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Old 12-01-2011, 04:47 PM   #1
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Removing existing closet

On the lower level in our house, there is a room with a closet. I want to remove the closet and open the room up more. I have already taken out the bi-fold doors and the frame that held them, and have peeled the dry wall off the stud wall. There is a standard stud wall with 2x10 headers above the opening where the doors were. The headers only span this opening. On the floor above this room, there is no bearing wall above the wall I want to remove, and I don't think the floor joists above the lower room are supported by the closet walls, but rather by a stud wall in the rear of the closet. I want to completely remove the walls for the closet, including the headers above the old closet door opening, and top plates at the top of the stud walls so that the ceiling of the closet will be flush with the ceiling in the rest of the room.

Should I remove any part of the ceiling around the closet head wall to try to determine if the floor joists above do run to the stud wall at the back of the closet, or do I need to do something else? Again, I want to simply remove the closet walls all together without having to support the ceiling above. Any thoughts on this, or anything I need to check or look out for?
I am no carpenter, just a typical numbnuts dad trying to do some rehab. I know enought to not just willy-nilly start ripping out lumber, but before I go farther, I would just like to know if this sort of thing is commonly done.

Thanks for any advice you folks can give.


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Old 12-01-2011, 08:24 PM   #2
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You are certainly on the right thought process; you need to determine if the closet walls are supporting the joists above. Although it is unlikely that the closet walls are bearing, you do want to be certain. I suggest that you remove the closet ceiling so that you can have a look and make the proper determination. When the ceiling is open perhaps you can post a photo and post the span and joist size. I would remove the ceiling anyway and install one large piece of gypsum board just to make the spackle and tape go easier.


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Old 12-01-2011, 08:30 PM   #3
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You got it. Good to double-check.
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Old 12-01-2011, 08:31 PM   #4
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You also going to be stuck with having to replace the flooring that's in the room now once you pull the bottom plate out.
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Old 12-02-2011, 12:14 AM   #5
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Thanks guys for all the helpful comments and letting me know that I am thinking right on this one. I think that if I cut enough of the ceiling away so I can see the joists above and make sure that they run past the stud wall I want to remove to a bearing wall beyond the closet, I should be ok. I would think a good architect would leave open the possibility that someone might actually want to get rid of the closet somewhere down the road and not plan the closet stud wall to be so permanent and necessary a support feature. Wouldn't make sense.

Also, thanks for the heads up on the flooring. I could see today when I ripped off the old drywall and mop board trim that the sill plate sat right on the concrete beneath. Either I'll redo the whole floor in the room or just patch in new flooring from where the wall is coming out to the wall at the back of the closet.

If anyone else has any further insights or ideas, please let me know, otherwise, I appreciate all the help I've gotten so far!
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