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Old 02-18-2014, 12:57 PM   #1
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Is this Knee Wall Load Bearing

I'm adding some knee wall storage that will require me to move some of the vertical studs. I'm trying to figure out if I need to go through the trouble of installing a temporary support wall while I'm doing so. Can anyone identify if the knee wall is load bearing? 1920's house, joisted masonry exterior walls. Thanks.
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Old 02-18-2014, 03:07 PM   #2
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A knee wall was usually built either to improve the utilization of space in the attic, or to provide intermediate support for the rafters. In order to tell if the knee wall has any structural significance, you need to check if the existing rafters are large enough to support the roof load without the knee wall. This is normally done by checking the rafter tables in your code book, and making sure that the connection between the rafters and the floor joists is adequate.

If the rafters are big enough and properly spaced, and correctly tied to the floor joists at the wall, you can remove part of the knee wall, relocate the studs, or do whatever you need. If the rafters are not properly sized, you cannot remove the knee wall without proper framing to substitute for it. Your building inspector can probably help you understand if the rafters are sufficient to allow you to remove the knee wall, or relocate individual studs in it.


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Old 02-18-2014, 04:56 PM   #3
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Thanks Dan.

I would, based on the size of that lumber, guess them to certainly be helping the structure for certain.
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Old 03-03-2014, 08:16 PM   #4
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My attic is structured the same and yes, they are load bearing, providing support to the rafters to eliminate sag.
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knee wall , load bearing , wall studs

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