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Old 12-28-2016, 06:26 PM   #1
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Load Bearing Knee Wall


I am planning to build built in shelves into upstairs knee wall. Knee wall is over 5 feet - I know not technically a knee wall. There is lots of attic storage behind it and a true knee wall about three feet tall which I'm pretty sure is load bearing. I'm pretty sure the front 5 ft wall is not load bearing but the 2x4s line up with ceiling joists so worried. First picture is 3 ft wall behind 5 ft wall. Second is top of wall I'm concerned about. Third is exterior
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Old 12-28-2016, 09:21 PM   #2
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Re: Load Bearing Knee Wall


You could always put a header into the 5 ft wall above the shelves if you are concerned that it `might` be load bearing.
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Old 12-29-2016, 08:04 AM   #3
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Re: Load Bearing Knee Wall


The 5' wall may be just a partition or meant as brace for the rafters. If brace, and you don't normally find this unless it is a very big attic and some kind of supporting wall under and near, you can't put more load on it without first finding out how it is supported. Your case, if containing full load of books, may become too heavy load for the joists below - the joists could start to bend or cause cracks in the finish. A lot of words for one question: what is the size and span of the joists below?
My take on that situation would be to insulate and ventilate properly on the exterior wall, remove the 5' wall and make the crawl space useful with a row of 24" deep cabinets or left as is.
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Old 12-29-2016, 09:01 AM   #4
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This is picture of the floor joists under wall (garage). There is no support for 5 ft wall.
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Old 12-29-2016, 09:06 AM   #5
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Re: Load Bearing Knee Wall


As noted by previous post, once you load that five foot wall with whatever goes on the shelves, you are going to transmit the load directly to the joists below. You need to analyze if the joists can handle the additional load. The load depends on what you put on the shelves, obviously gold bullion is going to weigh more than feathers.
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Old 12-29-2016, 10:25 PM   #6
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Re: Load Bearing Knee Wall


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Cover that exposed ceiling with 5/8" Type X drywall, if living space above. I see a couple of doubled studs in wall behind clock, and doubled TJI floor joists or LVL's above. Point load for a dormer side wall above?

When I added a "brace" (bearing- mid-span for rafters) wall, we had to use double top plate, even with studs directly below, per engineering specs. And tight joints, not as pictured in your 5' knee wall angle cut on stud.... and rafter to right is above the plate, nails holding it up. Add some 1/2 pieces of vents so you can run FG to the attic side edge of 5' wall for addition of housewrap to stop wind-washing of wall/rafter FG batt. Find the I-joist papers w. county/city to see the rating on the floor, either 40# per sq.ft. or possibly only 30#.. for sleeping areas. Or, get out the 14' ladder and check the brand/span/load rating (ink stamp behind FG insulation) of them on-line, eg- https://www.google.com/search?q=tji+...utf-8&oe=utf-8

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Old 12-30-2016, 06:05 AM   #7
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Re: Load Bearing Knee Wall


If I built 5' tall bookcase end to end and filled it with books, then it may become too much load. How far away is the 5' wall from the 3' wall (assuming this is on foundation)? Are the joists below 2x10? If the 5' wall is less than 3' from the 3' wall and the case is less than 3' tall, then I would feel ok to put a bookcase there. For example, bathtubs are installed as such and full tub can weigh a lot more. But as you can see, I'm guessing here, albeit with some experience.
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