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Old 08-28-2013, 08:54 AM   #1
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load bearing wall


Hello All,
This is my first post, at least for a long time, but it's sure to be the first of many. Thank you in advance for any help you can provide.

We just bought an old house, mid 1920's, that we will renovate. One thing we want to do is remove of a header that segments off 5' by the exterior wall in a 16.5' long kitchen. This header is a remnant of a wall that had a breakfast nook and pantry on the other side. The wall runs perpendicular to the ceiling joists; however, it ends at a wall that runs parallel to the joists, and neither has a wall below it in the basement. Under what conditions could this still be a load bearing wall?

More points of interest:
1) the adjacent dinning room, which starts at the same exterior wall, does not have a wall 5' in; however the ceiling span is only 13' in the dinning room.

2) above the kitchen is the bathroom, which contains maybe a ton of concrete and the joists are notched; double joists on 16" centers.

3) the header in question is 8" thick and has an electrical outlet on it

Any thought/advice are welcome!

thanks again
-M

Last edited by curiousburke; 08-28-2013 at 08:58 AM.
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Old 08-28-2013, 09:04 AM   #2
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load bearing wall


Some pictures would help. Do the floor joists under, also go perpendicular? If so, is there a wall or girder below within 2 feet of it?
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Old 08-28-2013, 09:58 AM   #3
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Some pictures would help. Do the floor joists under, also go perpendicular? If so, is there a wall or girder below within 2 feet of it?
sorry, I'm doing this from floor plans, so no pics. Not 100% sure about the floor joist, but I think they are the same direction. No wall within 2 feet, excpet maybe for a small section near the edge of the room.
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Old 08-28-2013, 11:28 AM   #4
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sorry, I'm doing this from floor plans, so no pics.
I just realized, that's confusing. We are in contract but not closed yet.
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Old 08-28-2013, 01:54 PM   #5
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load bearing wall


if it isn't clear cut then you have to know a little about load transfer in order to figure it out.

1) what is it supporting above?

A sketch will help tremendously. Guys work better off of a map. Ladies do well with written directions. Thats just life. Anything you can draw and post will give us a great starting point.
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Old 08-28-2013, 02:15 PM   #6
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this is a screen shot from some free floor plan software I've been playing with. The kitchen is the main room, with the dinning room to the right. The wall in question is the thick one running left-to-right in the kitchen.

Upstairs, the bathroom sits above the kitchen, which I assume is a big load. The tub is just north of the large beam, and north of that is tile over concrete.

Other than the wall/header in question, I'm not sure about the other wall thicknesses; it's just from memory.
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load bearing wall-kitchendinningroomcrop.jpg  

Last edited by curiousburke; 08-28-2013 at 02:18 PM.
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Old 08-28-2013, 04:20 PM   #7
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So you are saying your joists run from plan North to Plan south in the kitchen / pantry area (perpendicular to wall in question) and they span 16.5'?
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Old 08-28-2013, 04:24 PM   #8
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The electrical outlet throws me off a bit. If there is indeed all that weight above it that wall could have been built to help support sagging joists. if you want to take it out or do something with it anyway I'd take the drywall or plaster off of it and examine the framing. if there is nothing below it taking the load to foundation then it has to be supported by the exterior wall and the other interior wall.

But you said there is nothing structurally supporting the interior wall traveling N-S.

One of two thing, either it is a supporting wall that wasn't properly taken to foundation support or it isn't load bearing. Either way the only way to find out is to do a little sleuthing. Once you take possession post some pictures and we can help you further.
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Old 08-28-2013, 07:27 PM   #9
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So you are saying your joists run from plan North to Plan south in the kitchen / pantry area (perpendicular to wall in question) and they span 16.5'?
yes, but there is that header
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Old 08-28-2013, 07:27 PM   #10
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The electrical outlet throws me off a bit. If there is indeed all that weight above it that wall could have been built to help support sagging joists. if you want to take it out or do something with it anyway I'd take the drywall or plaster off of it and examine the framing. if there is nothing below it taking the load to foundation then it has to be supported by the exterior wall and the other interior wall.

But you said there is nothing structurally supporting the interior wall traveling N-S.

One of two thing, either it is a supporting wall that wasn't properly taken to foundation support or it isn't load bearing. Either way the only way to find out is to do a little sleuthing. Once you take possession post some pictures and we can help you further.
okay, this is what I was thinking too. I guess it's just wait and see.

eventually, I hope to remove all the concrete and lighten the load, so maybe that will be job #1
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