partition walls and load bearing walls


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Old 01-19-04, 01:32 PM
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partition walls and load bearing walls

in the planning stages of finishing my basement. one thing i would like to have is an open stairway leading down into the basement. by open i mean no walls, just railing on both sides. currently there is a wall on both sides of the stairway. both walls are drywalled on one side only (the side facing the stairs) so i can see the type of framing used. the top of one of the walls butts up against a steel beam. i am faily sure i can take down this wall w/o any problems. the other wall butts up against the floor joists. i am a little hesitant about this one, but i noticed that the wall does not have a double 2x4 at the top. is this the sign of a non-load bearing wall?

thanks,
 
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Old 01-19-04, 02:39 PM
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Load bearing walls

Determining if a wall is load bearing can be difficult even for experienced builders and carpenters. Even building inspectors when in doubt play it safe by assuming it is load bearing. If you have any doubts, get professional assistance. You may even be able to get your local town building inspector to stop by and take a look around! While you are at it, inquire about permits, inspections, and other building code requirements.
 
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Old 01-19-04, 05:09 PM
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Shouldn't be any load bearing walls in your basement. Watch out, your stairs might be nailed into the walls.
 
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Old 01-19-04, 07:18 PM
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Originally posted by coops28
Shouldn't be any load bearing walls in your basement. Watch out, your stairs might be nailed into the walls.
is a staircase typically self supporting or does it rely on the side walls?
 
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Old 01-20-04, 09:03 AM
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Lightbulb stairs

You have to look at them to tell most of the time the stairs are self supporting. If nailed to a wall could be just to hold them from side sway is all. I think that other wall not under the I beam is load bearing. Dont the joist run from it to the basement wall? ED
 
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Old 01-20-04, 11:27 AM
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the joists run perpendicular to the stairway. on the one side there is the steel beam right against and running parallel to the stairway as i mentioned before. on the other side, there is another beam running parallel to the staircase, but about 5 feet away.
 
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Old 01-20-04, 12:35 PM
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walls

5'over hang from a I beam not bad ,but is there a wall upstairs right over that wall down stairs. You should get some one to look at it. That can say yes or no. What do you have in code there Id check with city hall and find out. ED
 
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Old 01-20-04, 12:52 PM
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Re: Load bearing walls

Originally posted by coops28
Shouldn't be any load bearing walls in your basement. Watch out, your stairs might be nailed into the walls.

DEFINITELY NOT TRUE! My basement was designed with load bearing walls in place of beams. The design took into account how the basement space might someday be used and built walls there that support the joists above. One of those bearing walls runs perpindicular to the joists and supports separate joists coming from each side of the foundation wall, but another runs parallel to the joists and bears one joist that in turn bears a load bearing wall above.

Make sure you know what you're doing beofre tearing those walls out!
 
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Old 01-20-04, 01:50 PM
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I would be pretty scared to live in a house that was held up by a 2x4 wall instead of a nice steal I beam.
 
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Old 01-20-04, 01:58 PM
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Originally posted by coops28
I would be pretty scared to live in a house that was held up by a 2x4 wall instead of a nice steal I beam.
Hope you don't ever live in a two story then! ;-)
 
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Old 01-20-04, 02:49 PM
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A 2 story with no steel in it??? That's even worse!
 
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Old 01-20-04, 03:39 PM
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All the 2story homes I know have 2x4 walls. Old and new ED
 
 

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