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lsimpso 05-14-2013 10:10 AM

Is this a load-bearing wall?
Please tell me what you think. I want to remove a wall from from the first floor to open the LR to the kitchen. I have a split-level house (five levels). On one side, there are three levels - basement, first floor, and second floor. The wall I want to remove is about 12 feet in length. It runs in the same direction as the floor and ceiling joists. There is a gable roof above the second floor, and the peak of the roof runs parallel to the wall I want to remove, parallel to the floor and ceiling joists. The house, between the outer walls, is about 22 feet wide.

Does this sound like a load-bearing wall? If so, what kind of professional do I need to determine what I need in the way of beams and columns if I take it down?

Thank you!

SquishyBall 05-14-2013 10:32 AM

Generally walls running parallel to the floor and ceiling joists are not load bearing. But I'm getting no visual from your description and would want to look at a plan to be sure.

GBrackins 05-14-2013 11:06 AM

Welcome to the Forum!

you say the wall runs parallel to the floor joists and ceiling joists. Is this a two-story home? I ask because of your comment "I want to remove a wall from from the first floor." If it is a two-story home how do you know which direction the second floor joist run, have you exposed them? You cannot assume they run the same direction as the first floor joists.

Some photos may aid in getting some useful feedback.

lsimpso 05-14-2013 07:14 PM

Yes, I have exposed the joists in the ceiling (for a bathroom remodel) so I know they run parallel to the wall that I want to remove.

GBrackins 05-14-2013 08:07 PM

well if no floor, ceiling, or roof is bearing upon the wall then it doesn't sound like a load bearing wall.

TarheelTerp 05-14-2013 08:36 PM


Originally Posted by lsimpso (Post 1179133)
Please tell me what you think. I want to remove a wall from from the first floor to open the LR to the kitchen.

Go down to the basement.
Find the support column(s) and beam(s) under that area of the house.
Locate where this wall is in relationship to them.

tony.g 05-15-2013 06:57 AM

Even if the joists run parallel to the wall, could it still be a shear wall providing lateral stability?
One way to check is to see what's immediately under it in the basement/crawlspace.

mae-ling 05-15-2013 10:39 AM

Having been a remodelling contractor for years I can tell you the usual things to look for, but I have also seen load bearing walls that did not follow the rules.
Load bearing walls that were 3' away from the beam in the basement, load bearing walls that ran parallel with the joists.
There are no hard and fast rules.
Yes we even had a case on this forum where many said it was not a load bearing wall, the home owner had someone come look at it and guess what - It was indeed load bearing.
To me this one is to important to call over an internet chat room. You really need someone on site to look at it.

lsimpso 05-15-2013 12:42 PM

Thank you all. I'll add that in the basement above this wall are no posts or columns at all, but there is a wall like the one I want to remove, and the same is true above this wall - there is a wall like this one on the second floor. If you were to line up the three floor plans, the walls are not directly over each other, but are about a foot apart.

The main reason I wonder if this wall on the first or middle floor is load-bearing is because of the roof. I wondered if the trusses, which would form a peak that is parallel to this wall, might rely on these three walls for support somehow. Given the 22 or so foot span from outer wall to outer wall, maybe there is a splice in the trusses that sits on the upstairs wall? Hope my question makes sense and isn't nonsensical!

I do plan to consult an expert, but want to really have a plan ahead of time for addressing this, which is why I'm asking.

lsimpso 05-15-2013 12:45 PM

oops - I meant to say in the basement BELOW the subject wall.....

mae-ling 05-15-2013 01:11 PM

The wall in the basement may (or may not) be a supporting wall.
Best thing is like you said to get someone to look at it, then decide what to do.

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