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Old 10-18-2010, 05:27 PM   #1
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load bearing walls


I have a two story house whith a garage on the side. I have made the garage into a family room and want to make it look like part of the house. What i want to to is open a section of the garage wall that buts upto the house so you can walk from the main part of the house into the garage? I hope someone understand what im trying to do and can give me some advice. Thank you
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Old 10-18-2010, 05:44 PM   #2
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load bearing walls


Without pictures, floor plan and more info it’s not easy to give a suggestion. I would be carful and have an engineer verify if what you want is feasible
Some things to consider:
How large of an opening?
How much “live & dead load” is above the new opening
Are there any mechanicals that may be affected, plumbing, HVAC, electrical?
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Old 10-18-2010, 06:35 PM   #3
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load bearing walls


I am going to take a wild guess that you did not get a permit when you first converted the garage into a family room. Now that you are going to make the connection, you really need a permit, for a wide range of reasons that have been discussed at length on this forum.

I suggest you discuss this matter with your local building inspector before you go any further. There are all kinds of code issues that need to be resolved, including egress, windows, heating, electrical etc. Cutting in the opening may be the least of your issues.
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Old 10-18-2010, 06:45 PM   #4
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load bearing walls


ok thank you for your help, and I did get a permit for the family room
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Old 10-18-2010, 07:00 PM   #5
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load bearing walls


You can make the opening.

First the framing of the second floor and roofs on both sides of the wall have to be shored. Then make the opening and install a header strong enough to carry the loads above that the wall is supporting. Make sure to put king and jack posts at the opening jambs for header bearing.

The size of the header depends on the new opening width, the loads it needs to carry, dead and live, and the allowable deflection, recommended L/480 for Live Load and L/360 for Total Load.
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Old 10-18-2010, 07:49 PM   #6
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I would contact an engineer or look at the plans approved by the County. If you remove a wall section the S.E. may want a shear panel on either side and special strapping at beam/walls to carry the shear flow across the wall. This would be very important if that is the wall between the garage (20') and a family room or such (15'). That long a wall without additional support would be risky, at least where I live, in a seismic zone. I would not want the liability to say "go for it". That's what the S.E. is for. Now get a permit for the beam as you are dealing with hundreds of pounds or more. The paper trail will satisfy your H.O.Insurance carrier for liability and any future claims.

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