DIY Home Improvement Forum banner
1 - 18 of 18 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi this is my first post! I've started to try and plan the removal of a wall on the main floor of my 1 story + basement 1930s Seattle home. I'm trying to figure out if it is load bearing. The wall is parallel to the ceiling joists and is about 10 inches away from the beam that supports the roof. The thing that confuses me is in the attic there are these newish 2x12s added to reinforce the ceiling joists. They only installed them on the side of the house that doesn't have the wall and everything else about this part of the house is symmetric (other than the wall we want removed). I've linked a picture of my attic. They put a big cutout in one of the 2x12's as shown in the picture, so not sure how much reinforcing it's actually doing. Anyone know what these 2x12's are used for? Maybe just to reinforce the ceiling for putting heavy storage in the attic?
Thanks!

Here's the link to the picture:
ibb.co/j8Hg3c
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Some additional info:
There is also no wall directly below it in the basement (basement has been finished and no way to see what's behind the basement walls or what the floor structure looks like). This wall also has evidence of perhaps not being original since there's a furnace intake vent in the wall right next to a rectangular patch job on the hardwood floor where I'm guessing the original furnace intake grate was.
 

·
er... I aren't a Newbie.
Joined
·
227 Posts
You need to have someone (a contractor or carpenter) to look at it and explain to you what you can do. That one picture is hard to tell, it's just attic. You need to know where and what is holding up the house, then you can have better idea what you like to do. Sometimes you need to punch a hole in drywall to see what's behind. I wouldn't be able to help much with limited information/photos you provided. Be aware that you might even need a permit, sorry to bring it up.
 

·
retired framer
Joined
·
49,113 Posts
Drywall backing, instead of a 2x6 on flat they put blocks every so often to attach the ceiling drywall near the wall. We do this when adding a wall in the basement. ?????????
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
when taking the picture I was standing on the load bearing wall that the ceiling joists lead up to. all ceiling joists are 2x4 and the entire ceiling floor is plywood that the drywall screws into. The only real beams in the ceiling are 2x6 beams used to support the roof through the vertical posts that you see. there is a wall in the basement, but it doesn't align with this wall, so I doubt load is going through it to ground. These new 2x12 joist supporters are also installed in another part of the house (again not supporting anything but regular joists), which also makes me think they were just put in later to strengthen the ceiling for storage. any other thoughts or info I could provide that would help solve this mystery?
 

·
Guapo
Joined
·
5,940 Posts
there is a wall in the basement, but it doesn't align with this wall, so I doubt load is going through it to ground.
I still didn't see an answer to post #3. Is there an I Beam under the wall?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I will have to cut out some drywall in the basement to determine if there is a beam under the wall. Even if there were a beam under the wall, wouldn't the beam just be to support the load of the main floor and i suppose the weight of the wall itself? wouldn't the attic be enough to show that there is no load going into the wall from above? The way I look at it is the roof load on the perlin is going through the vertical posts into a beam that is supported on either end by a load bearing wall. The wall I want to remove runs parallel to and is located 10 inches from this beam, so the only path from the beam to the wall is through the plywood, which wouldn't be very efficient. Am I missing some fundamentals here?
 

·
retired framer
Joined
·
49,113 Posts
I finally was able to open the photo. that is not a bearing wall the supports from the roof are landing o a 3 ply for support.
The 2x4 joists are over spanned and it looks like they have taken sag out with the 2x12s I would not store anything but insulation up there.
Built with out rafter ties and ventilation would be tricky.
 

·
retired framer
Joined
·
49,113 Posts
I will have to cut out some drywall in the basement to determine if there is a beam under the wall. Even if there were a beam under the wall, wouldn't the beam just be to support the load of the main floor and i suppose the weight of the wall itself? wouldn't the attic be enough to show that there is no load going into the wall from above? The way I look at it is the roof load on the perlin is going through the vertical posts into a beam that is supported on either end by a load bearing wall. The wall I want to remove runs parallel to and is located 10 inches from this beam, so the only path from the beam to the wall is through the plywood, which wouldn't be very efficient. Am I missing some fundamentals here?
You have it right.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Ok, so not enough original 2x4 joists, so they added some additional support. I'm guessing that if I want to remove the wall that it would be a good Idea to add some additional joist support on that side of the house to prevent sagging, but overall removing the wall wouldn't be a structural concern. So you agree I wouldn't have to investigate the structure behind the drywall in the basement?

By the way, I will have a contractor or two look at this (when I can find one that will return my call at this time of year), but I wanted to see what this community thought because the first contractor I had look at this wasn't confident enough to make this call. I'm trying to avoid paying for an engineer come out if I can get some consensus that it's not load bearing.
 

·
retired framer
Joined
·
49,113 Posts
Ok, so not enough original 2x4 joists, so they added some additional support. I'm guessing that if I want to remove the wall that it would be a good Idea to add some additional joist support on that side of the house to prevent sagging, but overall removing the wall wouldn't be a structural concern. So you agree I wouldn't have to investigate the structure behind the drywall in the basement?

By the way, I will have a contractor or two look at this (when I can find one that will return my call at this time of year), but I wanted to see what this community thought because the first contractor I had look at this wasn't confident enough to make this call. I'm trying to avoid paying for an engineer come out if I can get some consensus that it's not load bearing.
From above you can see all of the 2x6 that is the drywall backing with nothing on it, so a beam in the basement would be for the floor only and the weight of that wall.
 

·
er... I aren't a Newbie.
Joined
·
227 Posts
Photos, photos... my friend. Do you have a website that you could upload photos (imgur.com)? That way we can go to that website (instead of posting too many in this forum). This way we can better help.

What are the beams that is supporting the floors? Wood? Metal I-beam?
 

·
retired framer
Joined
·
49,113 Posts
Photos, photos... my friend. Do you have a website that you could upload photos (imgur.com)? That way we can go to that website (instead of posting too many in this forum). This way we can better help.

What are the beams that is supporting the floors? Wood? Metal I-beam?
copy and paste in address bar
ibb.co/j8Hg3c
 

·
er... I aren't a Newbie.
Joined
·
227 Posts
copy and paste in address bar
ibb.co/j8Hg3c
I did that (this is how I saw your attic). Is that all? I was saying post MORE photos, like what kind of beams in the basement, the wall you want to tear down, etc.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Re: *Update with pictures* Wall Removal - Mysterious ceiling Joist reinforcement

*This is a long post. Sorry for all the details.*
I finally started demo on this and I'm still confused. What I discovered was this wall is 90% "new" material because I found dates on drywall, and studs that say 2002, which is when they did the remodel. There is still some "original" wood in this wall though (looks like all the old darker wood in the attic, so I'm guessing it was part of the original design). Here's a bunch of pictures with comments. So the lighter wood is part of 2002 remodel and darker wood is original.

https://ibb.co/de8mzp
Left is toward the front of the house. I removed the drywall and I found this giant header. It's a 4x8 with 5 2x4s stacked on top instead of cripple studs. This is the only thing that makes me think it's load bearing, but also looks like they didn't know what they were doing. You can see that there is insulation in the wall (also on the other side of the doorway), but they had glass French double doors, so not much noise blocking. It also shows where the furnace intake cutout is.

https://ibb.co/cZzv9p
This is the front of the house before I removed the insulation.

https://ibb.co/gLoVQU
Here's the front of the house after I removed the insulation. It's clear that the top plate of the wall is original and spans the whole room, so I'm not sure what this wall looked like before the renovation.

https://ibb.co/irZTUp
This is the part at the front of the house at the floor. It's hard to tell, but the hardwood floor goes under the baseplate all the way to the dark wood stud. That 12 inch section has one original stud and an original baseplate that is sunken in the floor below the hardwood floor.

https://ibb.co/gVYNpp
This is the side away from the front of the house. There are 2 original wood studs.

https://ibb.co/kQdKKp
Here's the side away from the front of the house at the floor. This entire section has the hardwood floor cut out. Between these two is the furnace intake hole through the floor. My thought

https://ibb.co/j8Hg3c
This is the picture I posted before of the attic before I put in some more reinforcements.

https://ibb.co/f0Wa9p
This is showing my handiwork of putting in similar 2x12 joist reinforcements to mirror what was done on the other side of the house. My foot (OSHA approved footwear) is pointing along the wall we would like to take out. There’s a 2x4 on its side that I believe is on top of the wall's top plate that sticks out below the ceiling. Next to it is some 3x3 looking beam, but not structural because it's split in the center and held together axially by nails or something (what?). Anyway, I'm hoping these 2 additional 2x12's I put in will prevent any sagging from taking out the wall.

I couldn't tell much about the basement since it's finished, but when I looked down the furnace intake hole, I can see that the floor joists run perpendicular to the wall and don't end at the wall. Two joists were used as the walls of the duct, with just a single metal sheet to close it off at the base of the joists. The basement wall is nearby and runs in the same direction of this wall, but does not match up underneath with this wall (about 16 inches away or so).

Another point is the ceiling is made of new drywall screwed to old weird dark fibrous "drywall" (probably asbestos), which is on top of wood planks (I’m guessing original ceiling was just the planks). This house was made in 1931.

If anyone has any insights they could share that would be very helpful. Some of my questions are: Does anyone think my house will collapse when I take this wall out? What did this wall look like before the renovation? Was it just a partial wall on both sides to separate the room, but open in the middle? If that's true, why does the wall's top plate, which is made of original wood, span the whole room?
Thanks so much!
 

·
retired framer
Joined
·
49,113 Posts
I don't see any load bearing, who ever worked on the wall before was not sure what to do and just put in lot's of lumber.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thanks for reading through my post and responding. That's what my thinking was as well. I actually just heard back from the previous owner that did the renovation in 2002 and he said that it used to be a full wall with no door, but there was a door on a different wall. They filled in the old door and put a double door in this wall so you didn't have to walk through another bedroom to get to this room. So even though it doesn't appear to be load bearing wall, the wall has probably assumed some load over time due to settling. do the two 2x12's I put in the attic seem reasonable to prevent any sagging of the ceiling when I take all the structure out?
 
1 - 18 of 18 Posts
Top