DIY Home Improvement, Remodeling & Repair Forum > DIY Home Improvement > Flooring > To rip out, or not to rip out...




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Old 10-05-2008, 10:30 AM  
Jonota
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Default To rip out, or not to rip out...

Hi all, new to the forum, but I love DIY around the house(sometimes referred to as the farm because of the animals....).

Have a wall in my basement I've been absolutely itching to rip out, but the wife is concerned it's a support wall, or some other such issue. Attached are some pics, but if you can't see them, it "appears" that the previous owners added a 3-section Z-type wall to the downstairs "family area", and put window openings in it.... I think they're hideous. The neighbors are fairly sure there wasn't anything there a few years ago, but aren't 100%. I would like to rip out the entire thing to really open up the area. I've read a lot that basements usually have "post" style supports rather than true wall supports. Is this true? Is there an easy way to tell if the wall is supporting anything. Naturally I don't want to do any damage. The ceiling "beams" (I get all confused on the terminology) are directionally the same as the middle section of my annoying wall, labeled "A" in the pictures. Any advice, suggestions, information, etc, would be appreciated.





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Old 10-05-2008, 11:23 AM  
hondadrv24
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In your first picture, is that a boxed out beam that I see though the doorway back a couple of feet? If it is that would be your support.
I think you were trying to say that the joists (2x12s) run the same way as the center wall is that correct?

and last question, is there anywhere in your basement that you can see the floor joists and/or a steel I beam supporting them in the center of the basement.
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Old 10-05-2008, 11:54 AM  
Jonota
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What looks like a box out is actually the HVAC plumbing. I can see the floor joists in two locations, in my mechanical room, and my storage room, and I can see from one end of the basement to the other. The joists are 2x10 on 16" centers, house is ~28 ft wide. The home was built in 1956. The downstairs has rooms on one end with a center hallway, which appears to be the only thing supporting the 2x10's in the center. On the other end, the staircase comes down and has walls on either side of it that provide support (I suppose).

This pic is through wall section "A"'s opening, down the hallway. The hallway is matched upstairs(for the most part) but the upstairs hall is not as wide.


This pic is from the storage room, which is the first door on the left in the above picture. It is facing over the hallway through the joists, towards the room that is the first on the right in the above pic.


This pic is the staircase on the opposite end of the house. It is not centered, the hallway is. Either side of the stair case is a stud-frame wall, the right side is sheetrock on the stair side, and open on the other side (mechanical room). The left side is sheetrock on the stair side, and wood paneling on the other side (yuck, I know....).


Is it unsettling that there is no center support beam... or does it seem that the downstairs walls must have been put in originally to serve as support? Would it then mean that the Z shaped wall must also be a support?

Oy
Jon

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Old 10-05-2008, 04:17 PM  
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When there are no visible support beams or columns, You have to assume that All of the walls are load bearing in a basement. The only way to exclude a wall from load bearing is to remove drywall and actually look at what's above the walls. If as little as one floor joists crosses the wall, settling may have made that wall supportive.

As usual, It's always best to get an engineer or at the very least a competent professional with insurance to look at any wall to determine it's load bearing and if it's needed in any other supporting manner such as bracing.

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Old 10-05-2008, 05:13 PM  
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Default Yup

Follow Square eyes advice, you really need a professional if you do not really know the terminology.
That way you will not cause more work for yourself.

Better to know what is there, than give it your best guesstimate, we will be here to help when you find out.

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Old 10-06-2008, 08:50 PM  
Jonota
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I understand what everything does, and have built quite a few things myself. Call it a functional rather than a technical knowledge. I have just heard so many different people call things different names. For instance, the "joists" that we're talking about, that run across the "width" of the house, I have heard called rafters, joists, beams, runners, and I'm sure several other names.

Looking at it, it seems to me someone just kind of threw up a few walls. My neighbors think it was done a few years ago. It makes me think of a daycare center! I'm thinking that if it IS holding someweight, it will only be holding it with a post-type support at the middle. I'm tempted to rip the "walls" off just to look at it but wondered if I could get some pointers prior to. Such as to pull off just a certain section (upper/lower/etc) to look for "telltale" load support signs. I had heard before that if the upper 2x4 on the wall was doubled, it was load bearing, but I have a floating wall on my mechanical room that has the double cap and is definitely not load bearing...

Jon

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Old 10-07-2008, 05:36 AM  
inspectorD
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We just want to be on the same page, with explaining things.
If you where to pull out a rafter instead of a joist, there would be roof issues.

I would take things apart, that is the only way to know what the structure is for sure. Any remodelor will give the same type of advice, you need to know what is there before you can go after a problem.



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