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Old 07-13-2015, 07:46 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by gregzoll View Post
Also if you are keeping that old railing at the top of the stairs, it needs to be raised to 36" under today's code. You may be able to take the whole assembly to a shop or even someone that does any cabinet making, etc. and have them keep the original and just make a box for the Newel Post and make higher railings, to bring it up to code, but still keep the original style.
I was actually thinking to remove the railing and just put a framed "box" with a top plate there because I didn't want the rails so I will keep this in consideration when doing so.
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Old 07-13-2015, 07:50 PM   #17
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When I said particle board for wall framing I meant to say wall finishing. It was definitely particle board that I tore out of that one room. I added some more pictures including the outside of the house.

Now my concern is that if that is a load bearing wall then it does not seem very well put together. Most of the wall is not even in contact with either of the joists above. That was one reason I was thinking that it couldn't be a load bearing wall because it barely looked like it was attached.
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Old 07-13-2015, 09:48 PM   #18
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The topic of load bearing wall comes up a lot on this forum. A load bearing wall is any wall that carries more than its own weight. In order to determine if a wall is load bearing, it is necessary to carefully examine all the framing above the wall to see if any framing bears on the wall. Typical framing that may bear on a wall includes another wall above, floor joists, a pony wall, or diagonal framing (common in attics).

It is never possible to make an absolute determination about whether a wall is load bearing from photos alone. A hands on investigation is always necessary, and it may be necessary to open up the ceiling, or get into the attic above. You need an experienced inspector to figure this out, could be an engineer, architect, experienced carpenter, or a contractor. If the wall is NOT load bearing, you can simply remove it, of course check with your local building inspector to see if a permit is necessary. If the wall is load bearing, you will need a design for a header, supports, possibly footings for the support posts, and details of the necessary connections.
Exactly. It is not worth accidentally removing a structural wall! Get an opinion from somebody who knows what they're doing and maybe even has insurance. If it is a contractor rather than an engineer, architect, or experienced carpenter, make very sure that it's a *good* contractor. Ask for references from cases where he has removed walls, for example. Call the references and make sure the buildings are still standing and the space where the wall was removed is not sagging...
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Old 07-13-2015, 09:58 PM   #19
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That wall is carrying the doubler I mentioned. The doubler is carrying 1/2 the front dormer roof, including the valley (which is sagging, per picture). Hire a SE for the liability alone.

Gary
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Old 07-13-2015, 11:37 PM   #20
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I was actually thinking to remove the railing and just put a framed "box" with a top plate there because I didn't want the rails so I will keep this in consideration when doing so.
There is always a market for the older stuff. If you have any salvage places around, take it there.



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Old 07-14-2015, 06:48 AM   #21
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That wall is carrying the doubler I mentioned. The doubler is carrying 1/2 the front dormer roof, including the valley (which is sagging, per picture). Hire a SE for the liability alone.

Gary
It looks like this is the way I should go. How can you tell the valley is sagging in the picture? (curiosity) When the SE comes out will he only look at what I ask him to or should I try and point out possible issues. Now that I am almost certain this is a load bearing wall, I would like to possibly "beef" it up. It certainly does not seem in any great shape to me. I guess what I am asking is, what can I expect out of him/her?
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Old 07-14-2015, 11:05 AM   #22
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You can't go wrong getting a professional opinion. If it is load bearing and Gary almost has me convinced (but not 100%) then it seems from the picture its only bearing a load at either end. So maybe the middle can be removed in some fashion.
Also if its load bearing that load should carry all the way to the basement, although maybe not in the 1930's.
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Old 07-14-2015, 12:38 PM   #23
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I believe that if it is carrying a load that it can only be at the end as well. I looked at some roofing schematics and am not convinced myself that it is load bearing either but would rather be safe than sorry. I think that I could probably get a better post put in on both ends to bear the load and remove the inner parts but will consult with a structural engineer to be sure. The other end of that wall was a door frame. Also looking at how the other side of the dormer roof is supported, it seems different. I plan on looking at all the rafters and seeing which way they go and peeking at the main valley rafter and seeing what supports that.

Now it is the difficulty of finding a residential structural engineer.
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Old 07-14-2015, 01:26 PM   #24
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Now it is the difficulty of finding a residential structural engineer.
My daughter and son-in-law hired one here in A2 Michigan to look at a basement wall crack in a house they are buying. He only charged $200 for a one hour "consultation". They could ask as many questions as they wanted in that time. But nothing was in writing. An official document in writing was going to cost a lot more.
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Old 07-15-2015, 12:14 AM   #25
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Pic. didn't work....

Sorry, I'm terrible at computers. Pic. #2 shows the front ? dormer framed on a doubled horizontal rafter that is carrying the valley rafter shown. The end of the doubler stops at the common rafter of your wall where they added a shorter rafter next to it for strength. (My bigger circle) ONLY the single common (on layout) rafter is carrying the horiz. dblr. and all above it, including stopping the side thrust because you only have a ridge board. If you remove the wall, the single rafter that continues above the wall is carrying the full load. I could be fooled by the camera/picture optics; need to be there to check for sagging/bowing. Appears the doubler is over 4' wide;http://publicecodes.cyberregs.com/ic...?bu2=undefined

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Last edited by Gary in WA; 07-15-2015 at 12:18 AM.
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Old 07-16-2015, 08:47 AM   #26
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Pic. didn't work....

Sorry, I'm terrible at computers. Pic. #2 shows the front ? dormer framed on a doubled horizontal rafter that is carrying the valley rafter shown. The end of the doubler stops at the common rafter of your wall where they added a shorter rafter next to it for strength. (My bigger circle) ONLY the single common (on layout) rafter is carrying the horiz. dblr. and all above it, including stopping the side thrust because you only have a ridge board. If you remove the wall, the single rafter that continues above the wall is carrying the full load. I could be fooled by the camera/picture optics; need to be there to check for sagging/bowing. Appears the doubler is over 4' wide;http://publicecodes.cyberregs.com/ic...?bu2=undefined

Gary
I cannot see your picture unfortunately but with a little bit of research I think that I understand what you are talking about. The doubler I measured to be 8' . Since I cannot see the picture, what do you mean about the shorter rafter next to it. There are two possibilities that I can think of. Are you discussing the short 2x4 that is installed at the diagonal inside the wall or are you talking about the board outside of the wall running next to the rafter? I posted a few additional pictures so that I could get a better understanding. At this point, I know that I have to hire someone but would like to have a bit of understanding before they come and talk to me. This way, they won't try to sell me on anything that is not needed. My brother is a roofer so I will ask him about the roof and if any of the framing is sagging/bowing. I believe it is just the picture but better safe than sorry.

I called around for structural engineers and am not getting anywhere, would a contractor be just as qualified to let me know and possibly do the work if necessary? I don't want to hire someone who will remove it and then is not liable for if the roof caves in.
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Old 07-16-2015, 09:37 AM   #27
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At this point, I know that I have to hire someone but would like to have a bit of understanding before they come and talk to me.
Good idea for sure.
I get back to the idea that it seems, in my amateur opinion, that if its truly load bearing then there should be a corresponding support under it on the first floor and a corresponding support under it in the basement(?). If that's the case then it seems a slam dunk. If that's not the case why not?
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Old 07-16-2015, 10:56 AM   #28
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Good idea for sure.
I get back to the idea that it seems, in my amateur opinion, that if its truly load bearing then there should be a corresponding support under it on the first floor and a corresponding support under it in the basement(?). If that's the case then it seems a slam dunk. If that's not the case why not?
There is no wall under that wall on the first floor but if you were to continue the wall in question into the unfinished room up there, there is a wall below that room, which I am positive is load bearing. The roof also changes in that part of the house again which is what makes the loads so confusing to me.

Also, beam in the basement does run parallel to this wall. I was tending to think that the first floor exterior walls are supporting the roof considering the common rafters run all the way down to the exterior walls on the first floor on that side where the dormer is. On the other side the rafters come down to a wall which I believe is supporting them (perpendicular to them) and then the wall that I mentioned above on the first floor is supporting that wall, which is also resting directly on top of the beam in the basement.
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Old 07-16-2015, 12:04 PM   #29
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I think I need a drink..... or two....
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Old 07-30-2015, 01:03 PM   #30
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Just wanted to give an update in case anyone was wondering, I had a licensed contractor come out and look at the wall and he said, that it was not a load bearing wall. Just to be safe, I hired him to remove the wall, just so that I would have someone to blame it on if the roof did ever collapse.
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