Identifying Load Bearing Wall

 
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Old 05-02-2008, 02:21 PM   #1
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Identifying Load Bearing Wall


In my experience usually a load bearing wall rests over the girder visible from the basement and the load bearing wall directly above the girder
However I am know in S. Carolina and just want to be sure how to identify a load bearing wall unable to get underneath of home, can I identify by how the trusses or rafters are resting viewing from the attic?
Is there another way without climbing up into attic to inspect the framing?
Client just wants to open the wall 6' to add additional passthru access so I really dont think there would be much of a threat even if it was load bearing. Although I need to be sure thats why Im asking
Any suggestions!
thanks guys
Brian
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Old 05-02-2008, 02:44 PM   #2
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Re: Identifying Load Bearing Wall


Look for the "load bearing wall" tag, if it doesn't have the tag (sometimes people remove them) knock it down, if the house doesn't collapse it probably wasn't load bearing, if the house collapses it was a load bearing wall.

If you have the plans for the house (or get them at the building dept., depending on age), that should tell you. If you have to go in the attic, basement or crawl space, then that's what you have to do. Sometimes walls that weren't supposed to be load bearing become load bearing because some hack did some work he shouldn't have, so the standard indicators such as headers, posts, beams and footing aren't always going to be there.

.

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Old 05-02-2008, 05:48 PM   #3
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Re: Identifying Load Bearing Wall


Quote:
Originally Posted by mickeyco View Post
Look for the "load bearing wall" tag, if it doesn't have the tag (sometimes people remove them)

.
Like those "Do not remove under penalty of law" mattress tags.
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Old 05-02-2008, 06:28 PM   #4
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Re: Identifying Load Bearing Wall


step as follows
#1 begin to cut one stud with sawzall
#2 try to remove blade from cut after cut is half way through
#3 if blade comes out easy, non load bearing
#4 if blade gets stuck, wall is load bearing
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Old 05-02-2008, 06:49 PM   #5
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Re: Identifying Load Bearing Wall


Take a picture of your hardhat on top of your sneakers so you can know now what you might look like later if you happen to pick the wrong comedian to listen to . . .
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Old 05-02-2008, 07:01 PM   #6
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Re: Identifying Load Bearing Wall


If you dont know the answer to your question then hire a engineer or get sued. In your case I think its that simple. Other wise get a job on a framing crew work there for a few years. Then you should be able to tell, if not find another occupation.

No offense but it sounds like you are in over your head. If you are and you screw up. Thats another bad story home owners tell, to make other homeowners scarred of the little guy who really knows his $heot!!!
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Old 05-02-2008, 07:06 PM   #7
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Re: Identifying Load Bearing Wall


Quote:
Originally Posted by 1stchoice View Post
In my experience usually a load bearing wall rests over the girder visible from the basement and the load bearing wall directly above the girder
However I am know in S. Carolina and just want to be sure how to identify a load bearing wall unable to get underneath of home, can I identify by how the trusses or rafters are resting viewing from the attic?
Is there another way without climbing up into attic to inspect the framing?
Client just wants to open the wall 6' to add additional passthru access so I really dont think there would be much of a threat even if it was load bearing. Although I need to be sure thats why Im asking
Any suggestions!
thanks guys
Brian
If you ever plan to remove a wall, I would think the least you would do is check it out fully before committing to do it....also the phrase "so I really don't think" will not hold up if your idea of what is or isn't load bearing does or doesn't.....get it? I have seen it done countless times...and in many cases, it takes a few years for the full effect to show up. I will add this.....typically, trusses bear their loading to the exterior walls....

I know there are a lot of cute answers to wade through....now glean the advice.
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Old 05-02-2008, 07:14 PM   #8
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Re: Identifying Load Bearing Wall


Sniff real hard. The older it is, the harder to tell, but load bearing walls smell like crap. Hence the word "Load".
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Old 05-02-2008, 07:29 PM   #9
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Re: Identifying Load Bearing Wall


Quote:
Originally Posted by MALCO.New.York View Post
Sniff real hard. The older it is, the harder to tell, but load bearing walls smell like crap. Hence the word "Load".
Thats the way I do it!
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Old 05-03-2008, 01:29 PM   #10
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Re: Identifying Load Bearing Wall


Just had to give a quick reply, thanks guys for all the advice, gonna try the
old saw blade approach and see if it sticks!!!!!!!!!!!! worst case the walls come down,and all above, no need to worry though Hozea and his crew gave me a great price to rebuild the house if things dont work out, as long as they dont get deported!!!
Gotta go, busy hacking away!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 05-03-2008, 01:34 PM   #11
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Re: Identifying Load Bearing Wall


Quote:
Originally Posted by 1stchoice View Post
Just had to give a quick reply, thanks guys for all the advice, gonna try the
old saw blade approach and see if it sticks!!!!!!!!!!!! worst case the walls come down,and all above, no need to worry though Hozea and his crew gave me a great price to rebuild the house if things dont work out, as long as they dont get deported!!!
Gotta go, busy hacking away!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
It's Jose and maybe his friend Jorge (whore hay).
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Old 05-03-2008, 02:18 PM   #12
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Re: Identifying Load Bearing Wall


Quote:
Originally Posted by mickeyco View Post
It's Jose and maybe his friend Jorge (whore hay).
Yes, spelling will be most important on pay day when you write the checks.


Oh wait, they don't take checks, do they!
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Old 05-03-2008, 05:19 PM   #13
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Re: Identifying Load Bearing Wall


Why of course you need a load bearing wall detector!!

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Old 05-05-2008, 10:08 PM   #14
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Re: Identifying Load Bearing Wall


check a bearing wall with a sawsall? wtf.......
get out your ladder and crawl into the attic.
i have seen many a bearing wall supports (studs) taken out and have no downword pressure in certain areas due to the other framing components keeping the weight off where the studs were gone. if your going to be in this trade you need to know what the heck your doing and not guess.
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Old 05-05-2008, 10:16 PM   #15
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Re: Identifying Load Bearing Wall


Quote:
Originally Posted by framergreg View Post
check a bearing wall with a sawsall? wtf.......
Dude...that's called sarcasm.
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Old 05-05-2008, 10:24 PM   #16
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Re: Identifying Load Bearing Wall


ya know i thought about that but then he said he would try that approach! i hope your right.
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Old 05-06-2008, 04:52 AM   #17
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Re: Identifying Load Bearing Wall


Quote:
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Dude...that's called sarcasm.
laughin my a55 OFF
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Old 05-06-2008, 06:25 AM   #18
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Re: Identifying Load Bearing Wall


Quote:
Originally Posted by genecarp View Post
step as follows
#1 begin to cut one stud with sawzall
#2 try to remove blade from cut after cut is half way through
#3 if blade comes out easy, non load bearing
#4 if blade gets stuck, wall is load bearing
You may have to repeat this along the entire wall, testing each stud as you go.


Just to be sure.
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Old 05-06-2008, 05:09 PM   #19
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Re: Identifying Load Bearing Wall


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Originally Posted by Geoff MRT View Post
You may have to repeat this along the entire wall, testing each stud as you go.


Just to be sure.

WRONG!!! I CANT BELIEVE YOU WOULD GIVE ADVICE LIKE THIS!!!!
How could you have the audacity to even suggest something like this without telling the poor guy to ALWAYS WEAR SAFETY GLASSES!!!OMG!!! Does the O.P. smell like a home owner to any one else?
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Old 05-06-2008, 05:44 PM   #20
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Re: Identifying Load Bearing Wall


It's threads like this one that give legitimate contractors trying to give people sound advice a bad name.

The OP said right off the bat that he can't get under the house. This is a huge problem. Before he does ANYTHING, he needs to determine what KIND of load-bearing wall it is. Is the wall supporting the framing above it (which everyone here seems to be assuming), or is the floor below hanging from the wall (reverse load-bearing suspension wall). Cut that wall in the wrong place, and that floor is likely to drop right down to the bottom of the crawl.

Do whatever you need to to get under the house and determine what the uplift rating is on the floor to bottom plate connectors, Cut out a test pier and see what kind of upward rebound you get, then you can start dealing with the joists or trusses above the wall.

I can't tell you how many of those suspension walls I've seen cut that shot up like a scalded cat and blew tiles right off the roof. Big trouble there....

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