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Old 12-30-2009, 11:03 AM   #1
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bearing wall questions


Does a wall on the main floor that holds up the second floor need to be exactly above the supports from the basement to the main floor? I just noticed something interesting when looking at our house... in the basement there is steel I beams running the width of the room but the wall on the second floor is two feet off this.. that wall holds up the joists of the second floor... was this designed right? does the load bearing wall for the 2nd floor have to be right on the I beam holding up the 1st floor's joists where they overlap? the room is 29ft long and the joists are 2x10's 16ft long held in the center by the I beams they overlap about 1ft in the center on the 1st and 2nd floor... but on the second floor the beams are different they use a wall that is about 13ft in (about 2 ft from where the I beam is on the 1st floor joists..) then they are the same length 2x10's... is this ok or is something off?
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Old 12-30-2009, 02:02 PM   #2
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It is a good idea to line up bearing walls one above the other if it is possible to do so. The advantage of lining up the walls is that it simplifies framing. However, some house designs require offset bearing walls, in which case the framing should be designed for the offset condition. So in answer to your question "was it designed right", there is no way to tell without detailed framing diagrams. We can only assume that it was designed correctly if the house is still standing after many years, or if it was designed by an architect or engineer.

If you are really concerned about this, you would need to hire an architect or engineer to review the house plans (if you have them), else develop house plans from a detailed investigation, and analyze the framing to see if it was in accordance with code and good engineering design.
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Old 12-30-2009, 02:06 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daniel Holzman View Post
It is a good idea to line up bearing walls one above the other if it is possible to do so. The advantage of lining up the walls is that it simplifies framing. However, some house designs require offset bearing walls, in which case the framing should be designed for the offset condition. So in answer to your question "was it designed right", there is no way to tell without detailed framing diagrams. We can only assume that it was designed correctly if the house is still standing after many years, or if it was designed by an architect or engineer.

If you are really concerned about this, you would need to hire an architect or engineer to review the house plans (if you have them), else develop house plans from a detailed investigation, and analyze the framing to see if it was in accordance with code and good engineering design.
I'd hope its done right... the house is only 10yrs old and the framing plans show it where it is now, but what concerned me was they never "finished" that part of the house... there is littearly half the second floor unfinished just some plywood laid down to walk on but the plans show it as a finished room... the original owners never finished that space to save on cost... until they would need the space... well I wanted to finish it and looking at the support and stuff is where I noticed it wasn't aligned like I expected it to be at least
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Old 12-30-2009, 03:26 PM   #4
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The framing should have been designed for finished space, with appropriate loading based on the room type. I have never heard of designing for unfinished (lower loading) condition. So presumably the house designer determined that an offset was necessary, and designed the framing appropriately. The only way to verify the adequacy of the design would be to hire a professional to review the design.
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