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Determine Weight Bearing Wall?

#1
01-27-02, 05:00 PM
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Determine Weight Bearing Wall?

Hi,
I am considering removing a wall. I know that I have to determine if it is weight bearing, however, I don't know how to determine that. Can someone here explain how to determine this?

#2
01-27-02, 08:48 PM
MichaelJP
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I am wanting to know this also.

I have heard that you can tell by checking the basement to see if there is a support beam supporting that wall. But I am not sure this is correct.

Michael

#3
01-28-02, 08:54 AM
dickh
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load bearing walls generally run perpendicular
to the floor/ceiling joists above them

#4
01-28-02, 09:08 AM
MichaelJP
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I thought most walls run perpendicular to floor joists?
At least mine do.
Yet I know that certain walls running perpendicular to the floor joists can't be load bearing since the were installed to seperate appartments.

Michael

#5
01-28-02, 11:06 AM
dickh
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to be on the safe side, any wall that runs perpendicular to, that is, at a 90 degree angle,
to the floor or ceiling joists above it should be
considered load bearing. if you still aren't sure.
get a professional in to determine that for you.
this isn't something you want to make a mistake on. if the wall is load bearing, you'll probably
have to get an engineer to figure out how big a
header or beam you will need to replace it. in my
case that cost us about \$500.

#6
01-29-02, 05:39 PM
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I used the wrong term initially, it is 'load bearing'.
It also appears that dickh is correct, and that a partition wall that is running parallel to the joists is non-load bearing. Lucky for me!
It does make sense when you think about it, that a wall perpendicular to the joist is load bearing.
I confirmed the answer with a local home store and some other web research.
The wall goes, the kitchen gets bigger.
Thanks very much for your assistance!!

#7
01-29-02, 08:38 PM
MichaelJP
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I have a wall that is running perpendicular to the floor joists but I know it is not load bearing. This used to be an old Victorian style house. The wall is for a small hall that allows access to an upstairs apartment.

In fact many walls in my house are perpendicular are not load bearing, or if they are my house is about to fall in. They are thin and the studs are put in sidelong so the walls would be smaller.

I can't see that a wall simply because it runs perpendicular to floor joist means it is load bearing.

There has to be a better way to figure it out.
How does the guy you hire for \$500 figure it out?

Michael

#8
01-30-02, 06:56 AM
dickh
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you don't need a \$500 engineer to tell you if a
wall is load bearing or not. a carpenter can tell
you that. but if it is load bearing, that's when
you may need to hire an engineer. in my case the
city building inspector insisted on it so we had
no choice. an engineer will figure out how much
weight is going to be on your replacement beam.
that means all the weight of your building materials above the beam even including the snow
on your roof. then he's going to figure the live
load, i.e. how many sumo wrestlers and pianos can
you possibly put up there. then he will determine
how big a beam you need to support that weight.
i did try to find out what formulas they use for
this but i didn't have any luck. guess that's why
he could charge me more per hour than my divorce
lawyer.

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