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Are All Walls Under A Single Joist Span Non-load Bearing?

Are All Walls Under A Single Joist Span Non-load Bearing?


Old 01-16-17, 04:50 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Harrisburg, PA
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Are All Walls Under A Single Joist Span Non-load Bearing?

I want to remove a wall between two rooms and the ultimate question is whether it is a supporting wall. I think it's not, but does anyone have a reason to suspect it is with the following facts:

* The wall runs parallel with the joists above it;

* The wall desired to be removed does not go beyond the joist span above (in other words, both rooms are on one side of the building's center beam);

* The wall separates two rooms that are 16" offset (2 steps down/up);

* Since the rooms are offset, it maybe can be thought of as two end walls of two buildings joined together - the wall is even 8" thick, not 4";

* There is a block wall in the basement which usually means supporting, but it looks like it's there to support floor joists (not ceiling) which are running perpendicular to the ceiling joists;

I'm under the impression that an outside wall parallel to the joists above AND under a single joist span, doesn't support anything ...is that true even when seemingly two separate buildings touch each other?

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Above is a drawing of the direction of the joists. The garage is to the right.

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Above is the lower right room. I was extremely surprised to discover 3 courses of 4" thick block ABOVE the floor! This is the only thing that makes me think I may be missing something, but I can't seem to establish why the builders would go through the hassle of laying block instead of starting the wood framing on the floor/deck. Also note that the block just stops 2/3rds of the way to the right which also makes no sense! They had to chisel out areas for the electric, for the HVAC return, etc. - all to use block instead of framing. I'm baffled.

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Above is my drawing of the basement block and what's above the floor. The wall to be removed has 2x4 studs for each half of the 8" wall, but the 2x4's do not line up - they are staggered.

I will be monitoring this closely and will answer within a few minutes of any posts asking more questions. Thanks a million!

Last edited by tony17112acst; 01-16-17 at 05:11 PM.
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Old 01-16-17, 05:06 PM
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I'm not following you or your drawings 100% but just going by the photo of the exterior, yes that is a load bearing wall. It has load from the hip roof (top pic, left side of house but right side of the roof) on it. The 4" blocks are used below grade and above grade they probably support the brick facade that is above the roof line.

Structural questions like this are always best answered by a structural engineer who can see the house in person.
Old 01-16-17, 05:21 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Harrisburg, PA
Posts: 481
Wouldn't the hip roof be supported by the joists? ...not the wall. The joists span the outside wall and center support, making it a long header ...right? Or am I missing something.

Secondly, that is a GREAT catch noticing the brick above the attic roof line and I thought that explained everything. BUT above the 3 rows of block are 2x4 studs. Can 2x4 studs support that brick facade? So if you're standing inside the room on the right, the wall in question has 3 rowns of block, then 2x4 up to the ceiling ...so I better confirm that they are indeed 2x4's and not block up to the ceiling.
Old 01-16-17, 05:32 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Harrisburg, PA
Posts: 481
OK, I reluctantly drilled holes thru the drywall above the supposed 3 rows of block and I just found that the block does indeed go up to the ceiling!!

Wow, my stud finder was going off every 16", but I guess it could be furring strips doing that against the block.

Well, I'm thinking the mystery is solved and the wall IS supporting because the block is supporting the exterior brick above the roof line.

Thanks a lot ...bad news, but I never would have thought of that brick out there.

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