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Old 07-13-2007, 09:44 PM   #1
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Load Bearing Wall or not??


Can anyone help me identify if this is a load bearing wall? On the other side are the stairs down to our basement. It is very tight coming down the stairs the whole way, and i'd like to open it up by cutting out the wall about 70 inches from the left side of these pictures, and put in a bannister. Obviously, the door would go, and then the upper portion of the wall to the right of the door. I believe it is NOT a load bearing wall, since there is a 'float' at the floor. The thing that is making me think twice is that the joists above the staiway are not I-beams, like the rest of the floor. You can kind of see this in the pictures below.

Any input much appreciated!!!


See, it's a floating wall, so not load bearing, right???



No big headers above the door. But the Joist is so thick?


Here you can see the different type of joists.

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Old 07-13-2007, 11:07 PM   #2
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Load Bearing Wall or not??


No, it is not. The clue that is most evident is: Newer house, and the fact that there is no header installed over the door.
Add: The further investigation; everything else in your pics clearly show that it is not load bearing.

(FWIW-This is why pictures help so far above an attempt to describe with words)


That clearly looks like a stair-well (with an ''attempt' at fire blocking?) ...that makes up what is simply a partition wall. (To me: Looks like a stair well leading from 1st floor to basement...am I right?)


Last edited by AtlanticWBConst.; 07-14-2007 at 08:10 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 07-14-2007, 03:37 PM   #3
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Load Bearing Wall or not??


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Originally Posted by AtlanticWBConst. View Post
That clearly looks like a stair-well (with fire blocking) ...that makes up what is simply a partition wall. (To me: Looks like a stair well leading from 1st floor to basement...am I right?)
Yeah, that's exactly right. Thanks a ton for your reply. I want to basically get rid of the door, and half the stairwell wall, to about 7 or 8 steps up from the bottom, so that it 'opens it up' a little bit. Right now, it's just kind of 'dungeony' feeling, as you walk down the stairs. Like your going down to a cellar, not a finished basement. Also, it's going to be very difficult to get furniture, and whatnot down those stairs once i get to finishing the rest of the basement. (im just doing one room, and the hallway now...) So i figured opening the stairs up as much as possible would make the area seem larger, and be more practical.

Am i right in thinking that the only reason that the joist directly obove this partition was is solid wood, and not an I-beam like the rest is just because there's sheetrock screwed into it on the other side? (Finished area on the other side of the wall.)
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Old 07-16-2007, 07:12 AM   #4
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Load Bearing Wall or not??


In a traditional staircase the perimeter is framed out with double 2x8 0r 10" dimensional wood. Since the 2x material ends over the doorway I would think you would need support in the corner by the door. The rectangular box needs support at all four corners unless the wood goes all the way to the wall and/or the wood is sized for the span unsupported.
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