I have a question related to removing stud wall in my unfinished
basement (it's a one-story house). The wall in question appears like
it was supposed to be a load-bearing wall, but because of other things
the builder did it looks like it may not be. My terminology below may
not be accurate... I'll try to upload some pictures later to help with
The area on the main floor above the stud wall has a wall dividing an
office from a bathroom. In the basement, the stud wall (that includes
a door opening) sits underneath a partial I-joist. All of the other I-
joists in this area span from the side of the concrete foundation wall
to a true load-bearing (perpendicular to the joists) stud wall about
14ft away. The stud wall in question is parallel with all the joists
above; however, the one joist that sits directly on top of this stud
wall only goes across about 9ft and doesn't connect to the true load-
bearing wall. Within 1.5 inches to the side of this partial joist are
two full-length joists (side by side) that do span the entire length
(ie - they rest on the slab wall as well as the true load-bearing
wall). From my measurements, it appears that the wall above on the
first floor is somewhat resting on the partial-joist below but is also
somewhat resting on the double-joists immediately next to the partial-
It's a new house in a new neighborhood, so I asked the builder to come
over and look at it. He said he wasn't sure why it was framed that
way and said the wall could be removed because the double-joists
directly next to this partial joist would sustain any weight from the
wall above on the main floor. I've had another builder (a friend)
come and he was "pretty" sure it would be okay to remove it. I guess
I'm just looking for a few more thoughts as the last thing I want to
happen is to compromise the structural integrity of the home.
I'm not sure of the type of joists that are used, so I'm not sure what
they're rated for. I'm wondering how heavy typical finished wall (up
above on the main floor) is and whether two of these I joists should
be able to hold the weight. Also - what is the reasonable amount to
pay for having an engineer come look at it? Thanks.
I charge for all project related travel. If the project is within 10
miles I don't charge for mileage, but I do charge full rates for my time.
After all, if I wasn't traveling to the job I would be in the office
working and charging my full rate.
There are a few special situations where I do not charge full rates for
travel time. For instance, if I have to go to Seattle, I don't charge
time while waiting in line for the ferry. But, if I do any work while on
the ferry, then that time gets charged to the project.
Bob Morrison, PE, SE
R L Morrison Engineering Co
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