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Old 09-12-2012, 03:59 PM   #16
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Load Bearing Walls - How To Determine?


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Oh wow, I didn't know that. I thought it was the other way around (that a 4X4 would be stronger). Thanks for letting me know. I'll use two 2X4's instead
Two 2x4s are approx 10% stronger than one 4x4, but remember that if using double 2 x's, they must both be vertical, not horizontal (ie not with one flat on top of the other)
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Old 09-12-2012, 04:06 PM   #17
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Load Bearing Walls - How To Determine?


Any idea what kind of header is in the other opening on your center wall? The one between the stairwell and the bathroom? *IF* everything was done right prior to you starting this project, and there are no supports in the basement along that mid-line of the building, no extra beam running along that line, then I'd tentatively say that chances are the wall above is not load bearing. BUT you should get structural engineer out to take a look, because it's very risky business to remove support when you aren't absolutely sure.

The fact that there is a big ol metal I-beam in there, off to one side of the building, in a relatively small house gives me pause to wonder exactly how the loads are being distributed and what they were trying to solve by using that beam.

Also, as another poster said, the wall may indeed be a shear wall, which means it should either be sheathed in plywood, or in an older house have diagonal bracing installed. Again, an SE is needed if you don't know for sure what it is.

Just my 2 cents.
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Old 09-12-2012, 04:39 PM   #18
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Load Bearing Walls - How To Determine?


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Originally Posted by tony.g View Post
but remember that if using double 2 x's, they must both be vertical, not horizontal (ie not with one flat on top of the other)

I'm confused I thought I read somewhere that for a 5 foot opening (which is what I'll have) that I should be using two 2X8's. Are you saying not to stack the 2X8's on top of each other but instead have them side by side (one in front of the other). I'll be using plywood in the middle too. See picture below.


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Old 09-12-2012, 04:46 PM   #19
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Load Bearing Walls - How To Determine?


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Any idea what kind of header is in the other opening on your center wall? The one between the stairwell and the bathroom?
No but I am in the process of removing most of the K&T wiring in the house and replacing it. I'm sure the ceiling will be opened up at some point so if I notice anything I'll update this thread with the new information.

Also, if it helps, the kitchen ceiling is 8 feet tall. There is an 8 inch ledge that runs all around the kitchen (see below). The header/archway will be below this ledge.


Last edited by AngelArs; 09-12-2012 at 05:13 PM. Reason: Add Picture
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Old 09-12-2012, 04:52 PM   #20
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Load Bearing Walls - How To Determine?


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Are you saying not to stack the 2X8's on top of each other but instead have them side by side (one in front of the other). I'll be using plywood in the middle too. See picture below.

Yes, side-by-side, not one on top of the other.No need to sandwich plywood between them if it's only a 60" span.
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Old 09-12-2012, 10:15 PM   #21
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Load Bearing Walls - How To Determine?


oh.. you have knot & tube wiring? you probably have dimensional 2x4 in there then, not the modern planed stuff. It's going to add some challenges to your project.

Make sure to measure the real dimensions of the wall studs *before* you head out to the hardware store and bring back a load of wood that's 1/2" too thin, like I did =P

tony.g - right, not structurally needed over a small span, BUT 1/2" sheet ply makes life a hell of a lot easier since 1 1/2 + 1 1/2 only equals 3, not 3 1/2 (if modern dimensional lumber is in the wall).
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Old 09-12-2012, 10:22 PM   #22
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Load Bearing Walls - How To Determine?


If it's 1/2" or whatever to thin just add a strip of plywood.
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Old 09-13-2012, 11:25 AM   #23
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Load Bearing Walls - How To Determine?


1500fb 2x4 carries 613# total load or 123# per ft.
2- 2x4 “ 1021# “ or 204# per ft.
1- 4x4 “ 1429# “ or 286# per ft. Difference of 82# per ft. = 4x4 is -29% stronger. DO NOT use a 4x4 for the header.

Plywood filler: http://www.finehomebuilding.com/how-...-up-beams.aspx

IF you don’t have any roof/snow load on the wall from framing above through joists/purlins, etc. you may be able to use prescriptive tables from codes for an interior bearing wall (notice the stories), last table- notice number of jack studs: http://publicecodes.cyberregs.com/ic...002_par021.htm
These need to transmit loads directly to the earth, on a (possibly new) concrete footing with posts and solid blocking between floors.

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Old 09-13-2012, 11:38 AM   #24
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Load Bearing Walls - How To Determine?


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4x4 is -29% stronger.
Thank you for posting that clarification

Since I'm probably going to be using a 2X8 or 2X10, those would still be stronger than the 4X4 correct?

Also, all things being equal, isn't direct nailing better where I can use it? And what size nails should I be using for this?

Last edited by AngelArs; 09-13-2012 at 11:44 AM. Reason: spelling correction
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Old 09-13-2012, 11:39 AM   #25
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1500fb 2x4 carries 613# total load or 123# per ft.
2- 2x4 “ 1021# “ or 204# per ft.
1- 4x4 “ 1429# “ or 286# per ft. Difference of 82# per ft. = 4x4 is -29% stronger.


Gary
Gary, is this correct? Our timber code (BS 5268) allows a higher bending stress for timbers in load-sharing situations, such as joists and rafters etc. when not more than 600mm (24") apart. The increase factor is 1.1

For timbers firmly joined together to form trimmers and suchlike, the allowable increase in bending stress is 1.14 for two timbers, and 1.21 for three timbers.

These increases are allowed on the basis that any defects in the individual members, such as shakes or dead/loose knots are statistically evened out when a number of pieces are used together. Perhaps US codes don't allow this?
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Old 09-13-2012, 05:20 PM   #26
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Load Bearing Walls - How To Determine?


so you have a concrete wall that runs parallel with the front of the house, probably along the side of the stairs that go down to the basement? kind of in the middle of the span from the steel beam to the rear?

do you floor joists lap over the concrete wall? I ask because a 2x8 would not span 29'. Even at 14.5' they would typically be overspanned (at 16" o.c.)

do your roof rafters run from to rear? ceiling joists also?

sorry for all the questions, you are there, I'm here .....
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Old 09-13-2012, 06:52 PM   #27
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Load Bearing Walls - How To Determine?


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so you have a concrete wall that runs parallel with the front of the house
Yes.

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probably along the side of the stairs that go down to the basement?
Not exactly. On both sides of the stairs is drywall. However if you start at the bottom stair (the floor) and keep going in the same direction it is all cement wall.

See the area outlined in blue below;



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kind of in the middle of the span from the steel beam to the rear?
It doesn't run front to rear, it runs about mid point to the side of the house.

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do you floor joists lap over the concrete wall?
Yes, they are on top of the concrete wall AND on top of the metal I-Beam.

On closer inspection the joist are not one piece, but two pieces nailed together on top of the concrete wall. So, for example. One joist would start at the front of the house, run on top of the metal I-Beam to the concrete wall. Then another joist would be butted along side of it on top of the concrete wall and run to the back of the house.

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do your roof rafters run from to rear? ceiling joists also?
Not sure but I will check and post what I find. I had a new roof put in last year and they blew in insulation so the attic is non-exsistant now.

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sorry for all the questions, you are there, I'm here .....
No problem. I appreciate the help
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Old 09-14-2012, 03:31 PM   #28
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Load Bearing Walls - How To Determine?


One other quick question;

I've seen examples of the jack studs resting directly on the floor. I've seen examples of the jack studs resting on the sole plate. Is one way better than the other?
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Old 09-14-2012, 06:07 PM   #29
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Load Bearing Walls - How To Determine?


You are supposed to have a sole plate because you don't necessarily know what is underneath your subfloor. Could be you are along a support beam or a joist, could be you are over nothing. Very bad to put a jack stud someplace with no support!
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Old 09-15-2012, 07:11 AM   #30
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Load Bearing Walls - How To Determine?


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One other quick question;

I've seen examples of the jack studs resting directly on the floor. I've seen examples of the jack studs resting on the sole plate. Is one way better than the other?

The wall plate sits atop of the sub flooring and it is best to rest the jacks on top of the bottom wall plate and have solid structural support directed to the foundation (and,or house girders and beams) down below the sub flooring. The jacks can sit atop of the sub flooring also and it needs solid support below the sub flooring down to the foundation as well but the wall is strongest with all studs ,jacks,and kings located inside of the top and bottom plates. Keep the studs in the wall
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