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-   -   want to remove a post - load bearing? (http://www.houserepairtalk.com/f32/want-remove-post-load-bearing-2821/)

elmateo 09-13-2007 12:16 PM

want to remove a post - load bearing?
 
I have 2 4X4 posts that I'd like to remove. One is in the living room, another in a hallway. I've looked at the way they're constructed, and as far as I can tell, the posts were installed after the sheetrock that's on the ceilings. i.e. the post sits directly on the foundation, and there's a layer of sheetrock between the post and the ceiling joists. It looks like the posts were toenailed into the sheetrock/ceiling joists above with large framing nails.

my question is this - Since the posts were obviously installed after sheetrocking, does that mean that they can't possibly be load-bearing? Also, even after I remove them, is there any chance of some slight shifting taking place, as the house may have settled some weight onto them anyway?

thanks,

matt k.

Daryl in Nanoose 09-14-2007 07:49 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by elmateo (Post 11411)
I have 2 4X4 posts that I'd like to remove. One is in the living room, another in a hallway. I've looked at the way they're constructed, and as far as I can tell, the posts were installed after the sheetrock that's on the ceilings. i.e. the post sits directly on the foundation, and there's a layer of sheetrock between the post and the ceiling joists. It looks like the posts were toenailed into the sheetrock/ceiling joists above with large framing nails.

my question is this - Since the posts were obviously installed after sheetrocking, does that mean that they can't possibly be load-bearing? Also, even after I remove them, is there any chance of some slight shifting taking place, as the house may have settled some weight onto them anyway?

thanks,

matt k.

Sounds like they were put in due to some ceiling sagging.You will need to go up into the attic and see how this was framed. Is it a truss roof, framed rafters, false ceiling. You will need the rafter size and spans. Is there anything being stored up there.

elmateo 09-14-2007 09:23 AM

I'm pretty sure they weren't put in as an afterthought. They're included in the blueprints. I think they were supposed to be "decorative," as they come complete with ugly plywood arches, a theme that's repeated a couple of places in the house. the only thing above the post is a crawlspace for the AC ducts.

The roof isn't trussed - it's just long rafters w/ one end supported by each exterior wall. The post in question is part of the higher exterior wall. The opening the post breaks up is about 9' wide, connecting the kitchen and a sun room (the house is L shaped) The post sits right in the middle of this opening.

How compressible is sheetrock? If this post was bearing significant weight, do you think the sheetrock between it and the frame would show signs of crushing?

thanks,

mk

Daryl in Nanoose 09-15-2007 11:42 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by elmateo (Post 11421)
I'm pretty sure they weren't put in as an afterthought. They're included in the blueprints. I think they were supposed to be "decorative," as they come complete with ugly plywood arches, a theme that's repeated a couple of places in the house. the only thing above the post is a crawlspace for the AC ducts.

The roof isn't trussed - it's just long rafters w/ one end supported by each exterior wall. The post in question is part of the higher exterior wall. The opening the post breaks up is about 9' wide, connecting the kitchen and a sun room (the house is L shaped) The post sits right in the middle of this opening.

How compressible is sheetrock? If this post was bearing significant weight, do you think the sheetrock between it and the frame would show signs of crushing?

thanks,

mk

Drywall would have a indent by now I would think

inspectorD 09-20-2007 06:29 PM

Options
 
If you can get into the attic space...sounds like you can, try this first.
Get a coathanger...metal ...straighten it out.

Next to the post as close as you can...push it up through the sheetrock and into the ceiling attic space.
Go into the attic and look to see what it is holdin up.;)

this will leave a small hole easy to repair.

Let us know.:D

glennjanie 09-21-2007 11:28 AM

Cool answer, InspectorD; wish I had said that!
The whole thing sounds like it is for looks. There was a time when designers went Southwestern crazy; using a lot of posts and arches. It can probably be taken out with no resulting damage but I would take a look above just to see what could possibly come down on my head before starting.
There is a scene in the movie Under the Tuscan Sun that any DIYer should see before taking an arch out.
Glenn

inspectorD 09-21-2007 07:20 PM

Thanks
 
Insert pat on back here....:D

Some day's I went to school to just eat my lunch.....other day's
I came away with something useful to pass on.

I am guessin that it is for looks also....but ...I have seen the movie the Money Pit.

Anything that can happen...will.:)

scottyf 10-03-2007 12:12 PM

When in doubt I'd contact a structural engineer, only then will you be absolutely certain that it doesn't have a structural purpose.


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