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Old 10-17-2010, 10:27 PM   #1
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I need advice on removing a wall


My house is square with a bedroom at each corner and a shared closet between each bedroom. I am thinking about removing the closets and making two large rooms instead of 4 9x12 rooms. I am unsure if the walls are load bearing and if i need permits or inspectors or anything to come out before doing the work. None of the walls I am thinking of removing have plumbing, gas, or electrical running through them. Any advice on how to go about finding out if they are load bearing or not. If it helps I made a drawing of the layout. The walls I want to take out are crossed off in red.


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Old 10-18-2010, 01:25 AM   #2
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I need advice on removing a wall


Check the direction of the ceiling joists. If they sit on the walls in question then they are load bearing.

If the joists on the wall are the bottom chord of the roof truss then the walls may or may not be load bearing, an inspector needs to look at them to determine that.

If the ceiling joists are in the other direction it means that they are not set on these walls then the wall is not load bearing.
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Old 10-18-2010, 10:10 AM   #3
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I need advice on removing a wall


Ok so they are load bearing walls. Would it be stable enough to open up walkways through the walls but leave a couple feet on either side and on the top?
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Old 10-18-2010, 11:14 AM   #4
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I need advice on removing a wall


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Ok so they are load bearing walls. Would it be stable enough to open up walkways through the walls but leave a couple feet on either side and on the top?
With a properly sized header above the walkway opening you would be alright.
Your local building inspector or a structural engineer would know which header to use.
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Old 10-18-2010, 11:38 AM   #5
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I need advice on removing a wall


You can also run a beam in the attic above the ceiling joists and tie the ceiling joist to the beam. The ends of the beam must have a support to sit on top of the plate of the walls that will stay. There must be support below where the ends of the beam rest on the walls. Hopefully this is not too confusing.
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Old 10-18-2010, 12:36 PM   #6
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I need advice on removing a wall


These walls are keeping the exterior wall from flexing in or out in a high wind or seismic area. As mentioned, contact a S.E. to see if removal is possible and any additional strengthening is needed. Positive ties to ceiling joists/rafters to walls below, additional shear panels (plywood) on other walls or ceiling joists to counter the new transmitted possible forces, etc. A visit may be needed to check the ceiling material, connections, etc. anything that would help keep the wall from moving and tape joints from cracking without the old walls. It depends on your location for most of these concerns, ask your Building department. I'd go with the doorway which you could always fill in later at house sale.

Gary

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