DIY Home Improvement, Remodeling & Repair Forum > DIY Home Improvement > Walls and Ceilings > Renovating apartment, but we're worried about a load bearing wall




Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 02-26-2013, 10:11 AM  
cnfacc
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 5
Liked 2 Times on 2 Posts

Default Renovating apartment, but we're worried about a load bearing wall

Hi City-Data / Architecture forum,

We're currently in the process of renovating our apartment, but we're concerned whether a wall was load bearing.

We originally wanted to open up the kitchen, but was told the wall we wanted to remove was load bearing.

Our contractor then came in and poked around and told us it wasn't load bearing.

They then told us that the wall had to come down regardless and could be rebuilt again if we're worried.

The problem is that now we're worried and I was hoping you could provide some insight or opinion of whether the wall we took down was load bearing or not.

I've already started to look into getting a structural engineer to come in and evaluate.

I would appreciate your thoughts very much, thanks in advance!

Pictures of the interior below.





__________________
cnfacc is offline  
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-26-2013, 11:11 AM  
mudmixer
Contractor
 
mudmixer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 587
Liked 42 Times on 35 Posts
Likes Given: 36

Default

I would first tell the "contractor" to stop work and then call an engineer for help. That beam/support over the wall you are removing looks very feeble, especially considering it also supporting and other "beam".

Using the term "apartment" implies you are renting and not the owner of the total structure. Just knocking out walls without some direction other than the "contractor" can leave you with a major problem and excuse for many extras down the road.

You already have been told it was load-bearing before you talked to the "contractor", but were sold on a faster and cheaper way initially to get started.

Dick



__________________
mudmixer is offline  
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-26-2013, 11:15 AM  
nealtw
Contractor
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: vancouver, b.c.
Posts: 9,435
Liked 746 Times on 666 Posts
Likes Given: 1302

Default

If the main beam is supported on each side, I wouldn't beconcerned about that one. The one coming into it should be bolted or welded to it. The real question comes about the column that has been removed. If that was was just 4 studs covered with drywall, no problem, but it if had studs nail together to make a post and then framed out for drywall, then you start to worry.
And welcome to the site.

__________________
nealtw is online now  
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-26-2013, 11:20 AM  
Fireguy5674
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Jacksonville, Illinois
Posts: 179
Liked 33 Times on 28 Posts
Likes Given: 19

Default

It would seem that an engineer would be the way to go. Hard to tell from the pictures exactly everything involved.
1. How many stories is the building and on what floor is this apartment?
2. What type of construction is it?
3. Was the column you removed steel or masonary?
4. How are the two beams which meet in the ceiling connected to each other?

I would not be as concerned about removing the wall as I would be about removing a column. Get the engineer in and see what he has to say.

__________________
Fireguy5674 is offline  
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-26-2013, 11:41 AM  
cnfacc
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 5
Liked 2 Times on 2 Posts

Default

Hi everybody, thanks for the quick replies!

I'll try to answer some of your questions, and I do appreciate all the help!

mudmixer: It's a coop apartment that we bought. We've been told by the building manager that those are load bearing, but the contractors were supposed to be very experienced and they seemed pretty certain that the wall was not load bearing. They said things along the line of "they would not use wood to support steel," and "if it was indeed load bearing, the wooden posts (that the wall was constructed of) would be touching the steel beam and not sitting on top of a wooden sub floor."

The building management told us that we could build a pass-through, so this is what we decided to go with. The contractors said they had to poke around anyway to determine what they're dealing with before they actually took anything out. And after that, they told us it was not load bearing and they would take the wall down to rebuild it with our pass through, and that's how it came to where we are now.

nealtw: The beam that goes into the other beam is bolted and welded I believe (I at least definitely see big bolts). The column that was removed was hollow, with 4 wooden posts (2x4 - are these studs?) that made up the corners, and dry wall was attached to those.

Fireguy5674:
1. The apartment is 6 floors and we're on the 3rd.
2. I'm not sure what you mean by this, but the building is around 1950's, the wall that came down was made out of wooden posts (2x4 - are these studs?) every foot or so (maybe 8 to 10 inches) and dry wall was attached to it.
3. The column was hollow and was made out of 4 wooden posts (2x4) on the corners. Then dry wall on the posts.
4. The two beams connecting on the ceiling are bolted to each other. And I think I remember welding, too.

I hope that helped to provide some insight.

We were very concerned after they took it down and the contractor said if it was really a load bearing wall, the building would have called you by now.

Again, thanks for all your replies!

__________________

Last edited by cnfacc; 02-26-2013 at 12:52 PM.
cnfacc is offline  
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-26-2013, 11:47 AM  
cnfacc
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 5
Liked 2 Times on 2 Posts

Default

Here's a picture of the wall and column before it was knocked down.

You can see the holes that the contractor put in them to poke around.

__________________
cnfacc is offline  
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-26-2013, 12:49 PM  
nealtw
Contractor
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: vancouver, b.c.
Posts: 9,435
Liked 746 Times on 666 Posts
Likes Given: 1302

Default

The column was suppoting nothing, The only question left is the supports holding up the main beam or if the main beam is big enough to carry the load. I looks like it was built to be open but there is always a chance that there was a problem that someone fixed by building a wall. It's never a bad idea to have an engineer look it over. If the same walls are open upstairs I doubt you have a problem.

__________________
nealtw is online now  
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-26-2013, 01:29 PM  
cnfacc
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 5
Liked 2 Times on 2 Posts

Default

Thanks again nealtw.

I've been looking around for a structural engineer to come look at it.

__________________
cnfacc is offline  
nealtw Likes This 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-26-2013, 04:55 PM  
nealtw
Contractor
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: vancouver, b.c.
Posts: 9,435
Liked 746 Times on 666 Posts
Likes Given: 1302

Default

Be sure to come back and tell us what he says.

__________________
nealtw is online now  
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-27-2013, 09:32 AM  
cnfacc
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 5
Liked 2 Times on 2 Posts

Default

So we had a few friends of ours take a look at it. One works as a project manager at an architectural engineering firm. And another is a construction supervisor. Right off the bat both have told us it wasn't load bearing. Also, the seller of the apartment has also told us that the upstairs apartment has an open kitchen, so we're going to go say hi and take a look this weekend. If they do have an open kitchen, then I guess that pretty much seals the deal.

Will update, thanks again!



__________________
cnfacc is offline  
nealtw Likes This 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply


Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter DIY Home Repair Forum Replies Last Post
Load-Bearing Wall? Eric_C Framing and Foundation 2 01-31-2012 05:52 AM
Shear Wall load bearing central wall w plaster removal? Tomoca Framing and Foundation 2 11-29-2010 04:43 PM
Load Bearing Wall Removal Advice (point load?) stringer9 Framing and Foundation 8 10-25-2010 02:48 PM
Load bearing wall bfash General Home Improvement Discussion 9 11-28-2007 08:01 AM
Load Bearing Wall Ozzie16 Framing and Foundation 2 03-24-2006 09:26 PM