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Old 11-27-2014, 10:14 AM   #1
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Bearing Wall or Not


I was in commercial HVAC contracting for a while, but not GC. I own a house where the front part was built in the 40's and the back was added in the 60s. There is a small doorway between the living room (front part of house) and the dining room (back part of house). As such the doorway is affectively in a wall that used to be the outside wall of the original house. I want to open up the doorway to be an 8 foot wide opening to make the two rooms more open concept. I have a contractor doing the work but am not sure I believe his assessment as to the load bearing nature of this wall.
The house is two stories and the opening is on the first floor. The floor joists run parallel to this wall and as such it does not bear the weight of the second floor. However, the roof trusses/attic joists run perpendicular, so although there are no joists sitting directly on top of the first floor wall, the roof does sit on top of the second floor wall directly above.

My builder insists that the wall is not load bearing of the first floor and there is no reason to provide a load bearing truss for the 8 foot opening. I however believe that the point load from the roof transfers down into that wall regardless of the parallel floor joists and therefore requires a beam.

Guidance?
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Old 11-27-2014, 11:45 AM   #2
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From the way you describe it , it seems as if your builder is right . It does not sound like a load bearing wall.

Last edited by daveblt; 11-27-2014 at 11:47 AM.
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Old 11-27-2014, 11:57 AM   #3
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A wall is defined as load bearing if it holds more than its own weight. The only way to determine if a wall is load bearing is to examine all framing elements to see if any of them are supported by the wall. It seems that you and the contractor have a difference of opinion on this critical issue, so perhaps you should bring in an independent third party, like an architect or structural engineer. Certainly no one on an internet chat forum, who has not seen your house, can offer a definitive opinion on the topic.
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