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iggy913 07-27-2010 07:46 AM

Load Bearing Wall Issue?
Good morning all, I have a question about removing a load bearing wall in my home I'd like to get some help on.

Currently when you walk in my home I have a 14x14 sitting room with a wall on the back side of it, behind this wall is my living room which is nearly a mirror of the first room in size, maybe slightly bigger. I would like to remove this wall between the two rooms giving me one big entry/sitting/living room area.

The length of the wall to be removed is 13ft, it will be supported on each end by a short wall running perpendicular to the 13ft span, l---l I understand I can just put up a properly sized LVL and support it at each end like my makeshift drawing in the last line, but that would leave me with a 10-12' drop in my ceiling where the beam will go. It's right about where my couch will go, so you would stand up off the couch and there would be that dropped down area directly overhead, not the best option aesthetically.

What option do I have for putting something in the attic overhead and supporting the same span, to make the ceiling look smooth between the two rooms? My home is a 1600sq ft ranch with nothing over the top of this wall other than attic space. The roof is held up with trusses. I'm pretty positive it's load bearing since the trusses run perpendicular to this short wall. The total length of the span for the trusses is appx. 30ft and this wall I want to remove splits that distance equally.

I was initially thinking of cutting the bottom chord and putting a beam in the middle and supporting the trusses with a saddle type support secured to the beam and trusses but have found that cutting the trusses is a serious no-no. Is there anything I can put over the bottom chord of the trusses and support at each end to hold the trusses in place or am I stuck with a drop in my ceiling?

Gary in WA 07-28-2010 06:45 PM

Consult a Structural Engineer. The center wall sounds like the trusses have a point loaded strut and are built to bear there. DO NOT CUT any trusses. Your center wall is also keeping the end (gable) walls from bowing out or in . They are probably shear panels or at least nailed for that resistance to lateral forces. Sizing the beam, hangers, shear wall fasteners, load paths, new footing size, positive ties to walls, footings, trusses are just some things to consider. And the loads, 25# roof load X 25' span 15' roof span of trusses = 9400# potential load, USE a S.E., and go from there. Get a permit so your H.O. Insurance will honor any future claim.

Be safe, Gary

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