Safe to Remove Wall??

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rchesterton
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Safe to Remove Wall??

Post by rchesterton » Sat Feb 02, 2019 7:24 pm

I am planning to remove this wall to make a larger room for a bathroom/laundry room on the second floor of my house. This used to be a large closet off of a bedroom. That back wall is the exterior wall. The joists run perpendicular to this wall.

Where I am standing to take the picture is at the top of my stairs - right at the center line (above the I beam) of my home. I believe the load bearing walls are aligned at the center - over the I beam...right? And of course the exterior walls.

Before I remove that wall I want to be sure it is not carrying any load. I do not think it is. There is just a top plate - and you can see there is electrical going through the top plate into the attic. I'm also thinking that since it is only about 5 feet away from the exterior wall it would not be load bearing because the load is at the back wall. What else can I do to make sure it is safe to remove this wall?
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A. Spruce
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Re: Safe to Remove Wall??

Post by A. Spruce » Sat Feb 02, 2019 11:32 pm

Without a good look in the attic above the wall, can't say if it's load bearing or not. Being so close to the exterior wall it is not likely load bearing.
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rchesterton
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Re: Safe to Remove Wall??

Post by rchesterton » Sun Feb 03, 2019 6:39 am

What would I be looking for? I can see just rafters sitting on top of the top plate (there is a little space I can see through where the dry wall was removed). Perhaps I will cut a new attic access point in that room. I will need to get up there easily anyway to install the venting needed for the bathroom and laundry. The current access point is almost impossible for me to get through (tiny square cut out above a shelf in my closet - and I am not small).

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Shannon
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Re: Safe to Remove Wall??

Post by Shannon » Sun Feb 03, 2019 9:29 am

Look for ceiling joist members coming from both direction and lapping over that wall. Also look on the main floor below for another wall or beam in the same position .
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A. Spruce
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Re: Safe to Remove Wall??

Post by A. Spruce » Sun Feb 03, 2019 11:06 am

Cramped closet attic accesses are never a good place, no matter what size you are, so relocating the access isn't a bad idea, however, you don't want it near an eave because you won't have space within the attic to get in there, so this may not be the best place for it.
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rchesterton
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Re: Safe to Remove Wall??

Post by rchesterton » Sun Feb 03, 2019 11:30 am

Shannon wrote:
Sun Feb 03, 2019 9:29 am
Look for ceiling joist members coming from both direction and lapping over that wall. Also look on the main door below for another wall or beam in the same position .
Did you mean to say main "floor"?

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A. Spruce
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Re: Safe to Remove Wall??

Post by A. Spruce » Sun Feb 03, 2019 11:36 am

yup
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Shannon
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Re: Safe to Remove Wall??

Post by Shannon » Sun Feb 03, 2019 5:32 pm

rchesterton wrote:
Sun Feb 03, 2019 11:30 am
Shannon wrote:
Sun Feb 03, 2019 9:29 am
Look for ceiling joist members coming from both direction and lapping over that wall. Also look on the main door below for another wall or beam in the same position .
Did you mean to say main "floor"?
Sorry, yes I did and have now corrected the original post
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rchesterton
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Re: Safe to Remove Wall??

Post by rchesterton » Mon Feb 04, 2019 8:15 am

I figured, just wanted to be sure. There is no wall below the one that I am looking to remove. I'll check the attic tonight. If there is no wall below (and not even close - it is right over the middle of the kitchen below) then is it even possible that it is load bearing? Probably not, right? Is that a rule that applies most of the time?

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Shannon
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Re: Safe to Remove Wall??

Post by Shannon » Mon Feb 04, 2019 6:47 pm

Not very likely that it is load bearing.
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rchesterton
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Re: Safe to Remove Wall??

Post by rchesterton » Wed Feb 06, 2019 7:36 am

Given there is no wall underneath and my house was built with 2x8 joists - I am thinking I need to reinforce the floor before installing washer/dryer bathtub, etc. If I take the subfloor off and sister additional joists across the entire area will that help to ensure it is properly supported? Is that the correct way to do it? Is there another, easier way to reinforce? Probably not...

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Re: Safe to Remove Wall??

Post by A. Spruce » Wed Feb 06, 2019 10:49 am

Sistering the joists just within the area won't do anything to increase structural stability, the sistered joists must also be supported from below, which means the joists must extend to supporting walls or have support posts added.
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rchesterton
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Re: Safe to Remove Wall??

Post by rchesterton » Wed Feb 06, 2019 3:19 pm

Yes, that is what I meant...going from the exterior (supporting) wall to the middle wall (over the I beam) is what I would do.

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A. Spruce
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Re: Safe to Remove Wall??

Post by A. Spruce » Wed Feb 06, 2019 5:20 pm

No problem. Just wanted to clarify. 8-)
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Re: Safe to Remove Wall??

Post by DanM » Wed Feb 06, 2019 5:44 pm

You wouldn't necessarily need to sister up joists to support the washer and dryer. Generally floors are designed to support at least 40 pounds per square foot live load (ie: stuff on the floor) + 10 pounds per sqaure foot of dead load (weight of structure itself).

Let's say you're putting the washer dryer into a 6' x 4' spot:
6'x4' = 24 square feet
24 sq.ft * 40 psf of live load = 960 pounds

So 960 pounds should be more than enough to support your washer and dryer. The real issue will be vibration caused by the machines, it can really shake the floor. Not dangerous really, but annoying and it can weaken the structure faster over time. What I'd recommend is putting rows of blocking in between the joists. That'll combat the vibration better.

Maybe if you really want a little more structure sister up one joist under the middle of each machine. I don't think it's needed but it won't hurt anything to beef it up.

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