How to decide of a timber wall is load bearing?


P

petesouthwest

We have a timber wall in the kitchen that we would like to remove, but
how do I know whether it is load bearing or not? Its a 3 story house
built in 81, ground floor is garage and front door, 1st floor is
kitchen and lounge. The wall forms a small passage between the kitchen
and lounge, where stairs come from the first floor. I've attempted to
represent it here:

outside
__________________

Kitchen

________

________ __

Lounge


_________________
outside

The lounge is open plan with the stairs leading to the second floor. It
was suggested that the joists for the second floor, might be running
verticaly in my diagram, using the kitchen/lounge dividing walls as
support, as the joists can not run horisontally in the lounge due to
there being an opening in the lounge ceiling for the stairs to run
through. However, looking just at the top of the stairs on the second
floor the joists appear to be running horisontally, ie parralel to the
dividing walls.

Is there anyway I can easily check if the dividing wall is structural?

Many thanks
P
 
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R

Roger Mills

In an earlier contribution to this discussion,
We have a timber wall in the kitchen that we would like to remove, but
how do I know whether it is load bearing or not?
Is there anyway I can easily check if the dividing wall is structural?

Many thanks
P
What is *under* the wall? If it *is* load-bearing, the load will have to be
transmitted down to something solid at ground level - so the wall be sitting
on top of another wall - or at least on an RSJ.

What is above the wall? Could it be supporting a floor, another wall, the
roof (indirectly)? You need to get a thorough understanding of how
everything above *is* supported before you can be sure that this wall
doesn't provide a vital part of it.

If in doubt, consult a structural engineer. You should be able to get an
expert opinion for £100 or so.
--
Cheers,
Roger
______
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O

Owain

We have a timber wall in the kitchen that we would like to remove, but
how do I know whether it is load bearing or not? Its a 3 story house
built in 81, ground floor is garage and front door, 1st floor is
kitchen and lounge. The wall forms a small passage between the kitchen
and lounge, where stairs come from the first floor.
I think that rather more relevant may be the fact that the wall is
providing fire separation between the kitchen and the staircase in a 3
storey house. If this is the case it isn't even worth getting plans
drawn for the necessary Building Regulations application, as it won't be
permitted to remove the wall.

An informal chat with Building Control first may be very useful.

Owain
 
P

petesouthwest

Roger said:
What is *under* the wall? If it *is* load-bearing, the load will have to be
transmitted down to something solid at ground level - so the wall be sitting
on top of another wall - or at least on an RSJ.
There is a block wall under the wall.
What is above the wall? Could it be supporting a floor, another wall, the
roof (indirectly)? You need to get a thorough understanding of how
everything above *is* supported before you can be sure that this wall
doesn't provide a vital part of it.
above the wall is the bathroom door, small section of wall and then
airing cupboard door. But the second floor joists, that I would have
expected to be perpendicular to the timber wall, actually run parrallel
to it. Would the wall be structural if it only has one joist above it?

I'm assuming structural walls take the load of several joists?
 
A

adder1969

We have a timber wall in the kitchen that we would like to remove, but
how do I know whether it is load bearing or not? Its a 3 story house
built in 81, ground floor is garage and front door, 1st floor is
kitchen and lounge. The wall forms a small passage between the kitchen
and lounge, where stairs come from the first floor. I've attempted to
represent it here:
When you say timber do you mean it's a timber stud wall with
plasterboard facing? These are rarely structural walls although I'm
lead to believe that they are in some cases. If there's a joist
*directly* above the wall you need to work out whether the wall is
holding it up.
 
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