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LadyNimue 01-03-2008 05:55 PM

Removing 2 walls - corner post issue (pics)
I'd love opinions on this. We are wondering if we have to leave the corner post once we remove two walls that meet that corner? (our kitchen, we are trying to open it up) I'm dreaming of not having to look around a post while I work in the kitchen. We are removing the wall on the left just to the point where it meets the drop ceiling. The wall on the right will be removed to the point of the entry opening. We have a flat roof, no attic space, no basement. Up there in the drop ceiling is duct work for the central air system. The top of the corner post is part of the framework for the drop ceiling. In my photo you can see that the corner goes up to the regular height ceiling, but is also part of the drop ceiling. We'll just leave the corner if I can't find any guidance or information; it's been a nightmare attempting to get anyone to do the work (workers are so busy and being paid so well that they don't want to bother with a small job like ours). We can handle, and have done before/have experience with everything about this job except the corner issue. I am hoping someone can give advice as to how to safely remove the corner. Thank you!

mikey48 01-03-2008 07:43 PM

I would contact a design engineer to determine if it is weight bearing. It does appear to be.

send_it_all 01-03-2008 09:29 PM

Obviously, the engineer idea is the safest and best way to determin id the wall is load-bearing or not. But even if you could coax one to show up, it will be fairly expensive. If the roof is flat, the 2nd best way to determine if the walls are load bearing is to remove some of the drywall from the ceiling and look at how it is built. If the ceiling joists are cut and resting on the wall, obviously it is a bearing wall. It is very likely that whichever wall is running parallel to the ceiling joists is NOT load bearing. The perpendicular wall MIGHT be, but you will need to investigate. Another way to help determine (If the house is on a slab) would be to use/rent a rotary hammer drill and a long drill bit...diameter is not critical...somewhere around 3/8" would work well. Drill a hole right next to the bottom plate of the wall and see how thick the concrete is under the plate. If is is only around 4"...(the normal thickness of a slab), it would lessen the likelyhood that it is a bearing wall...NOT ELIMINATE.....LESSEN. A bearing wall would usually have a footing under it making the concrete much thicker than 4"...If the house had a basement, or is on a raised foundation, walk or crawl directly under that wall and see what the framing/support looks like. If there is a large beam directly under the bottom plate, I would guess it is a bearing wall.

ponch37300 01-04-2008 03:20 AM

From the pictures the walls do not look load bearing. That is the first thing you need to rule out before thinking about removing that wall. After you are sure the walls are not load bearing you need to deal with the drop ceiling in the other room. You might be able to cantalever some sort of haeder out to the corner to support the weight of the drywall ceiling but without seeing more details wouldn't be able to say for sure. If you want to be safe, leave the post to support the drop ceiling and wrap it with something.

LadyNimue 01-04-2008 08:30 AM

Thanks very much to all of you for the replies! Yes, it's near impossible to get anyone out here to take a look at things, unless you count an unlicensed handy man, and I don't trust their expertise more than my own. We're pretty confident that the walls aren't load bearing - it's obvious when looking inside the drop frame that the walls were added after original construction (there was some remodel done in the 90's). But my husband is concerned about the possibility of that corner sagging. We're thinking of using some type of bracket on each side to help support where the 'regular' walls/celing meets the drop ceiling. We'd also run plates flush w/ the bottom of the drop, between the studs. I think that would be enough to prevent sag. I'm trying to be patient and make sure we're going about this right.

ponch37300 01-04-2008 12:16 PM

If you eliminate that corner post the only thing supporting that corner of the drop ceiling or soffit will be how they are tied into the trusses. You will need to make sure that your truss system(whatever it may be) is strong enough to support the weight and that the ceiling is tied into the trusses good. I don't know what kind of bracket you are talking about but if it is just a little metal one they will not support the weight of that corner with the drywall on it.

mikey48 01-06-2008 12:14 PM

The last time I had an engineer over it cost me $100. Even a contractor might be able to give you some advice. You will not be sorry if you do it correctly, but if it is done wrong it could be a costly mistake. It is difficult to give advice of this kind without seeing the whole picture. This would also require a permit in most areas. So do it right.

redline 01-06-2008 12:35 PM

There should be room above the ceiling to look at the structure if the roof peak is above.

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