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canuck the pro
canuck the pro, Handyman
Category: Home Improvement
Satisfied Customers: 2822
Experience:  i have extensive experience in the home improvement industry. my current job is at lowes home improvement.
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Is there a way to tell which way the floor joists would be

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is there a way to tell which way the floor joists would be running by looking at the roof? say, in this picture?

Hi, I'm Mike and I have 20+ years of experience in the home improvement field. I'll be glad to assist you today.

Is there a wall going through the middle of the house? Are you trying to determine if you can remove a wall?

Customer: replied 15 days ago.
there are walls dividing the ground floor into four 'quadrants'. we sent in someone to take pictures but they can't remember which way the floor joists run. we recall someone saying it's possible to tell which way the joists run by looking at which way the topmost roof rafter runs...

It is a good indication that the joists are running front to back. I would say they almost certainly are and the load is on the walls in the middle. They may change direction over large rooms if the room is longer than 10'. In that case they would have added a beam.

Customer: replied 15 days ago.
ok and if we take down a wall how much can we take down before the load becomes an issue? 8 ft?

You cannot take any load bearing wall down unless you add a beam. Any non-load bearing wall can be removed no problem. A load bearing wall is under where the joist ends. All outside walls are load bearing. Very likely the walls in the middle of the house are load bearing. Less likely that the walls running front to back are load bearing.

So, you could take a section of the load bearing wall out but would have to add a header over the opening and jacks to support the header.

To know what size beam to use for the header you would need an engineer to visit and determine the size and load.

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