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Discussion Starter #1
Just bought a 30+ yr old house and it needs serious updating. We've decided to start with the living room. Need advice on this wall...
http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/phot...authkey=Gv1sRgCJ3dg76n9IeRowE&feat=directlink
It gives me the impression of being in a jail cell every time I walk past it.

Pushed a coat hanger through the ceiling so I would know where to look in the attic.
http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/phot...authkey=Gv1sRgCJ3dg76n9IeRowE&feat=directlink

So my question is: Is this load bearing? This picture shows the area cleared out right above the wall in question. The hanger is just off camera at the bottom center of the picture.
http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/phot...authkey=Gv1sRgCJ3dg76n9IeRowE&feat=directlink

Looks like the roof is held up with trusses.
http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/phot...authkey=Gv1sRgCJ3dg76n9IeRowE&feat=directlink

I can take more pictures to narrow this down if anybody wants to give me a hand.

Thanks,
 

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Could you take a picture of the wall/rake ceiling? It looks non-bearing, but where are the rake ceiling portions of trusses? Be safe, GBAR
 

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it looks load bearing to me, i would consult an arcitect it definitly has weight on it. see the stress crack on the header and to the right of the crack looks like that corner is tweaked down some.

also in the attic you got a trusses on it.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
it looks load bearing to me, i would consult an arcitect it definitly has weight on it. see the stress crack on the header and to the right of the crack looks like that corner is tweaked down some.

also in the attic you got a trusses on it.
Five Star, If you are referring to the first picture, you might be mistaking my coat hanger for a crack. Other than a few popped drywall nails throughout the house I haven't seen any cracks.

GBAR in WA, I'm going to take more pictures, lemme put on my respirator.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Went up and drew a rough diagram of how the trusses over this area are laid out.

GBAR, can you elaborate on wall/rake ceiling portion to take pics of. This question is probably making folks say "This guy needs to call a pro".

The wall I want to take out is the directly under the most vertically oriented brace on the left. I may have answered my own question with this though :(The rise is 1 inch every 7 inches for this ceiling.
 

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Put the respirator on again, go up and look at the joint where the bottom chord connects to the angled chord. Is there a tag that says: "Bearing point load here"? Maybe in red. then, go below that wall to see if it carries to the basement or solid blocking in the floor system. If not, it's non-bearing. I've had big spans that needed a offset middle support. What is your end result for this wall? That may be a solid header above the spindles. You can tell with a stud finder or probe. Be safe, GBR
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Put the respirator on again, go up and look at the joint where the bottom chord connects to the angled chord. Is there a tag that says: "Bearing point load here"? Maybe in red. then, go below that wall to see if it carries to the basement or solid blocking in the floor system. If not, it's non-bearing. I've had big spans that needed a offset middle support. What is your end result for this wall? That may be a solid header above the spindles. You can tell with a stud finder or probe. Be safe, GBR

End goal is to take the wall completely out to open up the space. The hallway that this wall takes you to actually opens up larger which is why I thought it may not be load bearing, but the end of this jail cell hallway coincides with the end of the living room wall and the rest of the house has more standard looking trusses.

Checked with my stud finder and it isn't indicating any studs until I get a foot or so from the ends :confused1:. Does that mean it's a solid header? (Double checked the stud finder on the half wall directly below the spindles and another wall elsewhere and it indicates properly.)

Here's the bottom of the truss where it connects before the coat hanger: http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/phot...authkey=Gv1sRgCJ3dg76n9IeRowE&feat=directlink

Here's the bottom of the truss after the coat hanger: http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/phot...authkey=Gv1sRgCJ3dg76n9IeRowE&feat=directlink

I didn't see any writing or red marks, but I didn't check the opposite side of both trusses or clear out insulation much farther than shown.

I'm in central Texas, and we don't have basements here and the majority of the houses are on slab foundations.

OR do you mean on the ends where the truss contacts the exterior wall close to where I can see daylight from the soffit vents? Was it standard practice to mark load points 30 years ago?

I'll go up after work again tomorrow and clear out a bigger area. Already took a shower and the wifey will kill me if I get dirty again.

Thanks,
 

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Stud finder lights up when it finds solid material. Test it below the opening -dragging it across the wall sideways, with the trigger depressed the whole way. Then you can test the top, start away from the header area, drag over header looking for a solid light

If none, push a wire into the area above the spindles, checking every 2" vertically, till the top of wall. Be safe, GBAR
 

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Based on the geometry of that truss, the truss is bearing on the wall in question. Anytime you have a wall directly below the node (point where multiple truss members meet) of a truss and the wall is running perpendicular to the span of the truss, then the chances are pretty good that a load is being transferred.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Based on the geometry of that truss, the truss is bearing on the wall in question. Anytime you have a wall directly below the node (point where multiple truss members meet) of a truss and the wall is running perpendicular to the span of the truss, then the chances are pretty good that a load is being transferred.
That's what I was afraid of. I checked for markings on the trusses and couldn't find any at all. Interestingly enough...


If none, push a wire into the area above the spindles, checking every 2" vertically, till the top of wall. Be safe, GBAR
Did the wire check and I'm running into something solid no matter where I poke across the entire 14" above the jail bars and living room entrance. Maybe sistered 2xsomethings?

I need to convince the wife that I need to take the drywall down, but she's resistant because I have family coming to visit in the next couple of weeks.

Another question... What dimension of laminated beam would I need to span this opening (around 12 1/2 feet), or could I used sistered 2x12's and build it up in the event I find something ugly under the drywall?
 

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Or a glu-lam or engineered wood or solid beam. Hence the probe, I was saving for last, not to mess up the wall until we checked everything else. Hire a Structural Engineer. Be safe, GBAR
 

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A span calculator says that you can go 12' 10" for a building up to 20' wide with 4-2"x12". I woud say your going to start looking at LVL beams . I have no doubt that enough of those beams would work. I would go to a lumber yard and see if they would help you out on that. Looking at how the trusses are designed I would say that the width your looking at would be from the outside wall to the other interior load bearing wall. Again I owuld see if the lumber yard would help you out, other wise go to a structural engineer.
 
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