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denemante 08-01-2013 02:04 PM

is a kneewall load-bearing?
There's a 5-foot high kneewall in my son's room I want to remove. Above it is the slant of the roof which continues down and away from behind the kneewall to the eaves.

The roof joists look like 2x6s. Once I get in there, any way for me to look at the top of the kneewall from behind it and see if it's loadbearing? Like if it's just a 2x4 across the top, it might just be a nailer so safe to remove the wall?

There is nothing on the story under this room - it's the garage. So the kneewall is above air in the garage below it.

Related - if the kneewall needs to be there - I could run a header across then use pillars, still providing an open feel. But then I've got a big header instead of the slope of the roof smoothly going to the floor.

Or finally - could I move the kneewall back? So it's perhaps only 1.5 feet high? It would be much closer to the eave, but still supporting the roof.


joecaption 08-01-2013 02:39 PM

Why would you want to do that? Just going to create useless space. With a 5' knee wall you can place furniture there.
Depending on the length of the rafter run and your snow loads it could very well be a supporting wall.

GBrackins 08-01-2013 03:34 PM

is there a bird's mouth cut in the rafters when they sit on top of the knee wall, or are the studs for the knee wall just nailed to the sides of the rafters.

denemante 08-02-2013 10:06 AM

I'll check exactly what it looks like and take some pics as soon as I can and report back.

Yes, a kneewall allows for you to place furniture. This is for my son's room. The room is about 10x13 (with 13' being the length of the kneewall. We don't need to put furniture against it. Removing it would create about 6 feet more floorsplace, making the room about 16x13.

It's true - and adult couldn't stand over there under the slant of the roof. But an adult could sit there - and a kid could play there. It would just open things up a bit.

Related - I thought about cutting two entrances through the kneewall and making a little finished cubby back there instead - like a nook....

MT Stringer 08-02-2013 10:58 AM


Related - I thought about cutting two entrances through the kneewall and making a little finished cubby back there instead - like a nook....
Ah ha! You have been watching too much TV! :-) But that might be a good solution for the little guy. He would love it for sure if it was insulated.

hand drive 08-05-2013 07:28 AM

5' is minimum we are allowed for the knee walls here in attic remodels so that is why it is 5' but you can cut in an opening. consider that it is attic space behind the knee wall and exposing that to the room will cause issues, we always use exterior sealed access doors to get into the attic space behind the knee wall. in your case you could do a sealed double exterior access door maybe 4' total with 2 -24" doors that can possibly open/swing into the room,maybe even two larger doors. Our headers for the access doors usually go tight to underside of rafters and consits of a 2x4 laid flat or turned upright because the rafters do not need a real header and space/height is maximized for the door way with the door trim butted up to the angled ceiling. you will still have to check if your knee wall is part of the structure holding up your rafters but chances are the wall is built in as a knee wall only...

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