulting an architect/engineer/soothsayer, how can you tell if a wall is load bearing or not?
common sense, and whats riding above it

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Old 02-17-2008, 08:04 AM   #3
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How do you tell if a wall is load-bearing?


Usually a load bearing wall is any wall that is running perpindicular (opposite) to the joists above it. In my home I can also tell which wall is load bearing buy the construction of the wall. Some of my walls are built with 2x3 studs and others are built with 2x4s. You can tell this by looking at the jamb of an interior door. A 2x3 wall will have a interior door jamb width of approximately 4 inches while a 2x4 wall will have a measurement of approximately 5 inches. In my home, the 2x4 walls are load bearing and they always run opposite the joists above them.

Hope this helps.
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Old 02-17-2008, 08:45 AM   #4
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How do you tell if a wall is load-bearing?


As said. MOST of the time the first clue is that the wall is perpendicular to the ceiling joists. Also look at the ceiling joists that cross the wall in question, if they are spliced/lapped in any fashion at that wall, it is a definate bearing wall. Even if the wall is parallel to the joists, look for any braces coming down from the roof line intersections or under the ridge board, that it could be supporting. If it is not easily pretty clear in your mind, it may be worth paying a local contractor or carpenter a few dollars to go up in the attic with you and look. In most instances support can be incorrectly removed without an instant catastrophic failure, and you will not realize it until much later in time when the extra stress begins to show up in the form of subtle cracks in the drywall/plaster, the ridgeline of the house slowly begins to sag over a few years, doors begin to stick as the house "settles" etc.
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