load bearing walls ?

15 Replies

i would like to remove couple of walls to open up the kitchen. wall A, wall B and small wall C. it is a trilevel house. i attach couple of pictures. would you know if those walls are for sure load bearing etc ? i hired a structural engineer and ordered a report but I would also appreciate comments from someone who knows framing. I will share the report once  I get it. 

Probably load bearing, doesn't look like anything else is holding the roof up for the rest of that room that isn't the kitchen, just a guess but trust the engineer.  This is why I hate when RE agents say when touring houses "oh we could just open up this kitchen" without knowing whether walls are load bearing or not.

Likely not to wall b, and ,c. Maybe not to wall a.

Please,  post structural report. 

Even if the walls are load bearing, it doesn't mean they can't be opened up. Worst case scenario you would need a beam(s) to take the load. If you used a steel I or H beam, it would reduce the amount of vertical space required vs a built up header or laminated beam. Are the ceilings 8' or?

A general rule of thumb is that walls parallel to the joists are not load bearing and walls that run perpendicular to the joists are load bearing. This depends on the roof structure. Is this a hip roof?

Easiest way to identify load-bearing is the number of 2x4s that run on the top (top plate).  Load-bearing requires two.


When in doubt, assume it’s load bearing. You can open the walls as long as you support the load with a new beam that meets code. Typically local code will tell you the beam dimensions per the opening width. 

Do not even attempt to guess on something like this if you dont know what you are doing. 

These pictures only tell 1 tiny part of the whole picture. 

Double top plate is not a good sign for load bearing. A lot of non load bearing walls are built with double top plate because studs are precut from factory and it is more complicated to switch back and forth between 2 diff wall types.

according to your pics one of those walls is going to be load bearing most likely not all of them. It appear there is no  roof load but you have ceiling load. 

If you want to open up fully wait for engineer but be prepared to have to install a few beams for ceiling support at minimum.

@robert d

what year was that house built? 

has that blown in insulation been tested for asbestos?

I second @Erik Baumer . Judging load bearing from photos on an online forum is the worst and can lead to disaster if you do not know what you are doing. Get a local architect or engineer to assess. They can determine load bearing walls and also design a support beam if necessary.  

Also, with all the demo done, why are the ceiling still intact? It would be a much clearer picture if you brought these down, at least in the areas where you proposed to remove walls. These areas will need to come down anyway with the wall and possible support work. (I suspect this may be due to the insulation in attic. As others mentioned, this should be tested for asbestos and then removed.)   @Robert D.

Originally posted by @Kenny Dahill :

Easiest way to identify load-bearing is the number of 2x4s that run on the top (top plate).  Load-bearing requires two.


When in doubt, assume it’s load bearing. You can open the walls as long as you support the load with a new beam that meets code. Typically local code will tell you the beam dimensions per the opening width. 

The number of 2x4's on top  does not show if it is load bearing or not. That is to tie the splices together at the T's and corners. 

 

Originally posted by @Erik Baumer :

Do not even attempt to guess on something like this if you dont know what you are doing. 

These pictures only tell 1 tiny part of the whole picture. 

Double top plate is not a good sign for load bearing. A lot of non load bearing walls are built with double top plate because studs are precut from factory and it is more complicated to switch back and forth between 2 diff wall types.

according to your pics one of those walls is going to be load bearing most likely not all of them. It appear there is no  roof load but you have ceiling load. 

If you want to open up fully wait for engineer but be prepared to have to install a few beams for ceiling support at minimum.

@robert d  ^^^^This is the only advice you need. I have been building for 35 years and while I know a thing or two in that time frame I still defer to a registered professional. Codes change all the time. My job is to build it. their job is to keep up with the way for me to build it. 


Perfect marriage.  

 

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