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Old 06-18-2019, 10:43 AM   #1
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Load bearing or not?


Hey chat members. I need a pro/semi-pro opinion on load bearing walls. So I understand the idea of the bottom chord sitting on perpendicular wall studs and dispersing the load. And I'm told the walls running parallel are usually not the load bearing walls.

Now, I'm buying a house that needs to have this awkward, zig-zag wall torn out to complete an open concept. Trouble is, it's right in the middle of the house, and running parallel-perpendicular-parallel-perpendicular. It's an odd one. The inspector thinks I can cut half of one of the walls out, up to about 8 feet high, and throw in a header. I get the header, but that isn't open concept. And it wouldn't look right.

Other houses in the same area, with the same floor plan, have open concept, no goofy walls anywhere. And to top it off, no posts or headers...

So, I'm ripping that wall out. My question really is this, should I run a header from one side of the house to the next and pick it up with solid posts at each end, or should I open the ceiling and either sister the chords or use more solid truss plates?
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Old 06-18-2019, 10:53 AM   #2
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Re: Load bearing or not?


Hi fon and welcome to the forum.
I shined up my crystal ball and your house isn't showing up as yet. Ranch, two story, cape or other?

When there is an attic above a wall you want to remove you can sometimes install a long header above the ceiling joists to provide an open space below.

Pictures would help or a better explanation.

Load bearing involves what is above along with what is below plus where the final supports will rest.

Hope we can help,
Bud
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Old 06-18-2019, 11:37 AM   #3
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Re: Load bearing or not?


So without pictures or a floor/roof framing plan, there is no way to adequately tell you from just a verbal description. But, you speak of "chords" and "plates", which means you have roof trusses, and they are apparently directly over this wall.

A truss is basically a big beam that can span a long distance. Usually, trusses are chosen in residential to span from one exterior bearing wall to the other at least +/-20' to make them cost effective, but as a bonus allow unlimited placement of interior walls. Bottom chords that happen to "rest" on interior walls are not actually relying on those walls structurally, as the web chords of the truss transfers all loads to the outer bearing points. If this is the case here, no additional sistering would be needed (and that would be ineffective anyway).
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Old 06-19-2019, 08:40 AM   #4
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Re: Load bearing or not?


Need pics of the walls and attic to help you out, along with directional indications. You could be fine, but you could not. Nobody knows without details.
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Old 06-19-2019, 09:45 AM   #5
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Re: Load bearing or not?


If it is a bearing wall the joists are sized to that wall so this question is, NO that never works.



, or should I open the ceiling and either sister the chords or use more solid truss plates?
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