Removing load bearing walls and need help

aktillery9April 7, 2009

I am wanting to remove two load bearing walls in my kitchen. They are walls that enclose part of my kitchen. I will attach photos. I am wondering the best way to do this.

Thanks so much in advance for your ideas and expertise!


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Picture number one....

    Bookmark   April 7, 2009 at 8:27AM
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Here is the other side of the kitchen. Would love to tear out the cabs and the walls.... the entire part of the kitchen shown. I want it to be wide open.

Again... thanks so much in advance!

    Bookmark   April 7, 2009 at 8:30AM
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I wouldn't think that both in the pictures would be load bearing, generally, all bearing walls run the same way in the house.

taking a step back, its not an easy task to take out a bearing wall, temporary support needs to be put in place, an adequate beam to replace the wall. Also, you'd have to relocate what is in your soffitting which appears to be ductwork, but may be more.

All these need to be done, assessed and sized correctly. Thats the concept, if you're asking on an internet forum how to do it, you aren't qualified to do it yourself,its a big job that requires care and knowledge, sothat the house doesn't fall down.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2009 at 10:19AM
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Thanks Chris. No I am not planning on doing this myself. I just wanted some ideas.

Thanks for your input!

    Bookmark   April 7, 2009 at 10:28AM
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The photos are inadequate. You need to show us the framing of both floors (with dimensions) and how much floor and/or roof load the current wall carries.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2009 at 3:18PM
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Okay Amy, from a woman's standpoint who doesn't understand the intricacies of this important task, I hired experts as it seems you will too.
So, if you are trying to get a general idea of how it happens, I can tell you. We just had something similar done 3 weeks ago. But on a MUCH smaller scale, I might add. I had a load bearing wall between the kitchen and DR that we wanted to make more open. It supports at least half of our house. We went from a 36" open doorway to approx 80" open.

The GC took measurements and found out the size of the header beam that the load required, structurally. When the time came, the carpenters opened up the walls and ceiling, moved the electrical out of the way and installed two temporary walls on each side of the existing ceiling/walls against the attic joists (we have a single story ranch so this might be different for you)Once everything was in place and the load could be essentially transferred to the temp suppports, they sawed thru the existing beams and installed the new longer heavier beam.

I ended up with a new 12" deep header where I used to have two walls and an open doorway. It was either that or go into the attic and cut the joists to install a steel beam to carry the load if I wanted a flat ceiling. I opted for the less scary (to me) and more cost effective header :)

Also, I googled 'removing a load bearing wall' and watched a few YouTube videos ahead of time so I could kind of understand the process.


    Bookmark   April 8, 2009 at 11:55AM
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That's the process alright.

After seeing yet another Holmes on Homes yesterday, where he redid (among other things) an inadequately supported bearing wall, I would advise any homeowner having such work done to insist on either: 1) a building permit reviewed by the local authority or b) an engineer's stamped plan. A professional contractor should not be insulted if you insist on that. After all, it protects him as much as you. (And no, I'm not always a fan of MH as he still doesn't understand what Dr. Lstiburek has been preaching for years!)

    Bookmark   April 8, 2009 at 1:01PM
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worthy, what do you mean by Lstiburek? You referring to moisture barriers and the like?

I don't get H on H any longer, but I've seen some episodes in the past. I was surprised once when he didn't use PT lumber for the bottom plate of a basement wall - instead he used rim joist foam barrier under non-PT lumber. Interesting.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2009 at 2:57PM
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The wall shown in the photos is just as likely to contain plumbing as a structural support. Rather than guess, open holes in the ceiling and the wall to look at the framing.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2009 at 6:51AM
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The other issue about these walls is that at least one may have a heating duct in it, and perhaps plubimg and electrical as well.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2009 at 9:56AM
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Oops, sorry for the redundant post - I didn't see the previous one.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2009 at 9:59AM
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worthy, what do you mean by Lstiburek?(Holmes) Yep, vapour barriers. He has also been ridiculed for his love of screwing structures together rather than using nails.

Probably, we're just jealous he's on a first-name basis with

    Bookmark   April 11, 2009 at 1:39PM
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