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bwaldrep1 04-25-2010 06:54 PM

Load bearing walls
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Before I start knocking walls down I thought it a good idea to ask how I would figure whether a wall was load bearing or not. I have attached a pic of the two walls that are in question(marked w/ a red X). To the left is an existing shower, and to the right is an enclosed restroom. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.


Cork-Guy 04-25-2010 07:02 PM

This is virtually impossible to tell via a picture; we have no clue how the structure of your house is outside of this room, nor would I expect anyone to give a valid answer with this simple picture. You'll need a professional to determine via blueprints or evaluation of your house to determine this answer. Not to mention the removal a non-low bearing wall can still have structural issues in the future; especially depending on whats located on the floor above. Seek professional help in answering this question and not the response of someone on a forum.

Nestor_Kelebay 04-25-2010 09:48 PM


Is there an attic above that bathroom?

Is there any way of seeing the ceiling joists above those bathroom walls?

You see, my understanding of the span tables is that they presume no support whatever from any walls that might subsequently be built between the ends of the joists. That is, the span tables presume that all of the load is supported at the ends of the joists. That means that if any walls are subsequently built under those joists, the support of those walls aren't necessary for the joists above to support the load they bear.

So, if you can see the joists above, you can determine if it's a load bearing wall if the ENDS of the joists above rest on it, or the joists above it overlap the wall by several feet (as is commonly done over structural beams).

It seems to me that if those walls lie somewhere between the ends of the joists above them, then their existance couldn't have been accounted for in the span tables, and so the joists above would have been sized presuming that interior wall wasn't there.

Wuzzat? 04-26-2010 08:22 AM

Stretch a line just below the ceiling. If the ceiling has a sag on each side of the wall, it is load bearing.
For a span 10' you can expect a sag of 1/3"; i.e., the ceiling drops down to a low point and then rises again.
If the wall is non-load bearing the low point will be at the wall if the wall is in the center of the span.

handyguys 04-26-2010 01:24 PM

no way to tell without more information. If you have an attic above, a picture of the area above with the insulation removed would help.

You obviously have plumbing in that wall.

mrrehabit 04-13-2011 07:03 AM

Load Bearing Walls
Hey folks, I always hire an engineer for load bearers, I've removed many over the years and spanned with a steel header, but I do not guess. I rarely have time to devote to crawling in attics or crawl spaces so I make a call, yes it costs money but money well spent. 20 years ago we did an old victorian carriage house and the customer wanted to open up the stalls into the main entry way, well that was a 24' load bearing wall. The engineer recommended double bracing the ceiling on both sides, jack the ceiling, then sit it down on 4x4 post cut to length, then we cut out the wall, and slid in a 24' I-beam and sat it on 2 - 4" concrete filled adjustable columns. It can be done just consult with an engineer, he will save you so much time and money!

joecaption 04-15-2011 05:38 AM

That short of a wall is not going to be load bearing, Look under that floor in the basement or crawl space and see if you see any form of pier or foundation directly under it. If not then it's not load bearing.
Closets and end walls for tubs are never load bearing, there built after all the other framing was done that supports the house.

kaytav 04-20-2011 06:28 AM

For that type of work i will suggest you to get in contact with some experts/professionals in person, as what Cork-guy said, Virtually it seems to be impossible for us to give you a suggestion or advise...

oldognewtrick 09-25-2012 05:45 AM

And you can tell this from the Phillipines, how?

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