Non load bearing?

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Posted by: from Indianapolis
1/20/2018 at 11:27:46 AM

I have a wall between kitchen and dining room that runs parallel to attic joists, and the joists skip over it. It is a one story ranch home but it looks like it has been built like a load bearing wall (stacked 2x4s at top) I'd like to think with nothing touching it in attic that it can't be carrying a load?

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Date/Time1/22/2018 at 12:49:33 AM

Hi Cathy

Here Keil Monette-Saillant from Mavericks Solutions Ltd. If I understood your ceiling joist configuration properly, I would agree with you that it is unlikely. Even though double top plates are reserved for load bearing walls, I have seen some non-load bearing wall framed this way for no valid reason.

That being said, I always recommend engaging a professional engineer from your state or province to assess the situation. Other than the legal implication within your municipality and the potential responsibility you would keep towards future buyer, load transfer can be complex. Your registered professional will be able to assess lateral load implication with the removal of this wall and whether any hard to see point loads are resting on the wall.



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Date/Time1/22/2018 at 9:55:23 AM

Hi Cathy,

I would recommend having a professional look at it prior to doing any type of removal.

The double stacked top plates for load bearing and non-loadbearing is pretty standard practice here. It is used to tie the walls together (overlap top one into intersecting wall).

If there is any doors or openings in the wall they would require a header or lintel over them if it is load bearing.

And if the floor joists below are visible, check for solid blocking under the wall.

Those are some things to look for, but I suggest having a professional come in and look at it. Also codes and common practice change from place to place as does the age of when it was built.

Your local Pro would know your local current codes.


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