Possible load-bearing?

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Drillbit
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Possible load-bearing?

Post by Drillbit » Thu Apr 18, 2019 7:36 am

Hey y'all.

I have a concern regarding a wall I want to open up. Firstly,I'll start out by saying this is a ranch home on a slab. The wall in question divides the kitchen area from a very small dining room (dinette area).
I got up in the attic to assess what was above it.

There is some bracing directly above this wall, but I am unsure whether the bracing was intended to bear load or whether it was done from an aesthetic/design point to support the different ceiling heights.

I am posting several pictures to gather your thoughts.

Thank you very much in advance.

drillbit.

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Shannon
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Re: Possible load-bearing?

Post by Shannon » Thu Apr 18, 2019 8:17 am

Those diagonal straps running from truss to truss are to prevent racking of the truss system side to side and very normal in all roofs.
My "guess" from these pictures is that these walls would not be weight supporting walls. If the ceiling in the room you stood in for the last two pictures is all the same I would guess these walls are simply to divide the area. Having a local pro have a look is the best bet here as pictures are tough to judge by.
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Drillbit
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Re: Possible load-bearing?

Post by Drillbit » Thu Apr 18, 2019 8:41 am

Thank you for the input, Shannon. I've thought about reaching out to a structural engineer to give me a solid answer. Like you said, it's very hard to tell from the pictures.

There is, however, vertical bracing directly atop the wall in question. Is it possible to upload a video on the site? That might give a clearer "picture".

Pulled away some sheetrock to find ceiling joists resting on (2) horizontal 2x4s, and (2) vertical 2x10 joined together with what appears to be 7/16 OSB sandwiched between the two.

Drillbit
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Re: Possible load-bearing?

Post by Drillbit » Thu Apr 18, 2019 5:28 pm

Made a quick video to show a better picture of what's up in the attic.

https://youtu.be/DxvNIUiMyFc

Thanks again

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A. Spruce
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Re: Possible load-bearing?

Post by A. Spruce » Thu Apr 18, 2019 6:32 pm

Looking at the structure of the trusses (the video was very helpful), I would say that the wall under them is load bearing. I come to this conclusion because there is no webbing in the section of truss that extends out past this wall.

You could very easily remove all those walls, but you will have to leave the corner post in place with a header to support the trusses, which may defeat the reason for removing the walls in the first place. You said in the video that the existing header was 2x material with 1/2" plywood. this is a typical laminated header, as it takes this lamination to achieve 3-1/2" thickness of a stud to be able to apply drywall.
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Shannon
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Re: Possible load-bearing?

Post by Shannon » Fri Apr 19, 2019 8:07 am

If there is a header in there like it sounds then as Spruce said the walls could be removed but the header and support post would be still needed. This may still open it up enough to make a difference for your needs?
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Drillbit
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Re: Possible load-bearing?

Post by Drillbit » Fri Apr 19, 2019 1:55 pm

Thank you for the very valuable insight, guys. Essentially, I'd love to be able to leave no more than 3 to 3.5 inches of header exposed.

I thought about building a couple of temporary walls. One for either side of the wall in question. Cutting into the brace itself to allow for me to recess an LVL (or 2) into the ceiling, only leaving the 3 - 3.5" inches of header exposed. Ceiling joists would tie into the LVL using hangers. It'd be a ton of work but I would achieve the look I want. Luckily all the electrical that was in those walls has already been rerouted. That would be one less thing to do.

Do you have any other suggestions?

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A. Spruce
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Re: Possible load-bearing?

Post by A. Spruce » Fri Apr 19, 2019 2:25 pm

You can move the header from under the trusses to in front of them, then hang the trusses with Simpson brackets on the side of the header. You then fur out the remaining portion above the header to have a flush wall face, unless you'd like a decorative shelf there.

DO NOT, under any circumstances, modify the trusses without an engineer's assistance!!!! They are specifically designed for their purpose, you can't just go hacking parts and pieces of them away. This is why I suggest moving the header forward and up. 8-)
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Drillbit
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Re: Possible load-bearing?

Post by Drillbit » Fri Apr 19, 2019 5:22 pm

A. Spruce wrote:
Fri Apr 19, 2019 2:25 pm
You can move the header from under the trusses to in front of them, then hang the trusses with Simpson brackets on the side of the header. You then fur out the remaining portion above the header to have a flush wall face, unless you'd like a decorative shelf there.[/quo

Hey Spruce.

If I used the Simpson connectors, would I still need support posts below the header? If i'm understanding correctly, this would extend the room by 4 inches, but would mitigate the issue of the clearance into the kitchen.

Which Simpson connector would you recommend?
DO NOT, under any circumstances, modify the trusses without an engineer's assistance!!!! They are specifically designed for their purpose, you can't just go hacking parts and pieces of them away. This is why I suggest moving the header forward and up. 8-)


Thank you for this!

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A. Spruce
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Re: Possible load-bearing?

Post by A. Spruce » Fri Apr 19, 2019 6:04 pm

You can't get away from having a post, something has to be there to support the weight of the trusses, all you can do is relocate the header to a better position. By putting the header in front of the trusses, you no longer have it as an impedance of the flow of the ceiling, giving the aesthetic of opening up the space.

I'd use 2x8 or 2x10 Simpson joist hangers. These will be able to handle any load that is on the trusses currently. I would add blocking inside the walls (if necessary) so that the ends of the header are captured and can be anchored well.

For the post, while a 4x4 will suffice, it's not going to look good if left raw or wrapped with drywall because it's so small. It will look like an afterthought, which is never a good thing. I'd either use a 6x6 for the post OR frame a larger one. IMHO, a finished post dimension of 7 to 10 inches will look the best.
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Drillbit
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Re: Possible load-bearing?

Post by Drillbit » Fri Apr 19, 2019 8:02 pm

Awesome. Thank you both for all the great suggestions and knowledge!

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A. Spruce
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Re: Possible load-bearing?

Post by A. Spruce » Fri Apr 19, 2019 8:09 pm

It bears mentioning, no pun intended, that you will need to build a temporary wall under the trusses to move the header. The trusses can never be left unsupported, so screw a 2x4 flat to the ceiling at each truss, then install a 2x4 "stud" under each truss, screw each connection together, screw a 2x across the bottom of all the verticals to keep them from getting knocked around. You don't need to jack anything up, simply cut the verticals a little tight and tap them in with a hammer. Once this is all in and secure, you can then remove the post and header and relocate them.
If the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy.

Drillbit
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Re: Possible load-bearing?

Post by Drillbit » Mon Apr 22, 2019 6:17 am

I figured I'd need to have a temporary support there while I worked on moving the headers. Thanks again for all the advice and the service you guys provide through this forum. Lots of great information!

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