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Old 12-10-2012, 01:01 PM   #1
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Load bearing wall???


Hey everyone-

I'm getting ready to remodel a kitchen and I want to take out a wall between the current area and the dining room. I don't THINK it is load-bearing, but I am not sure. Here is what I know:

1) The wall runs parallel to the floor joists.
2) There is no wall above or below it (ie, on 2nd floor or in basement)
3) There is a pocket door in the wall currently.
4) There is a 36" opening in the wall currently.
5) When you take out the opening and the pocket door, there is only about 30" of wall left.

All of the above leads me to believe that it is non-load bearing. I know that I need to get a professional opinion, too, but is there anything I am missing???

Thanks!

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Old 12-10-2012, 01:09 PM   #2
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Load bearing wall???


I think you are correct. It's pretty hard to be load bearing running parallel to the floor joists.

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Old 12-10-2012, 02:37 PM   #3
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Load bearing wall???


Take it out. The fact that there is no wall directly above, and its running with the joists means its just a partition wall. Hint, you may want to leave the top 2 x 4, and box down with stained 1 x 10 pine on both sides, and 1 x4 pine about a 1/2 inch up from the bottom. run electric through this fake Beam and mount directional lighting on the beam to light the cantilevered countertop with seating you are going to return under the beam. I did this, it came out great, and I didnt have to finish the ceiling
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Old 12-10-2012, 02:59 PM   #4
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Load bearing wall???


No wall above = no load. As long as the joists at the top and bottom are supported by something other than the wall in question, you should be OK.
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Old 12-10-2012, 03:20 PM   #5
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Load bearing wall???


When you say that the joists at the top and bottom need to be supported by something other than the wall in question, what do you mean? I'm a bit of a novice at this stuff, so sorry if it is a dumb question.

From what I can tell, the joists are supported by the external walls as well as a load bearing "spine" wall that runs down the middle of the house. Are there other supports I should be looking for?

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No wall above = no load. As long as the joists at the top and bottom are supported by something other than the wall in question, you should be OK.
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Old 12-10-2012, 03:34 PM   #6
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Load bearing wall???


In most houses, there is a main girder that runs down the longitudinal middle of the house. The first floor joists run from the sole plate of the foundation, and rest on top of the main girder. The girder can be a steel I beam with a wood plate attached to it a laminated 2x or a glulam beam. The wall that runs down the center of your house bears the weight of the second floor joists that run from the top of the framed exterior walls to that center wall. Interior walls that run parallel to the floor joists where there is no wall above do not bear any load, so you are OK to remove them.
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Old 12-10-2012, 04:55 PM   #7
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Load bearing wall???


is this a one story home? does the wall run parallel with the ceiling joists? (if no second floor)
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Old 12-10-2012, 10:15 PM   #8
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Load bearing wall???


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When you say that the joists at the top and bottom need to be supported by something other than the wall in question, what do you mean? I'm a bit of a novice at this stuff, so sorry if it is a dumb question.

From what I can tell, the joists are supported by the external walls as well as a load bearing "spine" wall that runs down the middle of the house. Are there other supports I should be looking for?
Your lack of knowledge leads me to answer - Get someone to look at it.
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Old 12-11-2012, 07:50 AM   #9
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Load bearing wall???


It is a 2 story home with a basement.

The wall runs parallel to the floor joists (i.e., between the 1st floor and basement).

Not sure about the joists between the first floor and 2nd floor...

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is this a one story home? does the wall run parallel with the ceiling joists? (if no second floor)
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Old 12-11-2012, 09:58 AM   #10
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Load bearing wall???


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Originally Posted by agsmith View Post
It is a 2 story home with a basement.

The wall runs parallel to the floor joists (i.e., between the 1st floor and basement).

Not sure about the joists between the first floor and 2nd floor...

that is the last part of the puzzle. if the upper floor joists land on the wall... it is load bearing. you can also pull some drywall off of the wall and look at the headers in the wall over the openings, if they are heavy duty headers then chances are they are holding some weight...

if upstairs is carpeted you can bang on the floor and find the joists, it sounds hollow between the joists and solid over top the joists and the solid sound should be every 16" or 24" spaced from each other...
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Old 12-11-2012, 10:30 AM   #11
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Load bearing wall???


I hadn't heard that before. If a wall is balanced directly on top of a joist, that means that it is load bearing?

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that is the last part of the puzzle. if the upper floor joists land on the wall... it is load bearing. you can also pull some drywall off of the wall and look at the headers in the wall over the openings, if they are heavy duty headers then chances are they are holding some weight...

if upstairs is carpeted you can bang on the floor and find the joists, it sounds hollow between the joists and solid over top the joists and the solid sound should be every 16" or 24" spaced from each other...
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Old 12-11-2012, 10:42 AM   #12
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I hadn't heard that before. If a wall is balanced directly on top of a joist, that means that it is load bearing?
I just re read some of the posts here, since you do not have special re enforcement under the wall in the basement ( girders,piers,etc..) and the wall runs parallel with the first floor joists then the upper floor joists should in no way land on that wall. does the wall land on and follow a joist in the first floor? Even inside partition walls get a double joist put under them when I frame a floor system, at the least a single joist should be under the wall.
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Old 12-11-2012, 11:29 AM   #13
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Load bearing wall???


The ceiling joists (Second floor floor joists) for a two story colonial usually run in the same direction as your first floor floor joists. A joist is usually doubled when a wall is placed directly above. You said that where you are tearing out this wall, which runs parallel to the floor joists, there is no wall above on the second floor, right? It is safe to remove the wall, which is going to be extra wide to accommodate the pocket door, as long as your house was framed in the usual way. Can you get ahold of the framing plans? Look up the model?
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Old 12-11-2012, 12:15 PM   #14
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Load bearing wall???


agsmith,

very simply if the second floor joists are perpendicular to the wall then it is load bearing, if parallel to the wall then it should not be load bearing. It is true as jagans said that second floor joists USUALLY run the same direction as the first floor, however I have seen them in many cases run differently.

it is true that a load bearing wall should have a beam or support wall located in the basement to transfer those loads to the ground, however I have seen these features missing in some cases.

It is always best to have someone knowledgeable on-site to verify existing conditions. Open up the ceiling (start small then larger as needed) to verify the direction of the second floor joists.

Good luck!
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Old 12-11-2012, 02:12 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GBrackins View Post
agsmith,

very simply if the second floor joists are perpendicular to the wall then it is load bearing, if parallel to the wall then it should not be load bearing. It is true as jagans said that second floor joists USUALLY run the same direction as the first floor, however I have seen them in many cases run differently.

it is true that a load bearing wall should have a beam or support wall located in the basement to transfer those loads to the ground, however I have seen these features missing in some cases.

It is always best to have someone knowledgeable on-site to verify existing conditions. Open up the ceiling (start small then larger as needed) to verify the direction of the second floor joists.

Good luck!

exactly, I was mentioning to bang on the floor upstairs to find the direction of the joists but banging on the ceiling from the first floor is an even better way to find which the joists for the upstairs floor are running... even then though the upstairs joists may run across the wall and be spanned to hold their own weight from the exterior walls so that does not always determine a load bearing wall either...


Last edited by hand drive; 12-11-2012 at 02:14 PM.
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