Load bearing wall or not


Old 10-21-13, 06:52 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: United States
Posts: 8
Load bearing wall or not

Hi all,

I am currently remodeling my kitchen and I would like to enlarge the opening in the wall separating the kitchen and the dining room (this is a two story house and there is no wall above the one I want to shorten)

Here are a few pictures of the wall in question as seen from the living room on the second picture and seen from the kitchen on the third picture (I marked the area that I want to remove)

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A few facts about the house:
-The two last pictures show the joists of the ceiling and they run perpendicular to the wall (2x12 studs)
-The floor joists run parallel to the wall
-There is one big joist (at least 4x12) parallel to the wall (but not aligned to it) on the ceiling of both floors (you can see it on photo 5)
-There is a foundation wall running parallel to the wall at about 3 feet from the wall (it supports the top of the stairs I guess)
- Using a stud finder I found that there is no header above the existing opening
- Using a stud finder I found that the area still sheetrocked on the left of the third picture contains 2 vertical studs next to each other.

Looks fairly simple to remove this part of the wall but I need to know if this is a load bearing wall before I do anything.

Thank you a lot for your help,
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Old 10-22-13, 07:40 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: NC, USA
Posts: 17,766
Like you I'm a bit confused and would want someone to look at it in person. My initial feeling is that it is not load bearing but... I have a nagging suspicion that the boxed out ceiling area in the living room (the room above) may be cantilevered and supported by that wall (that you want to open up). I wonder if there is a beam at the end of the joist bay in your last photo. Seeing the five hail heads makes me think it could be structural. Also seeing the joists perpendicular to the wall could indicate that it's load bearing. Have you gone underneath the house to see what's under the wall you want to open up? A foundation wall, piers or a beam would be a indication that it might be structural.
Old 10-22-13, 08:22 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: United States
Posts: 8
Hi Dane,

Thank you for your answer,

Here are additionnal photos showing under the floor (through a old register I didn't fill yet):

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As you can see there is a post (and a beam on top) next to the wall, but not directly under it (and definitely not under the end of the wall which has no support under the house).

Concerning the boxed out ceiling area in the living room, there used to be no wall but a metal fence (to prevent falling to thew living room). I recently framed a wall to close the area.

At the bottom of this wall, there is a post holding the joists from the second floor you can see this post at the end of this photo:

Attachment 19704

Old 10-22-13, 10:02 PM
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: USA
Posts: 457
Yes, it is load bearing. Get a structural engineer as you are past the prescriptive codes for a header; Chapter 5 - Floors

The beam directly under the wall AND the extended joists (cantilever) above gave it away.

Old 10-23-13, 07:33 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: United States
Posts: 8
Hi Gary,

Thank you for your help It was also confirmed by a structural engineer yesterday.

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