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Is This a Load Bearing Wall?

06/28/2020 9:12 AM

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#1

Re: Is this a load bearing wall?

06/28/2020 9:21 AM

It would seem highly unlikely, unless those verticals are steel or concrete... in fact I'd say it isn't even a "wall".
But then I'm just a cat and if your house collapses I'll just shrug and curl up somewhere.
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#2

Re: Is this a load bearing wall?

06/28/2020 9:24 AM

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#3

Re: Is this a load bearing wall?

06/28/2020 11:21 AM

Yes,i t's bearing the load of being a kitchen wall.

Woe is the Life of a kitchen wall with cabinets hanging from my face.

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#4

Re: Is this a load bearing wall?

06/28/2020 11:30 AM

Those are some weird walls. They're so weird with the openings above and below that they make me wonder why they exist at all. I doubt they are there just to be weird. They exist for some critical reason that is not apparent from those two pictures. They are apparently parallel to your gabled roof ridge line that is above this cathedral ceiling, implying that they can be load bearing. I suspect they are load bearing.

So go ahead and rip out some sheet rock and examine the structure. Don't forget to open the ceiling too. It's not my money nor my home so I don't care. I suspect you'll find out that somebody previously tried to remove the more traditional load bearing walls that use to be there. They balked at the cost of reinforcing the ceiling joists to make a completely open cathedral ceiling and compromised with these atypical walls handling the roof load.

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#5

Re: Is this a load bearing wall?

06/28/2020 11:53 AM

This looks like ridge beam construction, so the weight is supported by the exterior walls...one can't be sure because all the framing is covered...

I would try to get a set of plans from either the builder or local government building permit registry...

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#6

Re: Is this a load bearing wall?

06/28/2020 12:00 PM

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#7
In reply to #4

Re: Is this a load bearing wall?

06/28/2020 12:01 PM

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#8

Re: Is this a load bearing wall?

06/28/2020 1:27 PM

I was being very serious..

They are they to hold the kitchen cabinets in a vertical position. nothing more. investigate how they are attached above the ceiling if you want reassurance.

the openings are there for airiness and light.

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#9
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Re: Is this a load bearing wall?

06/28/2020 4:09 PM

Yes, that's one way this building could be constructed. Would you be willing to bet the life of your family on a belief of how the building is constructed?

Don't get me wrong. Even if this is a load bearing wall, other structural support techniques can be retrofitted to keep the building sound with this wall removed but they will cost more money than just swinging a sledge hammer.

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#10
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Re: Is this a load bearing wall?

06/28/2020 6:32 PM

When the sheetrock is removed around the posts at the ceiling location you'll be able to see if these are used for support, and if they are, they would probably have to be steel posts...in any case there would be a cross beam that all of the posts would be supporting...If that doesn't exist than it is not a supporting wall, it is merely reinforcement for the wall beneath...

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#11
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Re: Is this a load bearing wall?

06/28/2020 10:45 PM

I agree, but see no cabinets hung on other side. The logical brace for constructing a partition wall would be the ceiling, a free standing wall that didn’t brace to the ceiling would be pretty flimsy.

I thought this question was settled a year or so ago, exact same construction & photos, so project has been dormant for a while...

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#12
In reply to #11

Re: Is this a load bearing wall?

06/28/2020 11:12 PM

I did not see the other thread you a referring to. Do you have a way that I can find it to compare to mine? Thanks

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#13
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Re: Is this a load bearing wall?

06/28/2020 11:34 PM
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#14
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Re: Is this a load bearing wall?

06/28/2020 11:36 PM

I looked and couldn’t find it also, but that exact same photo or at least construction piqued my curiosity the first time. Maybe need to use fewer words for the search. Is this a double wide? I think the original post was. I’m surprised no one else mentioned it, actually. Oh, and BTW, not sure that poor soul got an answer either. All I could think of for the first one was that it might serve as some sort of longitudinal bracing/stiffening, but it should be at the peak, not part way down. I don’t think the pictures of the first one showed the partition was clearly not at the peak of the roof. If it was stiffening/bracing, in its location it would apply a dangerous offset moment to your rafters, so my bet is it is just a partition wall, especially with those spindly posts.

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#15
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Re: Is this a load bearing wall?

06/29/2020 12:09 AM

Maybe my memory is worse than I thought, I may be thinking of this one, Partition or Support Walls? from April of this year, 2020, I find it hard to believe it was that recent, I remember also photos much more like yours, never from the kitchen side, too.

I’ll look some more....

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#16
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Re: Is this a load bearing wall?

06/29/2020 12:57 AM

Your situation is similar enough to Dec 2017 post Load Bearing Wall? by Steven1955 that I confused the two. It is very similar to what you have, at least on one end.

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#17

Re: Is this a load bearing wall?

06/29/2020 3:07 AM

There's an easy way to find out.

  1. Remove it.
  2. If the house falls down then the answer is yes.

Seriously: consult a qualified Building Surveyor, and pay for the answer; with it comes an indemnity should the answer received be wrong.

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#18

Re: Is this a load bearing wall?

06/29/2020 5:46 AM

I do hope you're not a builder or worse a civil engineer.

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#19
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Re: Is this a load bearing wall?

06/29/2020 9:18 AM

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#20
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Re: Is this a load bearing wall?

06/29/2020 9:20 AM
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#21

Re: Is this a load bearing wall?

06/29/2020 10:13 AM

Because of the KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) principle, odds are that this wall is not a load bearing wall. My reasoning is as follows:

1. The columns are near but not at the peak in the ceiling.

2. The columns do not appear to continue the length of the building but are only at the end this "kitchen is".

3. The floor to ceiling portion of the wall is only at a few columns.

Here are some other factors to investigate:

1. If this house has a basement or another floor located beneath this floor, look for this wall to be continued below - in the floor, basement or crawl space below. If this wall is not continued below, it is most likely not a load bearing wall.

2. One of the responses I read indicated that if it was a load bearing wall, the columns would most likely be steel. That is true because there are only 4 columns versus a continues row of studs based on 16" centers. So if it was load bearing, each column would be bearing loads that would probably exceed the capabilities of wood, unless that those columns were braced to prevent bending. This does not seem to be the case based on the pictures provided.

My point is, if this was a load bearing wall, the construction to make it load bearing would have been expensive. And, therefore, highly unlikley. If this was a load bearing wall, a few adjustments would have made it much more economical. These are 1) move the wall to the peak in the ceiling, 2) Make the wall continuous, and 3) provide a foundation or support wall below.

Before you remove columns, I would try investigate it a little further. But the evident presented so far indicates it is not a load bearing wall.

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#22
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Re: Is this a load bearing wall?

06/29/2020 11:02 AM

Well how do you explain the middle wall in this diagram then? That wall does not align with the roof peak, too.

This diagram is from here. My point is until one can view things that are obvious structural supports for the roof, one cannot tell from looking at cosmetic surfaces. Those questionable columns at the top of the wall might be engineered with internal steel or other material.

I just don't understand from the proffered images why those columns on top of the wall exist at all. Everything we've proposed here is just conjecture until how the roof is supported is revealed.

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#23

Re: Is this a load bearing wall?

06/29/2020 12:31 PM

Amazon has numerous endoscope cameras with this one (link) having a light and only costing $23.

Depending upon the diameter of the camera you could drill a hole in the ceiling about 3/8" to 1/2" in diameter. Tape a stiff wire to the camera cable and bend a 90 degree "swoop" in the wire assembly. With a proper bend in the wire you can enter the hole and look in whatever direction you wish. If it looks like it is not load bearing then you have your answer. If it looks like it could be load bearing then you still don't know for sure but you have more knowledge than you previously had.

If the ceiling is stuffed full of insulation then this idea is severely compromised but not necessarily worthless.

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#24
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Re: Is this a load bearing wall?

06/29/2020 1:10 PM

That example would have to run the length of the room.

It's just not the case here. it's a kitchen wall plain and simple. kiss

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#25
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Re: Is this a load bearing wall?

06/29/2020 1:41 PM

I stand by my answer.

First, I replied to the person making the enquiry that further investigation is required. It is probable that this wall is not load bearing. But, more supporting evidence should be obtained to confirm this.

Second, if the method of structure construction you submit was employed, it most likely would have been employed for the length of the structure and not for just a portion of the roof assembly. The pictures suggest that the columns are only in the area of this room. If the remainder of the room can be constructed without these columns, why would you add the load bearing columns to this section only? You are correct in stating it is possbile a mix and match of a structural assembly is possible. I think I said that. However, that is higly improbable.

Finally, I am a Civil Engineer. Not an electrical engineer. And, I am licensed. I only offer advice in the area of my expertise.

Respectfully.

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#26
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Re: Is this a load bearing wall?

06/29/2020 1:58 PM

Then why is there a second wall with a column, too? The open space closer to the camera may have a short, hidden, horizontal support beam resting on the nearest column. I don't know but I do know that I cannot tell what is or is not a load bearing wall from pictures of sheet rock.

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#27

Re: Is This a Load Bearing Wall?

06/29/2020 2:06 PM

Thank you to everyone for your comments. We have decided to pay to have a structural engineer come out and look at it. I will post what he says tomorrow.

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#28
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Re: Is this a load bearing wall?

06/29/2020 2:17 PM

There is no horizontal ceiling joist present....

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#29

Re: Is This a Load Bearing Wall?

06/30/2020 5:14 AM

Yeah... blah blah blah... where's my GA you tightwads?
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#30
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Re: Is This a Load Bearing Wall?

06/30/2020 5:14 AM

...say the man asking a group of engineers..

Can't wait to hear the results.

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#31

Re: Is This a Load Bearing Wall?

06/30/2020 11:34 AM

We have found out that it is not a load bearing wall. Thanks to everyone again for your input and funny comments!

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#32
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Re: Is This a Load Bearing Wall?

06/30/2020 3:54 PM

Can I have my GA now then?
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#33
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Re: Is This a Load Bearing Wall?

06/30/2020 4:46 PM

Certainly

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#34
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Re: Is This a Load Bearing Wall?

06/30/2020 5:04 PM

There's one.

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#35
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Re: Is This a Load Bearing Wall?

06/30/2020 9:02 PM

Learn something every day new you do

Thanks

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#36
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Re: Is This a Load Bearing Wall?

07/01/2020 2:59 PM

Great!

I'm glad this worked out for you. I'm most pleased you had somebody knowledgeable inspect the site instead of relying on our opinions from static images.

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#37
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Re: Is This a Load Bearing Wall?

07/01/2020 3:47 PM

do you think that knowledgeable person they hired used any sort of probe to come to this conclusion? or did they just look at what's in front of them?

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#38
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Re: Is This a Load Bearing Wall?

07/01/2020 5:29 PM

I think they looked at what was in front of them in the basement (if any), when they turned right, when they turned left, when they went on the other side of the wall and by looking at what if anything was on the roof when they walked up to the front door. I wouldn't be a bit surprised if they also used their familiarity with the local building codes for when the building was erected. I also wouldn't be at all surprised if they recognized the building design from work they performed taking down a similar wall in another building. Did you recognize who built that building from those pictures?

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#39
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Re: Is This a Load Bearing Wall?

07/01/2020 5:37 PM

Making it three votes to carry the motion.

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#40
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Re: Is This a Load Bearing Wall?

07/01/2020 6:25 PM

I'm sure you are correct that they did do those things, It's good to be able to point directly to the reasons you "know" it's not a load bearing wall.

Having spent the better part of twenty years plus running every type of cable you can think of through every conceivable style of construction in every stage. (as well as performing extensive design and construction) I've learned a thing or two about the construction of homes. So much so that I would consider myself an expert on par with the best job site foremen.

I'm sure I'm not the only one here that could also tell you where the plumbing, electrical and HVAC is located from a couple of pictures.

...There's a lot of hub bub about going and hiring 'so and so' when often said 'so and so' is trying to answer the question without busting out the resume'.

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#41
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Re: Is This a Load Bearing Wall?

07/01/2020 10:46 PM

I do wonder what those louvers next to the outlet are for on the half wall. Obviously the half wall is not load bearing but obviously electricity and some duct work resides in that wall. There are more reasons to not removing a wall than it being load bearing.

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#42

Re: Is This a Load Bearing Wall?

07/02/2020 3:56 PM

The walls are not bearing structural loads, but one or more of the columns may be bearing one or more such loads...

Tell us what an appropriate look in the attic reveals, OK?

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#43
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Re: Is This a Load Bearing Wall?

07/04/2020 7:00 AM

There is no attic!

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