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Old 12-30-2008, 01:08 PM   #1
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Load bearing wall or not?


I came across this forum while on google looking for structures of load bearing walls. I'm trying to open up my living room into the next room and this wall used to have an opening for french doors. I runs parallel to the floor joists to the floor above me. And the structure between my ceiling and the floor above me that supports the upper floor are from what I've researched called "engineered trusses" Here is a picture of the framework. The structure behind the tv was something I put in and not part of the original framework.









I think I'll have to snap a picture of the trusses when I open the ceiling to put in my lighting. That might help. I know that above that wall is a fireplace. Closer to the left side anyway. That span is about 8 feet of wall there so yeah that's about it. If it has to come down to hiring an engineer then I'm not gonna go through that trouble and just fill the wall back in. If anyone can shed some light. Let me know. Thanks.

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Old 12-30-2008, 01:26 PM   #2
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Load bearing wall or not?


I'm not an expert!

Which way do the ceiling joists run? parallel to this wall?

at first glance I would say not load bearing. but it could be that the person who filled in the french doors just didn't do it correctly. above that opening, if it were a load bearing wall, I would expect a fully engineered header.

hopefully some experts pipe in and let us know what the answer is.

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Old 12-30-2008, 01:26 PM   #3
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Load bearing wall or not?


How much of it are you trying to open up?

Obvious solution is make a passage the same size as the french door opening.
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Old 12-30-2008, 01:54 PM   #4
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Load bearing wall or not?


It certainly doesn't have an appropriate header for a load-bearing wall, but without a thorough evaluation of the way the home is laid out and framed it is hard to say with 100% confidence that it isn't load bearing.
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Old 12-30-2008, 02:15 PM   #5
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Load bearing wall or not?


A wall running parallel to the floor joists is not likely a load baring wall. The size of the header over the old french doors seems to also confirm that. If it was load bearing it would probably have a 2x8 header. Definitely not a 2x4 header like I see in the pics.
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Old 12-30-2008, 08:37 PM   #6
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Load bearing wall or not?


Okay so I had time to cut a hole...wish I cut it further away but basically my condo / apartment (it used to be an old apartment complex back in the 80s), has joists going across it parallel to the wall I want to remove. The section pictured above without the drywall...that's the amount I'm removing to open it to the adjacent study/bedroom. Here is a JPG of a drawing I made of the floor plan. I circled in red what I am removing. I drew this before I put in the recessed wall in the door opening so it's not 100% accurate.



Heres a few photos of how the joists run and how they look like.







I don't know how its setup but the truss joist to the right of my picture...isn't directly on top of the stud wall. Its offset to about the 1/4" right of it. The 2x4 you see on top of the other 2x4s is just nailed on top of the other one. I can't punch anymore holes into my ceiling for now but I can do another one from further away tomorrow morning. I planned on putting in recessed lighting anyway so it'll give a better picture. So far all signs point to it not being a load bearing wall. There's also a the dryer exhuast pipe running along side the beam too...which makes it harder to take pictures.
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Old 12-30-2008, 08:43 PM   #7
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Load bearing wall or not?


I forgot to mention that my part of the building only has a 2 floors while the inner part will have 3...so above this wall is only one floor. And then this wall is perpendicular to the outer wall. And on the wall to the left of the floor plan picture is the mirror image of my apartment floor plan. So thats a little more info. The drywall leftover that is green on the left hand picture...I'm not removing that because thats where the HVAC unit is.
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Old 12-30-2008, 08:54 PM   #8
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Load bearing wall or not?


most load bearing walls do not run with the trusses, they go perpendicular to them. Also judging by your comment that the beam isn't centered, that would also be my guess that it isn't either.

in the basement, is there also a wall below this one?
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Old 12-30-2008, 08:57 PM   #9
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Load bearing wall or not?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Whitehead View Post
most load bearing walls do not run with the trusses, they go perpendicular to them. Also judging by your comment that the beam isn't centered, that would also be my guess that it isn't either.

in the basement, is there also a wall below this one?
There is no basement. The only difference with the floor plan above mine is instead of an opening there is a fire place where the opening is and the walk way into the study / bedroom is to the right exterior wall. Here is another picture to show how the other part of the wall looks.



Anything with drywall left on it stays. So pretty much the door way and the two studs next to the doorway are goners if I can figure this out. Also the span of the new opening will be approximately 116 inches.

Last edited by tv4184; 12-30-2008 at 09:03 PM.
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Old 12-31-2008, 03:14 AM   #10
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Load bearing wall or not?




One last update to show how the rest of the space looks beyond to the other side of the wall. It seems that they are spaced either 12 to 16" apart. I'd say 12 because that first picture I took looked like it was closer than those studs are but never know. Sorry the picture is so dark that cable in front of it took most of the flash. I'll try to edit it to make it brighter. Also more info about the door way it wasn't actually french doors...it was sliding bi-folding doors.

Last edited by tv4184; 12-31-2008 at 03:23 AM.
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Old 12-31-2008, 08:48 AM   #11
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Load bearing wall or not?


It's going to be a miracle if you don't damage that poor TV.
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Old 12-31-2008, 10:41 AM   #12
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Load bearing wall or not?


Quote:
Originally Posted by tv4184 View Post
There is no basement. The only difference with the floor plan above mine is instead of an opening there is a fire place where the opening is and the walk way into the study / bedroom is to the right exterior wall. Here is another picture to show how the other part of the wall looks.



Anything with drywall left on it stays. So pretty much the door way and the two studs next to the doorway are goners if I can figure this out. Also the span of the new opening will be approximately 116 inches.
What type of fireplace? Is it wood, gas or an Electric? A proper wood (or old wood turned to a gas insert) fireplace is very heavy, While an electric is mostly decoration. If it is a wood fireplace, I would not even consider touching that wall without getting a professional in there to look at the structure.
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Old 12-31-2008, 11:47 AM   #13
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Load bearing wall or not?


You make a valid point. Would it help if I had access to the original building plans?

So yeah it is wood burning fire place and all but the truss beam that goes across the top...has like only 1/4" of the 2.5" width touching the actual wall itself? So according to this one structural engineer I talked with earlier today, he said it was just a partition wall.

Last edited by tv4184; 12-31-2008 at 12:16 PM.
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Old 12-31-2008, 01:19 PM   #14
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Load bearing wall or not?


With a wood fireplace, you have thick heavy stone/brick going right up and out the roof.
I am surprised to not see a full brick all the way down to the foundation to support it.
Now you are lucky that you have trusses going across for your floor beams, since they are stronger, and so much easier to run wires through.
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Old 12-31-2008, 01:30 PM   #15
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Load bearing wall or not?


Actually the wood burning fire place is just wooden allt he way up the chimney. The outside is that faux siding. And a few even fell over during hurricane ike revealing all 2x4 structuring inside. I have some photos from that incident but the fireplace also has faux stone on it so its not full brick.

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