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Old 12-21-2010, 12:37 PM   #1
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Load Bearing Wall / Additional Support Needed???


Hello,

We want to create an opening between our living room and our kitchen area. I have cut open the one side of the wall to take a look inside to determine what work will need to be done. There are 3 studs that will need to be cut. I have attached a few pictures and can take more if necessary just let me know.

I plan to cut an opening that is 5 feet wide by 3 feet tall. To the one side is an existing doorway that has two 2x4x8's that will remain between that doorway and the new opening. The other side (closet/pantry) will remain as is. Directly below this wall in the basement there is no direct support to the foundation as seen in the attached storage room pic.

I have also attached a few exterior pics so you can get an idea of the roof and how it would be supported, the house is an L shape.

The question I have is will I need to add additional studs for support on either or both sides of the new opening?
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Load Bearing Wall / Additional Support Needed???-035.jpg   Load Bearing Wall / Additional Support Needed???-037.jpg   Load Bearing Wall / Additional Support Needed???-036.jpg   Load Bearing Wall / Additional Support Needed???-039.jpg   Load Bearing Wall / Additional Support Needed???-back.jpg  

Load Bearing Wall / Additional Support Needed???-front.jpg  

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Last edited by bainer1290; 12-21-2010 at 12:43 PM.
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Old 12-21-2010, 01:24 PM   #2
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Load Bearing Wall / Additional Support Needed???


Does not appear to be load bearing from what I can see.
Here's how I would build if it's not load bearing:
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Load Bearing Wall / Additional Support Needed???-wall_640x611.jpg   Load Bearing Wall / Additional Support Needed???-wall_2_640x611.jpg  

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Old 12-21-2010, 06:00 PM   #3
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Load Bearing Wall / Additional Support Needed???


Nick,

Thanks for the advice and drawing that is great!

Is there anything else I can check to confirm it is not load bearing?

Thanks again
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Old 12-21-2010, 08:39 PM   #4
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Load Bearing Wall / Additional Support Needed???


Hi

It's not load bearing, so stop wasting your time!

Not wishing to cause any offence, but the only concern I have is that the sketch provided show's the header as 4x2 on edge with a packing piece, whereas you would be ok with 4x2 head and foot plates laid flat and screwed/nailed to stubbs of studs, you will need these in place to stop the remaining sections of stud floating in thin air. Once you have trimmed out the opening cut out the section of plasterboard to the living room side, you will then need to add a lining 11/4" thick (softwood or hardwood your choice - your pocket!) and trim out facing sides with a profiled section of architrave.

One problem you may have is fixing into the unsurported edges of the plasterboard to overcome this fix pieces of 2x1 (flat)to the head and foot plates (both sides - 2 x 2" = 4") so that they drop in behind the plasterboard then fix the edges of the plasterboard to the 2x1, ideally fixings need to be around 6" centres.

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Old 12-21-2010, 08:51 PM   #5
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Load Bearing Wall / Additional Support Needed???


Even better, thanks for the info!
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Old 12-21-2010, 08:57 PM   #6
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Load Bearing Wall / Additional Support Needed???


It appears to be holding up the ceiling joists (center bearing) as the house is about 24' span, wall to wall? That wall runs perpendicular to the rafters. Check in the attic for trusses or rafters.If trusses, you are good to go. Rafters, add a header.

Check if the floor joists above the stair side wall (opening) in the photo are doubled. Example: Page 6, middle picture: http://www.cciccweb.org/files/Framing.pdf

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Old 12-21-2010, 09:48 PM   #7
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Load Bearing Wall / Additional Support Needed???


I believe the house has rafters, I attached a few pics from in the attic (not lots of room up there...), a few of under the stairs (didn't follow what you meant by doubled up, sorry...)

From what I saw in the attic the roof would not be supported by this wall, but the ceiling would be. So does this mean I need to install 2x4 header like the one in the drawing above from Nick?
Attached Thumbnails
Load Bearing Wall / Additional Support Needed???-040.jpg   Load Bearing Wall / Additional Support Needed???-044.jpg   Load Bearing Wall / Additional Support Needed???-046.jpg   Load Bearing Wall / Additional Support Needed???-047.jpg   Load Bearing Wall / Additional Support Needed???-048.jpg  

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Old 12-21-2010, 09:50 PM   #8
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Load Bearing Wall / Additional Support Needed???


Also drew a quick floor plan up to give you a better idea of layout. From the exterior kitchen wall to the wall I want to cut the opening in is about 14 feet and from the living room/garage wall to the wall I want to cut the opening in is about 23 feet.
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Last edited by bainer1290; 12-21-2010 at 09:53 PM.
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Old 12-22-2010, 01:05 PM   #9
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Load Bearing Wall / Additional Support Needed???


Quote:
Originally Posted by bainer1290 View Post
I believe the house has rafters, I attached a few pics from in the attic (not lots of room up there...), a few of under the stairs (didn't follow what you meant by doubled up, sorry...)

From what I saw in the attic the roof would not be supported by this wall, but the ceiling would be. So does this mean I need to install 2x4 header like the one in the drawing above from Nick?
If the wall is holding up your ceiling joists, yes, you need a header. And it is likely that you will need more than two 2x4's for the header. I finished a similar project last year and used this method (thanks This Old House!)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R6anG...30840&index=47

This method may not directly work in your case but it can probably be modified to work. If you do use this method, you'll probably want to cut the studs from the living room side but just make sure that you aren't damaging anything in the soffit in the kitchen. Also, if the wall you want to cut supports the ceiling joists from the kitchen and from the living room, make sure you support your ceiling on both sides (kitchen and living room) when you cut the studs.

However, looking at your drawing, I doubt the ceiling joists in the living room run the long 23'. They probably go perpendicular to the 23' side of the room. Just look in your attic to double check.

Last edited by loftezy; 12-22-2010 at 01:11 PM. Reason: clarification
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Old 12-22-2010, 01:19 PM   #10
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Load Bearing Wall / Additional Support Needed???


I was able to get my arm up in the wall and into the soffit which allowed me to feel the top plate of the wall, it is a doubled up 2x4. The ceiling joists are attached to the top of the top plate just off center to the studs so there will be 3 of them that need support.

So for a header I would need to go with a doubled up 2x6? Or would a doubled up 2x4 be sufficient? Or no header needed at all?

Last edited by bainer1290; 12-22-2010 at 01:34 PM.
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Old 12-22-2010, 01:54 PM   #11
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Load Bearing Wall / Additional Support Needed???


Quote:
Originally Posted by loftezy View Post
However, looking at your drawing, I doubt the ceiling joists in the living room run the long 23'. They probably go perpendicular to the 23' side of the room. Just look in your attic to double check.
It's tough to see in the attic as my access is nowhere near his area, but from what I can feel on the top plate there are no ceiling joists on the living room side so I would agree with you. So this means the wall only supports the ceiling in the kitchen...

So does that change anything?
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Old 12-22-2010, 02:14 PM   #12
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Load Bearing Wall / Additional Support Needed???


Quote:
Originally Posted by bainer1290 View Post
It's tough to see in the attic as my access is nowhere near his area, but from what I can feel on the top plate there are no ceiling joists on the living room side so I would agree with you. So this means the wall only supports the ceiling in the kitchen...

So does that change anything?
It does change things but only for the better. It means that you won't have to temporarily support the ceiling in the living room while you cut the studs - although, it won't hurt to support ceiling on both sides if you aren't absolutely sure about the ceiling joists.

You do need a header and you should use this table to size it correctly. Let me know if you need help reading the table.
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Old 12-22-2010, 03:43 PM   #13
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Load Bearing Wall / Additional Support Needed???


The width of the window I am creating will be 4'9" so based on the table above I would need a double 2x8 header, is that correct? How many 2x4's are required to hold up each end of the header?

A double 2x8 for under 5 feet seems a bit much for just supporting ceiling joists, I could see if it was holding up roof as well, but the rafters look after that part... Am I missing something?

Thanks again for the help.
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Old 12-22-2010, 03:56 PM   #14
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Load Bearing Wall / Additional Support Needed???


You are reading the table correct - it may seem like an overkill but that is what the IBC table is telling you. Besides, the material for the header will be under $20.

You need one jack stud on each end of the header. What are you going to do with the wire that goes from the attic to the light switch in the kitchen? It will be in the way of the new jack stud unless you put a new king stud in first.
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Old 12-22-2010, 04:26 PM   #15
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Load Bearing Wall / Additional Support Needed???


True if those are the standards then that is the way to go, plus 2x8's give more support so why not...

The wiring needs to remain where it is so I was going to put in a new king stud on that side. I did cut the opening a little far on that side so I will need to fix that up to finish it.

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