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StructuralEng, Consultant
Category: Structural Engineering
Satisfied Customers: 7187
Experience:  Structural Engineer
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I'm trying to determine if a wall in my home is load

Customer Question

I'm trying to determine if a wall in my home is load bearing. I want to open the kitchen up to the living room. I live in a town home constructed in 1974. The city is unable to locate the blueprints. I do have a rough drawing of my home I put together to show where walls meet up. I'm not totally sure because while it doesn't appear to be supporting the 2nd floor, it might be load bearing going from the 1st floor into the basement.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Structural Engineering
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Based on everything, I think that the east wall to the kitchen is NOT ok to remove. However, the north wall facing the stairs and living room might be fine to remove.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Oh, also, the floor joists in the basement run from east to west. The two beam run north to south but both just terminate midway through the basement. Unable to see the joist between the 1st and 2nd floor.
Expert:  StructuralEng replied 1 year ago.


Expert:  StructuralEng replied 1 year ago.

What is the width and length of your town home?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Approximately 20-25 feet total width (will mease exactly here shortly). We are also the middle unit of three in the entire sturcture.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
That's going from north to south.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
25 foot total width. That's going north to south which would be perpendicular to the flor joists seen in the basement. Do you need the length?
Expert:  StructuralEng replied 1 year ago.

I apologize for the delay. I didn't receive a notice that you replied. Do you still need help with this?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I do still need a response.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Expert:  StructuralEng replied 1 year ago.

Hello. Can you tell which direction the joists are running. If the joists are parallel to the wall, then it's not load bearing. If the joists are perpendicular to the wall, then there is a good chance it's load bearing.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The floor joist below it run parallel to the wall i want to remove. Not sure about above it though.
Expert:  StructuralEng replied 1 year ago.

It would be uncommon to change framing directions in a town home. Remove some ceiling finish near the wall so you can check the direction of the joists. Or get a really good studfinder and check that way.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
if you look at my pictures, the wall I want to remove is L shaped. The one wall is parallel to the joist and faces north would be ok to remove assuming. However, the other part of the wall, dividing the kitchen and dining room, should be considered load baring because it is perpendicular to the joists and it appears to rest on a beam in the basement (the beam only goes half way through the basement though) and should not be removed.If that is true, assuming all facts, would it be ok to remove just the non-load bearing section? I can leave the other wall free standing?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

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