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Old 07-30-2013, 08:17 PM   #1
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Load Bearing?


So I'm considering a kitchen renovation that could involve opening up my main floor to an open concept. I know the best way is to open up a wall and take a peak, but sitting on my couch and not wanting to poke holes just yet I would like to get some opinions on whether the walls are load bearing or not.

I have a 1960's 3-level side split. The space below the main is a crawl space, and there is a peaked roof above. The joists and the trusses run in the same direction. My attached sketch shows just the main floor, the upper floor and basement are on the left side. I'm wondering if the walls in red are load bearing. I'm certain the ones running north-south are not, but I just don't know about the one running east-west. The only thing that makes me wonder it's not is that the area of the main floor that has no east-west wall has no bulkhead of any kind, the ceiling is smooth.

I'm interested to see what people think.

Thanks very much.

Floorplan (of the main level only, the second floor is off to the left of the drawing):


Outside Picture:



Last edited by millerwon; 07-31-2013 at 09:54 AM.
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Old 07-30-2013, 08:45 PM   #2
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Load Bearing?


Somebody...anybody..more qualified to give you answers will be along soon, but I like to learn and so can't help asking why a bulkhead would make a difference to whether its a load bearing or not.

Isn't the purpose of the bulkhead to hide ducts? Also, you must be Canadian. Usually the Americans call it a soffit

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Old 07-30-2013, 09:00 PM   #3
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Load Bearing?


I am Canadian

A bulkhead/soffit can hide ductwork or a beam used to carry the load to two (or more) adjacent supports.
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Old 07-30-2013, 10:24 PM   #4
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Load Bearing?


Bulkhead..... Heck.... I thought you were on a boat.

If I understand correctly, you have a second story over your left hand side of the drawing...... without breaking into drywall.... look in your crawl space looking for beams/posts/pads etc under your e/w wall or under their joists as an indicator of weight transfer down your e/w wall out to your foundation.
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Old 07-31-2013, 09:53 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by MTN REMODEL LLC View Post
Bulkhead..... Heck.... I thought you were on a boat.

If I understand correctly, you have a second story over your left hand side of the drawing...... without breaking into drywall.... look in your crawl space looking for beams/posts/pads etc under your e/w wall or under their joists as an indicator of weight transfer down your e/w wall out to your foundation.
The second story is to the left of the drawing, and does not overlap with any part of the floor plan.

In the crawl space the there is a support beam that runs perpendicular to the joists in very close alignment to the East-West wall that has posts beneath it. The support doesn't seem to very across the length (ie it's uniform across the run of the floor).

I have added a picture of the exterior of the house for clarity.
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Old 07-31-2013, 09:59 AM   #6
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Load Bearing?


If the wall in question only resides in the single level portion of your house, you should peek into the attic to see if you have trusses that span the entire width of your house or if you have ceiling joists that overlap at the wall in question.

It seems to me the only thing that wall would hold up is the roof framing. With only a 19' span I'd bet you'd have a single truss spanning the whole width but then again I dont know your snow load.

Please post pictures of the inside of the house and of the attic.
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Old 08-20-2013, 10:46 PM   #7
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Okay, that took longer than expected.

Here is a picture of the attic. Those supports seem to come down directly on the corner of the interior wall. I guess that means it's load bearing and I am out of luck. Does that make sense?

I just don't understand why they bothered to support such a small part of the roof on that one spot.

Last edited by millerwon; 08-20-2013 at 10:49 PM.
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Old 08-21-2013, 10:09 AM   #8
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Load Bearing?


a load bearing wall can be removed by supporting the load with a beam. you could enlist the aid of a professional engineer to determine your load paths and the size/type of beam necessary to remove the load bearing wall.

interior load bearing walls are used to simplify construction. A truss roof would have eliminated the need for an interior bearing wall, however some builders prefer to stick frame everything.
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Old 08-21-2013, 11:02 AM   #9
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a load bearing wall can be removed by supporting the load with a beam. you could enlist the aid of a professional engineer to determine your load paths and the size/type of beam necessary to remove the load bearing wall.

interior load bearing walls are used to simplify construction. A truss roof would have eliminated the need for an interior bearing wall, however some builders prefer to stick frame everything.
Thanks Gary. My ceilings are only 8' so I think adding a beam and boxing it in would make the room look too small and detract from the open concept idea. Unless the beam goes in the attic... But get the load transfer into the interior and exterior wall and down to the basement could be tricky at that point. Much less getting a beam of that size into the attic...
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Old 08-21-2013, 11:22 AM   #10
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Load Bearing?


Here is a picture of the attic. Those supports seem to come down directly on the corner of the interior wall. I guess that means it's load bearing and I am out of luck. Does that make sense?



Which supports are you referring to?
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Old 08-21-2013, 11:38 AM   #11
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Load Bearing?


a beam can be cut into the ceiling joists with an excess (if beam is taller than joists) going above the ceiling joists into the attic space. typically use joists hangers to connect to beam.

the only issue when doing a beam in this manner is to install tension ties such as metal strap ties that connect opposing ceiling joists so that the ceiling joists/hangers do not pull away from the beam from lateral loads such as wind.

again, a professional engineer will design all this for you
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Old 08-21-2013, 08:29 PM   #12
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Load Bearing?


Really need someone onsite to look at it.

If it is load bearing and you do not want a beam showing you can do a beam above in the attic and hang from it or be flush.
An experienced renovation carpenter could give you sound advice.
Would probably need structural engineer to sign off on it.

HAHAHA - What Gary said above - somehow I missed his post.
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Old 08-21-2013, 08:37 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mae-ling View Post
somehow I missed his post.
YOU MISSED MY POST!!! OMG!

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