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Old 01-13-2010, 04:18 PM   #1
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Taking wall down

I am thinking about removing a non-bearing wall between my kitchen and dining room. The wall has an outlet and switch on the dining room side and 3 outlets (2 regular and 1 GFI) on the kitchen side.

Before I rip the wall down, what is the best way to determine what is going on inside the wall and how do I determine whether I have "more" electical work that I am not able to do myself (I am not an electrician, but I have done several projects in my house that have passed electrical inspection....so I know a little bit about installing electric).

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Old 01-13-2010, 04:28 PM   #2
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Go in the basement/crawlspace and look up in the vicinity of the wall and count the wires going up. Likewise, go in the attic and look to see what goes down. At least that way you will know how many you have to deal with. There is no way to truely know until the wall covering is removed.

You hired WHO?
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Old 01-14-2010, 02:15 PM   #3
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How do you know the wall is not load bearing? Have you reviewed this with a structural engineer (and I don't mean a general contractor). Until you have the sheetrock off at the wall and ceiling for inspection you would be wise to assume it is load-bearing until then and not start cutting out studs or supports. I have a wall between my kitchen and dining room right now that I want to remove myself to save money and have had several general contractors tell me that it wasn't load bearing because there is a pocket door in the wall and because the kitchen ceiling joists run parallel with the wall. Well, they were all wrong. This past weekend I removed the sheetrock and found a header over the pocket door and also found that all the ceiling joists from the dining room run perpendicular and rest on top of the wall I am thinking about removing. My 2nd story outer wall also rests on the joists about 3 feet away from the wall over the dining room joists. In other words, there's a hell of a lot of weight and had I cut the studs supporting the joists without opening the walls to see what's really going on I would have either killed myself in the process or caused thousands in damage. So in short run it past a structural engineer or licensed/experienced builder who won't make any load-bearing determination without first opening the wall to see what's going on. Just my $.02 for what it's worth.
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Old 01-14-2010, 03:12 PM   #4
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My house was top wired from the 2nd floor, not the attic
So there isn't any indication other then what I see on the walls what wires run where

Generally older house run up or down & then across
Newer houses they started drilling joists in some cases & running horizontally between devices/boxes

Usually ceiling & floor joists seem to run in the same direction in a house
But my house (50's) in several cases the direction the joists run changes
It wasn't due to span, just not sure why they did it
As said, make sure you verify if it is load bearing before pulling studs out

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