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Old 07-22-2012, 01:06 AM   #1
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Answering "can I remove this wall" questions.


Often we get this type of question and the honest answer is that without looking at it in person, just a few pictures on the internet, we can not come to a conclusive answer.

Her is an example - what is this?

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Old 07-22-2012, 07:18 AM   #2
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Answering "can I remove this wall" questions.


I don’t think that’s true in every case but it is certainly for many if not most.

This is why I for the most part avoid structural questions, they seem to be the ones that turn into three page arguments (which don’t interest me) that leave OP confused at best or even worse choosing the answer they were hoping to hear (because it’s in there too) and running with it.

On the flip side of this I think telling posters the they “must” hire an Engineer for any and all structural questions including simple deck designs is ridiculous, costly and unnecessary much of the time.

I know things vary in different parts of the country but where I’m from I’ve used the same Draftsman for last 20 years to draw all of my plans for much less than the cost of an Engineer or Architect.

There has been occasions where the BD wanted an SE to sign off on a project (or portion of), in those cases my Draftsman sends his drawings to the SE he’s worked with for years to get this done.

I appreciate the Architects and Engineers that post on this site and have learned many things from those post but promoting that you must start at the top for simple/basic designs is just as misguiding as telling someone they can remove the wall sight unseen imo.

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Old 07-22-2012, 08:00 AM   #3
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Answering "can I remove this wall" questions.


Quote:
Originally Posted by kwikfishron View Post

I appreciate the Architects and Engineers that post on this site and have learned many things from those post but promoting that you must start at the top for simple/basic designs is just as misguiding as telling someone they can remove the wall sight unseen imo.
OLd sayings become old sayings for a reason.

"A little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing"

With sharing knowledge comes a certain responsibilty and those that have the kind of knowledge that if misinterpreted can lead to disaster or even death have a huge liability on their backs.

Getting your oil based paint mixed up with your latex won't make your roof fall on your head.

You never know how dumb or stubborn and head strong the reader is, so if I was giving certain advice, I'd be very leery about who may end up with it.
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Old 07-22-2012, 08:18 AM   #4
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Answering "can I remove this wall" questions.


Often the job will be done--the wall removed---with or without our help--

If one of us can tell a member that the wall is a bearing wall---perhaps a problem can be averted--

I don't recall a single instance where a member was not warned to get someone onto the site before the wall was removed---

If we don't offer some help---the member is going to try -without any guidance at all---

So I believe that,in most cases, offering our opinions is better than doing nothing---


Just my opinion----Mike--
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Old 07-22-2012, 11:05 PM   #5
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Answering "can I remove this wall" questions.


The problem is 'our opinion' is based on only partial information.
Partial information that could cause serious problems if they proceed and remove the wall.

Remember the thread where many said that short little wall was not load bearing? A few said get it checked out.
Luckily he did and it was load bearing.
That should have been a lesson for us all.
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Old 07-22-2012, 11:13 PM   #6
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Answering "can I remove this wall" questions.


"Often the job will be done--the wall removed---with or without our help--"
True - But shouldn't we give the best advice? which is you need someone on site to look at it. End of story

"If one of us can tell a member that the wall is a bearing wall---perhaps a problem can be averted--"
Yes I agree - The problem comes in when we say it is not load bearing.

"I don't recall a single instance where a member was not warned to get someone onto the site before the wall was removed---"
There are many times when posters say it is "Not load bearing" Go ahead remove it, once the OP hears what they want they do not hear the rest of us. That is human nature.

"If we don't offer some help---the member is going to try -without any guidance at all---"
Poor guidance is worse than no guidance.

"So I believe that,in most cases, offering our opinions is better than doing nothing---"
This would be great if it was true but when our 'opinions' are based on a few pics and a description and we do not have all the information we can easily come up with the wronge "opinion"


Just my opinion----Cliff--

Last edited by mae-ling; 07-22-2012 at 11:28 PM.
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Old 07-22-2012, 11:31 PM   #7
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Answering "can I remove this wall" questions.


You raise some very good points Cliff.
Unfortunately "most cases" isn't going to be good enough for the one fool who goes ahead and tries to do the job based on internet advice.
On the other hand advice from this site has probably saved a number of fools from forging ahead with an inadequate plan.
Those who are qualified already say have the job inspected before proceeding.
Lets just hope that those who are unqualified keep their mouths shut.

Good luck with that
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Old 07-23-2012, 08:07 AM   #8
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Answering "can I remove this wall" questions.


I think we have an extremely diverse forum base and while dumb and blazingly stupid questions do come up, I think most posting are sincere in their questions and honest about their experience levels. Dangerously naive? Blatantly ignorant yet with boosted over confidence thanks to the shows and books that convince them they can do it themselves? And of course the once per week idjut that wants only affirmation and will argue getting it against all comments and logic to the contrary? Sure.

Unfortunately the DIY industry has grown up around the users of this site and it and the box stores that serve it do not always have any real interest in things done right---at least the first time. I assure you their is no market for them in trying to sell to me! I do not shop in them. The DIY motivation does not even seem to be primarily price driven anymore. I know I could have done some projects faster and cheaper the first time better than the DIY attempts brought in to fix.

And unfortunately the only response building departments have at their disposal to make homes safe for the occupants, or the fire and safety folks that must enter them when projects fail, or the neighbors who are put at risk due to shoddy work, is too stiffen building codes, demand more permits, and even go so far as to insist that someone else other than a DIYer draw, do the work, and sign their name to it all. Add in that building permits and inspections are great sources of income and of course it gets corrupt but the main goal of all regulations is public safety.

Perhaps I do suggest bringing in an architect or engineer early. I know how to do basic drafting myself for most things I need. The average poster on this site would not know how to find a draftsperson with possible needed ties to an architect or engineer. I tend to involve engineers and architects in my projects at first sign they might be needed because they save me money to be honest. And I hope the point I make to people is they are no more expensive than any other part of a construction and renovation team. I wish my electricians would buckle and work for what my architects have been willing to take! They can speed permit issuance and approvals faster than most though and for me time was money. Knowing I could sequence a project because I would pass inspection was worth a lot too.

The inspectors knew the work of the engineers and architects that worked for me so they knew what to expect when they got to a site. I wonder how they feel drawing the short straw and getting stuck with DIY projects where they have no idea what they will find and probably will have to refuse to pass things.

I hope we provide predominantly good advice on this site. I think we do when we remember differences that occur just with geography and local practice. Most who comment on structural seem to add the necessary disclaimers. Hope those spitting forth drainage and grading dribble will start doing the same!

There is a favorite line from the closing of the musical, "Into the Woods" that paraphrased would read like this:

"Careful the things you say. [OPs] will listen!"

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