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Tips on how to tell if its a supporting wall


Painter22's Avatar
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07-10-05, 04:21 PM   #1  
Tips on how to tell if its a supporting wall

My friend is trying to figure out if the wall she wants to tear down is a supporting wall but her walls are plaster and we were wondering if there were any ways to tell such as lenght of wall or anything if it is a support wall

 
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Concretemasonry's Avatar
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07-10-05, 06:39 PM   #2  
Tips on how to tell if its a supporting wall

Get a professional to look at it. Engineer, licensed contractor that knows construction. No relatives!!!

Dick

 
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07-10-05, 06:48 PM   #3  
When working in older homes with plaster walls, it's often the case that the houses are balloon construction, with floor joists and ceiling joists that are undersized by today's standards. Interior walls that run parallel with ceiling joists can usually be removed, but any interior walls that run perpendicular to the ceiling joists, while they may not necessarily be "load bearing" as far as carrying the roof load, may still support a substantial amount of dead load as well as live load, depending on the layout.

Imagine a house that is a rectangle, measuring 20x30. It has old rough sawn 2x8 ceiling joists that run the 30' length of the house. The house has 2 interior walls that divide the house into three 10' sections. These walls help hold the weight of the ceiling joists, which would be vastly undersized were it not for the interior walls that support them.

So if you can figure out which way the ceiling joists run, you might be safe removing walls that are parallel, but if you remove any that are perpendicular (as in the example above) you run the risk of weakening the ceiling. Additionally, a true load bearing wall will transfer the weight to the footing. So if you have a basement, you can look for beams or perhaps walls, and figure out what weight is being transferred to the footing from above, and where.

 
Painter22's Avatar
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07-10-05, 07:24 PM   #4  
Thank you

Thanks for the reply I completly forgot about the paralell rule. Thanks again for the quick response

 
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