Author Topic: Tear down a load bearing wall....  (Read 6349 times)

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Offline JeremyH.

  • Posts: 320
Tear down a load bearing wall....
« on: October 27, 2015, 01:46 AM »
Hi guys... I'm trying to help my father out. He isn't sure about removing a wall. But fact is his kitchen is like prison cell sized (ok, it's bigger, but feels like it).

Ideally I'd like to remove the wall and move the ceiling up to the shape of the roof since it has low ceilings everywhere in the house (1950's).

I've attached a picture to show the issue. All that holds up the ceiling is 2x8's, 4x of them. One is directly over the wall I'd like to remove. What I'm not sure about is if the 2x8's (maybe they're 2x6) that run in that insulation that's blown in, all over, may or may not provide support for the outside walls of the house. (keeping them from pulling out)

The close 2x8 you see in the picture is support split over the top of the hallway stud work, so it's distributed over both sides of the hallway. Under it, the ceiling of the downstairs is 2x8's and there's at least one 8x8 post.

When I visit him I get uncomfortable because the house has such low ceilings and small rooms excluding the downstairs living room which was two rooms until a flood when I was a child. My father added several boards to the existing flood when he took out the wall, and it only moved as much as a sawzall blade. But above it is a wall that's the bearing wall between two rooms, that has a 2x8 like in the picture of the attic. I guess the floor is strong enough without anything in there. It's not like my brother and I didn't wrestle, jump, etc, on top of it.

Oh the chimney doesn't do anything, it can be removed at any time.


Well anyway thoughts? 


« Last Edit: October 27, 2015, 02:14 AM by JeremyH. »
CXS;RO150;ETS EC 125/3 EQ;CT26e  KSS400;MT55cc;DDF 40

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Offline charley1968

  • Posts: 491
Re: Tear down a load bearing wall....
« Reply #1 on: October 27, 2015, 04:26 AM »
Hi!
To be honest: i wouldn't dare to give an opinion, even if i would be a fully trained carpenter/ constructor. The reason is : if i'd be wrong the house might come apart around you.
Haven't you got a proper construction firm in the town you live in so you could ask
there?
Just for today..

Offline Kev

  • Posts: 7652
Re: Tear down a load bearing wall....
« Reply #2 on: October 27, 2015, 04:29 AM »
First I'll say that the safest thing to do is engage a structural engineer to have a look at this ...

It may be feasible to support this from below with some form of span (steel i-beam or the like), but I'd be very careful. It looks like a pretty solid structure - I wish I had those roofing timbers in my house!

Offline rizzoa13

  • Posts: 587
Re: Tear down a load bearing wall....
« Reply #3 on: October 27, 2015, 06:35 AM »
How far are the 2x8s spaced apart? If you removed those 4 are there still others on either side to act as collar ties to keep the roof from wanting to sag downwards?

If the joists are only acting as collar ties you may be able to remove the 4 rafters, cut them shorter and install them up higher. It wouldn't give you a fully cathedral ceiling but it may be a good compromise between headroom and stability.

On whether you can remove a wall. Do the attic floor joists fall and split on top of this wall? Does it run parallel or perpendicular to the joists? Your pictures dont really explain very much.

Offline mike_aa

  • Posts: 1252
Re: Tear down a load bearing wall....
« Reply #4 on: October 27, 2015, 01:09 PM »
I agree with Kev on hiring a structural engineer to look at it.  You might also consider enlisting the help of an architect who may offer suggestions and solutions you hadn't thought about and often they work with an engineer.  Besides insuring that structural integrity integrity is maintained, you'll end up with a more livable space that has a higher value when you go to sell it.

Mike A.

Offline Dane

  • Posts: 411
Re: Tear down a load bearing wall....
« Reply #5 on: October 27, 2015, 01:59 PM »
I've done this before.  Not a huge deal, especially if you will not be moving the entire roof up- i.e., you'll still have somewhere to put a few load-bearing posts on either side.  Your lumber yard can size an lvl to carry the load that those jacks are doing now.  You might have to get creative on the collar ties, but some nice threaded rod and turnbuckles would look pretty tight on a mid-century vaulted ceiling.  You should pay an engineer 500.00 to spec it out for you if you want to be safe, though depending on your jurisdiction, the cut sheet from the lumber yard might be ok- you'd be surprised what a good lumber yard can do for you.  You're bigger problem is going to be properly insulating the vaulted space to avoid condensation and moisture damage- that's the part 99 percent of all American contractors get wrong and then you have rot, raining in your kitchen- fun stuff like that.  I'd go to the Building Science Corporation and do some research about that before you get too far down the road on this.

Offline JeremyH.

  • Posts: 320
Re: Tear down a load bearing wall....
« Reply #6 on: October 28, 2015, 01:28 AM »
That's a good point, concerns about leaks from the roof ever developing are a big deal, as well as moisture from anything. I suppose it would make sense to use wood instead of drywall so that anything that did occur, could dry or be fixed once it was noticed. That would also allow simple insulation. I've seen people have sheeting between the rafters and wood, too, but that makes drying impossible and leaks able to cause rot since you'd never know. But all in all I suppose it's not really different than the situation now. The ceiling is just drywall that often runs from one room to the next in sheets.

There really isn't room for anything but cathedral, as a vaulted would be such a very minor improvement.

I had thought about rods or cables with rod ends for rafter ties. That would look nice with wood perhaps. I could use two wood collar ties to attach onto a wood beam that runs to the floor in the place I choose, not in the middle of the load bearing wall. That would be more than it has now, and give it some character.
CXS;RO150;ETS EC 125/3 EQ;CT26e  KSS400;MT55cc;DDF 40

Offline JeremyH.

  • Posts: 320
Re: Tear down a load bearing wall....
« Reply #7 on: October 28, 2015, 01:30 AM »
BTW I heard that the guy who made this house and several others on the block built them in a hurry. But that said you can see they're pretty structurally strong. It might be a little odd, but if you're going for speed over-build and don't look back...
CXS;RO150;ETS EC 125/3 EQ;CT26e  KSS400;MT55cc;DDF 40

Offline Alex

  • Posts: 7660
Re: Tear down a load bearing wall....
« Reply #8 on: October 28, 2015, 04:15 AM »
This is the kind of job you don't advise about over the internet. Get somebody with the proper knowledge to look at it in person. Cost some money, but imagine how much a collapsed building will cost you.

Offline JeremyH.

  • Posts: 320
Re: Tear down a load bearing wall....
« Reply #9 on: October 28, 2015, 08:24 PM »
I wouldn't move forward unless I was certain.

Talking with people on here isn't a bad idea. It gives me a lot of information to use when speaking with someone in person, and some clues to whom I should speak with.
CXS;RO150;ETS EC 125/3 EQ;CT26e  KSS400;MT55cc;DDF 40

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 8894
Re: Tear down a load bearing wall....
« Reply #10 on: October 29, 2015, 11:41 PM »
@JeremyH.
FWIW, I've done this before but it's very important that you figure out all of the details beforehand and hiring a structural engineer would be highly recommended because this can become a bigger deal than may be obvious at first glance.

This room was originally a 10' x 15' one season porch on the rear of the house. No heat, no electricity, no insulation, 8' ceilings and small 32" tall windows in 2 x 4 construction.

I started by gutting the structure while allowing all of the ceiling joists to remain in place which kept the vertical walls...well vertical. I then chose to retain 2 of the ceiling joists and boxed them in, turning them into wooden I-beams and tying them into the existing structure with metal plates, construction screws and construction adhesive. I then added 2 x 6 rafter/collar ties higher up and again secured everything with metal plates, construction screws and construction adhesive. I then carefully removed the remaining ceiling joists to open up the space.

I added 2 x 6 construction walls, electricity, heat, 3/4" oak floors, 6' tall windows, a skylight, raised the ceiling to 12' and we now live in this room with 2 dogs, 3 cats and a flatscreen 365 days a year. The space looks so much larger than it physically is because of all of the light in the room. The 6' windows face North, South and West.

231915-0

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« Last Edit: October 29, 2015, 11:52 PM by Cheese »

Offline mike_aa

  • Posts: 1252
Re: Tear down a load bearing wall....
« Reply #11 on: October 30, 2015, 10:49 AM »
@Cheese
OK, you're not fooling me.  You really kept those joists so you'd have a place to run your trains!  [big grin]

Oh, and the rest of the room looks great.  Really nice job and a super way to create more livable space without adding more footprint.

Mike A.

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 8894
Re: Tear down a load bearing wall....
« Reply #12 on: October 30, 2015, 11:29 AM »
@mike_aa
The funny thing is you're the second person to acuse me of that...the first being my wife. [huh]

She dryly noted that when I finished boxing in the ceiling joists, there was just enough room in each one to hold a train transformer.

Whoops...

Offline JeremyH.

  • Posts: 320
Re: Tear down a load bearing wall....
« Reply #13 on: October 30, 2015, 02:59 PM »
Ha!

I like it. They're a little large, but the train is great.

What do you think the value added to a home is by opening it up? I know adding a bedroom increases the worth of a home a fair bit, where as new cabinets only helps you sell quicker.
CXS;RO150;ETS EC 125/3 EQ;CT26e  KSS400;MT55cc;DDF 40

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 8894
Re: Tear down a load bearing wall....
« Reply #14 on: October 30, 2015, 10:22 PM »
To each their own, a style is purely subjective, boxed beams, wooden beams, steel rods, stainless cables, choose your design weapon and go forth.
It's always interesting to make a decision, implement the design, reflect on the results and then go forward to the next decision node.

Offline greg mann

  • Posts: 1907
Re: Tear down a load bearing wall....
« Reply #15 on: October 31, 2015, 09:22 AM »
@Cheese
OT: That looks like a Big Ass fan. How do you like it?
Greg Mann
Oakland, Michigan

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 8894
Re: Tear down a load bearing wall....
« Reply #16 on: October 31, 2015, 11:02 AM »
@greg mann
No it's not, it's made by Minka-Aire, but it moves a ton of air on any of the 3 speeds. On the slowest speed of 45 RPM, it puts out 2276 CFM while consuming only 3 watts.

I actually prefer the Koa version because it looks like a prop for an airplane, but the silver fit better with the room.

http://www.minkagroup.net/printpdf/12570

232019-0

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Offline greg mann

  • Posts: 1907
Re: Tear down a load bearing wall....
« Reply #17 on: October 31, 2015, 01:56 PM »
Very interesting and a very sleek design. On another OT: Big  Fans make LED light fixtures that are outstanding. They have interchangeable lens covers that can be slid out and cleaned or exchanged for a different light pattern. We installed them in a 60k sq ft building we expanded into and the lighting is terrific while being cost effective to purchase and to use. When I build my dream shop it will be the way I go. All made in USA, BTW.

Edit: Did not notice but the filter took A$$ out of Big A$$ Fans.
« Last Edit: October 31, 2015, 01:59 PM by greg mann »
Greg Mann
Oakland, Michigan

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 8894
Re: Tear down a load bearing wall....
« Reply #18 on: October 31, 2015, 04:34 PM »
@greg mann
I'm familiar with the Big Butt Fan lights, like them a lot but they are pricey. Then again, in a shop the size of a single car garage, you probably only need 2 or 3 of them. What's your experience?

Didn't know they had interchangeable lens covers that changed the light pattern...I like that feature. They go from spot to flood I gather?

No made in China on the back side...that alone is worth extra $$.

Offline greg mann

  • Posts: 1907
Re: Tear down a load bearing wall....
« Reply #19 on: October 31, 2015, 08:41 PM »
They are rectangular like a fluorescent and the lenses can be narrow or widespread. I believe they are far more competitively priced than their fans.
Greg Mann
Oakland, Michigan