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Framing advice for wall niches in load bearing wall

Framing advice for wall niches in load bearing wall

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  #1  
Old 07-20-14, 02:23 PM
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Framing advice for wall niches in load bearing wall

Hey everyone, I'm looking to undertake a new project in my house where I put in 2 or 3 small lighted drywall niches. The wall that I'm putting them in his only 3 ft wide and I have 9 foot ceilings. The wall is load bearing but there's only one stud in my way that I'll need to remove. The wall is about 7 inches deep (two 2x4's deep). I need advice on how to reframe this wall. I did consult a residential structural engineer and he essentially passed on the job saying almost anything I do in terms of putting in a header would be just fine.

So with that, here are some photos to help visualize what I'm trying to do and what I'm working with:

First photo is the effect I'm going for. This shows 3 niches, I may only do two.

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Here's my wall, as it is today.

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Here's the my wall during construction. I've outlined in green the same area as the photo above. You can see the one stud (two 2x4s deep) that I need to remove and reframe and carry the load.

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This is something I found online that I thought made some sense but wanted to get thoughts. I don't need a header above each niche do I? The one header carries the load to the jack studs correct? Anything that is under that is cosmetic for my niche or no?

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Also, being this is one stud I'm going to assume to err on the side of caution and support this short while even though I'm only taking one stud out for about 30 minutes (before I have it reframed). What is the best way to create a support wall that doesn't damage floor or ceiling and isn't in the way?
 
  #2  
Old 07-20-14, 02:31 PM
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Welcome to the forums! If you are going over/under with the niches, yes you will need header for both, unless your jacks go all the way to the bottom plate. The upper header transfers the weight to the jacks. Now, if you make two cuts across to the kings, then you will need another header.
 
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Old 07-20-14, 02:57 PM
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chandler, thanks for the welcome! I'm glad you replied because I know how knowledgeable you are.

I do plan on opening up most of that small wall so I can run the kings and jacks to the bottom plate. Here's a quick little drawing a did of what I've come up with. It's not to scale but hopefully it can help to understand if I'm on the right track or not. The green areas are the niche spaces and the yellow areas above each one are where the mini can light and electrical will be.

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Old 07-20-14, 03:12 PM
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Your biggest problem is your electrical, which probably does not have enough slack in the line to be moved any farther left to create your desired openings. You will have to hope that the wires run vertically on the left side of the stud to the left, and if so, that will limit the extent of your openings. Maybe you've thought of all that already and have a plan to miss that 3 gang recepticle.
 
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Old 07-20-14, 03:20 PM
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XSleeper, you're right. I didn't mention previously but I plan on moving that switch to the other side of the wall (to the left). I'll have electrician come in and do this where he/she can work from the basement below (and potential use junction box to extend the 14/2 romex). I'm not great at electrical so maybe it does blow up my entire plan.
 
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Old 07-20-14, 03:39 PM
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When it comes to adding lighting, don't think that you're limited to 120V can lights... there are tons of bright low voltage lighting options. Using low voltage lighting would mean you wouldn't need to use as much of that space for can lighting if you didn't need/want to.

As far as your framing diagram is concerned, your header "could be" clear up against the top plate if you wanted it to be. But it makes sense to stay away from the ceiling drywall if you can. (saves on taping & drywall finishing)
 
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Old 07-20-14, 08:07 PM
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Good points about looking at alternative lighting options. I will do more research on that.

I plan on leaving the existing corner studs as I believe those are point loads. So, those will remain untouched.

chandler (and/or others), am I good on the just the one header since the jacks will go down to the bottom plate? Here's another thing I just thought of, since the wall depth is double - do I just use multiple 2x6s to fill the depth?
 
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Old 07-20-14, 08:14 PM
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That's something I didn't notice. Why *is* that wall doubled? Is there plumbing venting in that wall or something?
 
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Old 07-20-14, 08:45 PM
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It's a great question - I have no idea why it's that way. It's the side of a closet and to my knowledge there isn't any venting, plumbing, etc running through it. I'll double check my pictures of the build just before drywall though.
 
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Old 07-22-14, 09:02 PM
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Ran into a huge problem. I started demo tonight and everything was going fine until I got to the right side of the one stud I was going to be removing. After opening hole large enough to look up and down through, I see there's some sort of connection to my air conditioner. I can feel air blowing up and through. They apparently made the ride side of this small wall, in effect, a duct. They even cut out the bottom plate to make this 'wall duct'.

Is this common? Do I have any options?

I'm pretty upset because I feel like my project is completely off now and I was really looking forward to doing it.
 
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Old 07-22-14, 09:21 PM
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or something?
That would explain the double wall... which is what we were hoping you would get back to us on.

No options that don't include totally screwing up your HVAC air. It's not uncommon to find return air in a space like that, and I suppose in some situations it could be a supply too, but I think that is less common because supply lines are usually ducted and are often insulated.... at the least they are usually lined with panning to help prevent air leakage.
 
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Old 07-22-14, 09:40 PM
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Appreciate the feedback. The pictures I checked show no sign of cut bottom plate etc and they were taken just before drywall. They must have done it the one or two days I wasn't on site taking photos.
 
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Old 07-23-14, 10:20 AM
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Why not just relocate the HVAC line farther back in the closet? Framing and rocking a new chase there would sacrifice some closet storage, but it might be the only option to enable your niches becoming a reality.

I've always liked niches, and have built at least 8 or 10 over the last 40 years. Using tempered glass shelves with polished front edges enables your light source at the top to provide complete illumination (traveling through to the bottom of the niche). For smaller ones like you're building, a low-voltage transformer with a dimmer switch is the way to go, as the smaller low-voltage light fixtures don't overwhelm the smaller spaces. For an interesting effect, I've wired niches on opposite or adjacent walls on one circuit, controlled by a single dimmer.
 
 

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