Load Bearing Wall - Easy Determination?

Discussion in 'Remodel Forum & Blog' started by RapaNui, Mar 25, 2020.

  1. RapaNui

    RapaNui New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2020
    Location:
    Dexter, MI
    Hi all,

    I've contacted several structural engineers over the past few weeks to determine whether a wall is load-bearing, but no one has gotten back to me. We're looking to remove a section of a wall separating our kitchen and living room. We would leave the header in place and there would be ~8ft between studs. Our house is a 1960's split-level home with a truss system supporting the roof. I took a photo in the attic and have marked approximately where the wall currently is.

    Because it's a truss roof and the wall is not directly underneath any of the supports, is it fair to say it's not load bearing?

    Cheers

    Screen Shot 2020-03-25 at 11.31.16 AM.jpg Screen Shot 2020-03-25 at 11.24.30 AM.jpg
     
  2. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

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    Occupation:
    Plumber
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    Cave Creek, Arizona
    Trusses are supported by their ends. In fact, they often do not rest on cross partitions, which is why they have 'sliding clips' to secure to the partitions.
     
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  4. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

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    IL
    Have you looked in the crawl space or basement? That would be another indication IMO.
     
  5. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

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    Occupation:
    Plumber
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    I'm with hj on this. They look to be roof trusses, which are supported on the ends.
    You could remove that entire wall and it wouldn't matter.
     
  6. wwhitney

    wwhitney Member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2019
    Location:
    Berkeley, CA
    That's current practice, but can you say with certainty that 50 years ago trusses weren't ever designed with intermediate supports? The fact the diagonal supports don't land on the wall also makes it very unlikely that the wall is not load bearing, but again do you have sufficient certainty?

    An engineer could evaluate the existing trusses and determine their capacity, to see if it can span between exterior walls as expected. Or if you have original construction documents, or can find a manufacturer stamp on the trusses, you may be able to determine that without an engineer.

    Cheers, Wayne
     
  7. RapaNui

    RapaNui New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2020
    Location:
    Dexter, MI
    I'm definitely on the edge of certainty, but I decided to go back up and take a look where the trusses meet the wall's top plate. I was looking for some spacing between them, but unfortunately, they are in direct contact and nailed together with a single nail (photos attached). From was I've read, this seems to not be the best practice by today's standards.

    The trusses above the doorway aren't in contact with anything, as it doesn't appear there is a header or top plate there. I'm going to start doing some math with this truss calculator. http://design.medeek.com/calculator/calculator.pl
     

    Attached Files:

  8. WorthFlorida

    WorthFlorida The wife is still training me.

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2009
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    Orlando, Florida
    As other stated above, the sole purpose of roof trust, as you have, brings the entire load to the end walls. It is stronger, faster to install and very stable than other roof systems. It is the same as a trust bridge span.

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