View Full Version : Load-bearing Wall?

Chris Padilla
08-15-2014, 12:59 PM
I know I need to get up in the attic to check for sure but I'm about 90% sure this wall is NOT load-bearing. It is a partition wall to segregate the toilet/shower area from the sink/vanity area. That large opening used to have a pocket door.

The plan is to remove this partition wall and expand the shower. The toilet faces the shower. The wall with the window is the exterior wall.

The double top plate caused me a bit of pause. However, this partition wall does not carry through to the other rooms on this second floor.

Our second story is cantilevered about 2 foot over the first floor and this partion wall *might be* or is *close to* sitting on the exterior wall of the first floor due to the cantilever. However, like I said, this partition does not carry across to the rest of the rooms.

Also, the lack of cripple studs except what surrounds the heat register has me thinking not load-bearing. Still, I wonder why the double top plate.


George Bokros
08-15-2014, 1:04 PM
Does your house have a gable roof? Which way does the roof ridge run, load bearing would be parallel to the roof ridge.

Mark Bolton
08-15-2014, 1:04 PM
With pre cut studs now you will almost always see double top plates everywhere. Its not really cost effective to buy full 8's just for interior non load bearing partitions. Its just easier and faster to stick with one stud length for the whole job. Plus you can tie all your walls nicely with laps when you double the tops.

David Helm
08-15-2014, 1:39 PM
Double top plate is standard construction. If you double all the load bearing plates you have to double partition walls. This is done during open framing and is just the easiest way to do it. Especially if using precut studs.

Chris Padilla
08-15-2014, 2:04 PM
This house was built in the early 70s and the partition does run perpendicular to the roof rafters. Interesting point about pre-cut studs. I opened up the rest of the wall last night and I'll post some pics. So I take it the consensus is that it is NOT a load-bearing wall? :)

George Bokros
08-15-2014, 3:21 PM
the partition does run perpendicular to the roof rafters.

If it runs perpendicular to the rafters it runs parallel to the ridge and may be a bearing wall.

Brian Elfert
08-15-2014, 3:46 PM
Diverting slightly from the OP's question with my own question here: If a house has trusses and some areas where the trusses span the full width with no support, would it stand to reason none of the interior walls are load bearing, or is that a false assumption on my part?

Chris Padilla
08-15-2014, 5:03 PM
My understanding with trusses is that they are specifically designed to sit on load-bearing wall only at both ends of the truss so nothing is needed anywhere else along the truss. So I would say your assumption is reasonable.

Brian Elfert
08-15-2014, 7:49 PM
I know for floor trusses they sometimes undersize them and depend on a load bearing wall to support them in the center. I didn't know if they do that with roof trusses or not.

Garth Sheane
08-16-2014, 12:42 PM
I think you need to be careful with the assumption that trusses are built primarily to create clear spans. They are also designed to carry load weight on the roof. Depending on how wide the span is, the truss system could be dependent on bearing walls.

tim morris
08-16-2014, 1:37 PM
I've been remodeling for over twenty years. My observation is that typically if an interior wall is load bearing in a trussed structure there is a vertical web directly over that wall. This is not always the case and I would have an engineer look anything before I went cutting walls out.

George Bokros
08-16-2014, 2:00 PM
Definitely check the trusses. They are engineered for specific application and as said may require a load bearing wall for support.

Jason Roehl
08-16-2014, 2:47 PM
Based on the wall's construction, I would say that it's NOT load bearing--there's no header over the opening to transfer load to the jack/king studs. Just because it's perpendicular to the trusses doesn't make it load bearing.

My house is rectangular-shaped, with trusses, and I'd be confident in ripping out any interior walls on the upper floor (bi-level) because all the trusses are the same, and the dining room (~12' wide) runs into the living room, leaving an open area the full width of the house. Downstairs, there's an I-beam the full length of the house at the midpoint.

But, then again, I'm not an architect, engineer, or framer, so my opinion is worth what you paid for it.