Load Bearing Closet Wall?

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  #1  
Old 07-26-14, 06:57 PM
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Load Bearing Closet Wall?

This is probably going to be a silly question but I'd like to know for sure (as much as possible anyway) that what I am doing isn't going to cause any future problems. A little background information...the house was built in 1943 but this area of the house was an addition done sometime after 1943 (no idea when). It is a full two story house but all of the upper rooms (old and the addition portion) have some "sloped" ceilings where the roof slopes down. Example:
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There are a couple of closets that I am looking to remove but as I have started I am wondering if they are providing some support to the joists above. It is kind of a weird situation from what I can tell. Hard to describe but hopefully the picture makes a little more sense:
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Wasn't sure of any forum rules on image size, but a larger version can be found here.

So basically the green box with the ??? is my question. Is that being supported by the closets? (closet B is barely visible at the far left of the image)

The ceiling joists are just nailed into the board highlighted in green and they rest on an interior wall on the other side (not pictured). The highlighted in green board is nailed into a joist at the far right of the image. It does not sit on top of the wall that is pictured as far as I can tell. There do seem to be some 2x6s that connect the highlighted in green board to the wall top plate.

Here is one last image of the situation without all my highlighting in there.
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Larger version here.

I am a complete novice at this sort of thing so please be gentle if I misused some terminology or this is a stupid question. Let me know if any different pictures would help. Thank you for your time!
 
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  #2  
Old 07-26-14, 11:27 PM
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I am far from an expert in this area but I think that yes, it IS structural. Wait for X or Chandler to post as they ARE experts in the field.
 
  #3  
Old 07-27-14, 07:08 PM
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It looks load bearing. You can see where the joists rest on top of the closet top plate. After resting on this top plate, it looks like they slope back and down. You must have a gambrel or mansard roof.

I'm not an expert. You should post another picture of this closet wall (the one with drywall open). Try to get the entire wall left to right.

Like I said, I'm not an expert but the new picture will help in determining if the closet can be removed and replaced with a beam. It doesn't look like the closet front wall provides much shear value, it does carry the load above.
 
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Old 07-27-14, 07:23 PM
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I looked at the larger images. This is definitely a load bearing wall.
Basically the 2 closets, left and right, form a load bearing wall with a gap in the middle.

So your only question would be can you remove the closets and replace with a sufficient load bearing beam. You may need an engineer to come out and look at that.

Let's say the room is 12' wide, and the closets are 4' each. That load is being spread over 8'. (the 2 closet walls).

Even if you did replace closets with a beam, now the load is concentrated on the two outside ends of the beam. Normally, for the load to be carried on the 2 sides of the beam, there would need to be posts under each side of beam, extending down to the foundation. You get the idea. Architect or engineer can figure this easily.
 
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Old 08-03-14, 05:58 PM
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I have a friend who is a contractor and I had him come over and take a look. He agrees that the closets are load bearing. He said I had two options. 1) Add a load bearing beam like what was discussed here. 2) Replace the ceiling joists so they extend all the way to the rafters (and all-together remove the green "???" piece).

I am inclined to do the latter option as I think it would be easier for me to do and I wouldn't lose any ceiling space. The load from the weight of the joists would just be transferred to the exterior wall instead of being supported by the closets.

My question...is this a terrible idea or a good one (or one that I should have a pro do...)? I keep coming back to the question of why the original builder wouldn't have just done it this way instead of the way they did it?
 
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Old 08-03-14, 06:36 PM
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why the original builder wouldn't have just done it this way instead of the way they did it?
The original builder did this to provide a roof design and closets.

Your contractor friend agreed on two options. Either one requires engineering. I mentioned in my previous post that closet front wall could be replaced with a beam and posts. I also mentioned an architect or engineer needs to design this. I may have not been clear. The beam and posts may require foundation work.
It looks like you went to a lot of trouble already and feel confident in doing the framing.
I would hire an architect and then you can proceed with confidence. I would not recommend removing any framing until you have a plan. The plans would be a good investment.
 
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Old 08-21-14, 06:50 PM
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Just to put an end to this one...I did have a structural engineer come out. Have some good plans now. Thanks for the help!
 
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