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SickPuppy 06-02-2008 07:03 PM

load bearing with a hipped roof
looking for info:

I live in an area that gets 1-2 winter ice storms and 1 to 3 snow storms with a max of maybe 10 inches of snow per storm melting off inbetween storms. Summers are hot. I have purchased a house built in 1967. It is a split level with a hipped roof.

The roof is framed up with 2x6s. Is this considered a 'heavy' roof (as opposed to a 'light' roof)? I don't know the pitch, but I think it's standard--maybe 6 feet for every 15 feet?

The lower level is living room/kitchen/den. One end is hipped while the other butts up to the upper level exterior wall. The complete span on this lower level is 30x26. Rafters (2x6s) are running the 30 feet distance. The 'regular pitch' top beam is running the 26 feet distance.

There is one wall, approximately 10 feet long, running parallell to the rafters. Over this wall and above the rafters is a perpendicular beam (2x6) about 9-10 feet from exterior wall -- it's carrying bracing for the roof.

There is a second wall, I'm gonna call 'wall 2', is approx. 15' long and runs perpendicular to rafters. Over this wall is bracing for the roof sitting directly on the wall framing-- NO beam on rafters here.

Of course, I want to tear out both these walls which would leave the space completely open. Can I put that bracing sitting on 'wall 2' fonto a beam like on the other wall? Will that distribute weight properly/be strong enough? Or will it be too much weight on those rafters/too large a span? Do I need a header and if so where? mid way at the 15' mark or where?

I'd much rather not do a

Ed the Roofer 06-02-2008 08:06 PM

See an architect and have him come out to personally view the situation.

It sounds like it may be a load bearing wall, and then yes, you would need an engineered to speced calculation header.


SickPuppy 06-02-2008 09:30 PM

Yep, that's the safe way.

I read online somewhere that hipped roofs put the load on the outer walls. Right or wrong?

What's the max distance for a 'safe span' of a hipped roof? Isn't there some rule of thumb or something?

Ed the Roofer 06-03-2008 10:52 PM

There are span charts that building code officials, architects and engineers use to look those items up.

You need to seek out professional advice, due to safety issues, please.


SickPuppy 06-04-2008 07:52 AM

Thank you Ed. Span charts? Is that what they're called? Surely they're online somewhere....

I understand the safety issues involved, Ed. Don't worry so. I'm not an idiot, I'm just inexperienced. If I was an idiot I woulda just jerked the wall out aready. This IS a DIY forum--do it yourself-- and I want to at least explore the possibility of doing it myself. Besides, just because someone has an engineering degree doesn't mean they have godlike knowledge and powers. I can think too and so can you and the next guy too. I believe many of the workers on any construction site can and will learn to build better than any engineer.

Ed the Roofer 06-04-2008 08:27 AM

I didn't comment that you can not do the work, but you should get the proper assessment of your situation before you do.

Check out your local building department. They have the code books with the span charts in them.

Possibly, you should re-post this question in the Carpentry section of the forum, where they would have more experience with wall removals.


SickPuppy 06-04-2008 11:40 AM

Thanks, Ed. I'll look for the chart next trip. I will go try the carpentry section too.

SickPuppy 06-04-2008 03:01 PM

I found a span chart at Is this what you were talking about, Ed?

Can you educate me or point me to a site that can educate me on:

"7 PSF Dead Load/20 PSF live load/Light Roof/Slope Over 3:12"

Is that: PSF= lbs of load per square foot of roof?

What is a Dead Load? What is a Live load?

EDIT: found the answer to the above qs. Still don't fully understand the q below.

And what is a light roof versus a heavy roof?

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