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-   -   Cinder block house-need some help (http://www.houserepairtalk.com/f109/cinder-block-house-need-some-help-13200/)

wenchyweslie 02-07-2012 10:13 PM

Cinder block house-need some help
 
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I am a first time home buyer and the house I am buying is a small cinder block fixer upper. It has 2 small bedrooms that I want to merge into one large bedroom with a nice big reach in closet. From what I can see of the joists, they run from the front door to back door and are 12" apart. The bedrooms are roughly 10ft by 10ft, the hallway is 3ft by 7 & 1/2 ft. In the image I have attached is a good description of what I want to do. What I need help with is figuring out if I can safely remove the wall sections I am wanting to without damaging the structural integrity of the house. Any suggestions?

inspectorD 02-08-2012 05:32 AM

ok
 
Looks like that could be the bearing wall, which would be the same as the kitchen wall if you follow it through.Looks like there may already be a flush beam in your hallway attic nearest to the kitchen.Get up into the attic and do some looking around, just stay on the joists!!And if you install a beam, make sure the point loads of the studs carrying it sit on something sturdy, like the beam below in the basement.
Get someone out there to verify that, and do some load calculations for where you live for a flush beam, or header. An engineer or a really good contractor can help you.

wenchyweslie 02-13-2012 11:24 PM

Hmmm, ok. Anyone know of any contractors or engineers in the DFW area of Texas that could help but aren't overly priced? I'm on a fairly tight budget. Was hoping to be able to do this ourselves with the help of some friends.

nealtw 02-14-2012 12:05 AM

Have you been in the attic to look at the ceiling joists to make sure you are right? Even if you do not have access, you will need to open it up so the engineer can see it. The block wall at the end of the wall dosn't make sence to me. If one of those walls is a bearing wall there will be a header over the door to one of those closets. If you do get an engineer you will need to expose the structure so he can see it and if it is not a bearing wall you won't need an engineer.

inspectorD 02-14-2012 04:56 AM

o
 
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Or, I know this is not what you want, but removing a bedroom will limit your resale value.
here is a less expensive idea, remove the doors to both bedrooms and put a single door in the hallway opening, Then you have a sleeping area and a dressing area where most of the other furniture goes. dressers, new closet shelves...............:D Laundry.........
just another idea, and removable, and really less expensive with better stuff!!

wenchyweslie 02-16-2012 06:28 PM

I've taken a look at the joists in the attic and it just doesn't make sense for that itty bit of wall to be load bearing.The previous owner made it a bit difficult to see up there though because he sprayed insulation all over the attic. It's covering a lot of stuff so we're gonna have to squeeze up there and dig around to get a better look. And as for the resale value, I'm not that worried about it. We're gonna turn the house into a rental property in 2-3 years when we decide to move out and upgrade to a bigger home.

nealtw 02-16-2012 06:59 PM

If there is a solid header over the door to one of the closets, that will be a bearing wall. Just drive a few nails in the wall and see if it is solid wood.

mudmixer 02-16-2012 07:02 PM

I think Inspector D has it right.

Even an "itty-bitty" can be carrying a ;oad from above. The wall from left to right is a bearing wall from the closets with a flush beam over the opening to the hall and bedrooms, judging from your description an the floor plan.

You never did say where an interior block wall may be running, but the block wall can carry far more load than a stud wall and is only the doors and openings you have to worry about.

A good investigation of the attic will tell you what is possible or reasonable and what the solutions are for your project to increase the saleability. Just make sure you invest in a permit and inspection to insure the value and avoid the things that will easily be found in an inspection by a buyer than can reduce your selling price.

Dick

DougLeary 02-20-2012 11:27 AM

This is just a general question. I always thought a bearing wall bore a load above it, for example a wall on a lower floor that has an upper floor wall on top of it or crossing it. How can a wall under an open attic space be a bearing wall?

nealtw 02-20-2012 05:02 PM

Doug: If the house was built with trusses, they most often sit on the outside walls for support. But a hand framed roof has ceiling joist sitting on walls and sometimes have extra supports for the roof itself landing on or near walls. This house has a block wall at the end of the hall so it is hopefull that it is supporting the ceiling, but some more digging has to be done.


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