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Steve00 03-05-2013 02:11 PM

Replace Load Bearing Wall with Truss System?
I have a 1969 split level home in New England. I want to remove a load bearing wall between my kitchen/dining room and living room. The wall is not currently centered over the support columns in my finished basement. I realize that a post & beam approach makes the most sense here, but that means I would need to support the posts directly below in my basement to transfer weight directly to the slab, which means cutting through drywall in my basement and getting creative to place a column where it's unnatural for my current basement layout. Alternatively, I was wondering if it would be possible to add trusses in my attic in lieu of installing posts & beam in my living area. I have gable ends. The ceiling joists are split and rest on the load bearing wall where the joists overlap. Could a Howe or Fink truss system (or some other truss system) be installed in my attic to either (a) allow me to forego the post & beam method in the living area or (b) install a lighter post & beam method that wouldn't need direct support beneath the posts in the basement? I realize a structural engineer should be consulted, but I was curious if anyone has ever seen or done this before... Thanks!

GBrackins 03-05-2013 04:59 PM


I'd recommend hiring a local professional engineer to evaluate your home and determine the proper course of action to following. columns thereselves do not have to go downward in a straight line. a column from an upper beam can go down to a beam below it so that the columns for the lower beam are offset from the upper beam.

the money spent for an engineer will quickly provide you with what you need to do for the least amount of expense.

hope this helps! good luck!

sixeightten 03-05-2013 05:23 PM

There are probably several ways to do that. Ceiling joists are not that heavy. You may be able to cut and hang the joists form a concealed beam. Depending on the span, the beam may only need support at the ends and not the middle. Installing a girder in an existing attic is no easy fix. How are you planning on getting it up there?

Daniel Holzman 03-05-2013 06:19 PM

Mr. Brackins is correct, this is an advanced project with several possible solutions. You are paying your structural engineer to develop a cost effective, constructible option, something that simply cannot be done over the internet.

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