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Old 03-11-2009, 11:33 AM   #1
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Wall - LOAD BEARING: How to Move?

I need help to determine my options for opening up a floor plan for a ranch house I want to buy. I am not a construction/engineer, but understand the terminology. Here are my questions and the facts that I have, but I am sure I need more information to figure this out. Help!!
A. Options for MOVING a 29 ft wall , 5 feet SOUTH to expand North side & add 2 openings in the wall.
B. Options for NOT MOVING a 29 ft wall, & add 2 openings in the wall.

C. Options to raise a SUNKEN family room floor equal to rest of the floor plan that is all on the same level.

1.Ranch 1957
2.The 1st floor of the ranch has 4 rooms divided by a large 29 ft wall with 1 (3 ft) opening. I want to open up the floor plan which has a dining room (NW side of wall ), kitchen (NE side of wall), living room (SW side of wall) and SUNKEN family room (SE side of wall).
3.Above 29 ft wall is the ceiling and then the roof. There is no storage above the ceiling just the roof.
4.Below 29th ft wall is a basement. There are 2 steel beams and posts that span the same distance of the walls above and aligned with the wall above.
4a. 1 beam supports the Dining room(NW side of wall) & Living room (SW side of wall)
4b. 1 beam supports the Kitchen (NE side of wall) & SUNKEN family room (SE side of wall). *NOTE: The kitchen is not sunken, but the beam in the basement that supports the NE and SE side of this wall is lower due to the SUNKEN family room. The SUNKEN family room is a 50ís design thing but I want to get rid of the SUNKEN family room.
5. Room Info

Northwest side of 29 ft Wall-Dining Rm
1. 12 x 10. (length x width)
2. 1 duct centered at the top of wall
Northeast side of 29 ft Wall-Kitchen
1. 17 x10 (length by width)
2. There is a fridge and electric stove on this side of wall so probably a couple of outlets

Southwest side of 29 ft Wall-Living Rm
1. 12 x 10 . (length by width)
2. 1 duct centered at top of wall
Southeast side of 29 ft Wall-Sunken Family Rm
1. Family Room 17 x 10 (length by width).
2. 2 ducts at the top of wall equally spaced
3. Room is sunken 5-6 inches , want to raise

6. Wall Description From left(West) to right(East) for this 29 foot wall, here is what is going on:

Wall begins(West )and is attached to the N/S perimeter wall. This wall continues 9ft (East)and then there is one opening about 3 ft wide. This is the only opening in the wall. The wall from the opening continues 3feet and then connects with a small 3 ft N/S cross wall and goes straight east for another 17 feet. We want to get rid of the SUNKEN family room and bring the level up to the same as the rest of the room.


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Old 03-11-2009, 05:48 PM   #2
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Wall - LOAD BEARING: How to Move?

That is great you are so motivated! You really need to consult with a Structural Engineer for most of your plans. Then take it to your local Building Department for a permit/approval. Then you'll have header sizes, additional wall shear bracing ( because of the new openings), possible hold-downs in the new wall, strapping required for up-lift, etc. Happy nail-bending! GBAR


Gary in WA is offline   Reply With Quote

load bearing , structure , sunken floor , walls

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