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timber 12-06-2007 08:27 AM

Can I remove a wall?
For someone with framing knowledge; is a wall load-bearing only if it has dual header boards. I'm looking at removing a wall between our kitchen and a den/fireplace room to open it all up. I checked the rafters in the ceiling and they are running perpendicular to the wall over it, their strung on an interior midwall to an outside wall with the wall I want to remove laid in the middle. The wall has a single 2x4 header and it also travels only about 3/4 the way across and then does a 90 degree turn back torwards the outside wall(which is where the door is to go into the fireplace room). Its just a divider wall I think, can someone give me some advive on how to proceed. Thanks!

Kingfisher 12-06-2007 11:59 AM

cant tell from just that discription. you can have a loadbearing wall with only 1 top plate, all the rage in green building to add more room for insulation. With truss they probably bear on the ends but you realy can tell someone how to look and see for sure, you have to look at the web design see if htey have bearing points coming down at the wall. In the 1/4 where the wall is not under the trusses are they the same? If so you are on the right track but still get a pro to look. How old is the house and do you have the plans?

timber 12-06-2007 01:13 PM

they definately bear on the ends, but there are no trusses as in a webbed pre-built truss. This house was built in '59, it's an L-shaped ranch with hip roofs. When I go up into the attic I can see that, part of this wall is load-bearing because it holds the ends of the joists in our main living room and is the back of the home. But where the wall comes into the home ( at the inside crotch of the ''L'') this wall continues into the house forming the wall between the kitchen and the fireplace room,but at this point it's no longer holding the ends of the joists, but rather is running underneath a seperate set of joists that extend out to from the fireplace room which has it's own supporting wall at the back of that room being another seperate back of the house. The wall basically at this point is no longer supportive but divisional. Is this making any sense? I haven't found any plans as of yet. I may have to draw a sketch.

KUIPORNG 12-06-2007 02:58 PM

loard baring wall normally run prependicular to the joists they support upstairs... but sometimes there is exception, but if in your case it is prependicular, that means it is load bearing....already.

NateHanson 12-06-2007 04:01 PM

Just because a wall is perpendicular to the joists above it does not mean it is load bearing. It can still be a partition wall in that case.

Kingfisher 12-06-2007 04:09 PM

so the rafters are stick framed and only the ceiling joist touch the wall? do the joist splice over the wall? how long is there run and what size this way be an easy answer for a change

timber 12-06-2007 04:51 PM

they don't splice going over the wall. Their single joists spanning 20ft. The wall that I want out is not directly centered under the joists either, it's actually 8ft. from one side and 12ft. (obviously) from the other. And yes I believe the rafters are stick- framed (Terminology?).

kgphoto 12-06-2007 05:27 PM

Even if they were not load bearing originally, they probably are by now due to sag. Looks up a span table and see if the ceiling joist are sized to go the whole width.

Also, is this a crawl space or slab? If crawlspace, go underneath and see if there is post and beam or other foundation below the wall in question.

timber 12-06-2007 05:48 PM

neither, it's on a basement. There is a steel ''I'' beam running the length of my basement and it is underneath this wall. I'll have to check what size the joists are I'm not sure right off the top of my head.

kgphoto 12-06-2007 06:03 PM

Sounds load bearing to me, but the beam may only support the floor. Better to get a local guy to take a look. It is really hard to catch a ceiling when it starts to go. Not to mention all those nuisance cracks in the plaster.

timber 12-06-2007 07:18 PM

hey kgphoto, where can I find a span table that will let me know what my joists can handle? Thanks everbody for your imput, anybody else that wants to chime in please do so.

kgphoto 12-07-2007 01:23 AM

google "joist span table"

Kingfisher 12-07-2007 08:05 AM

with that wide of a ceiling span the wall is holding the ceiling joist up. If you took it out they would sag and maybe break:eek: I assue they are 2x6. You may be able to may them tie to the roof rafters with a ridge back and 2x4 teis but you are looking at something a pro. needs to see now.

timber 12-07-2007 10:24 AM

Yeah, I'm thinking that span is too much. I'm going to check the size and check the chart, but I think we're going to remove the wall and put in a couple of pillars. We'll still have it open and they'll be functional as well as pretty cool looking. Thanks for all the imput, I did find the chart too, thanks!

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