We would like to take down a wall that runs in the center and the length of my small bungalow.
We have a crawl space. There are two cinder block posts on cement pads in the crawl space. They are both spread apart from one another and in the middle of the crawl space and positioned lengthwise to the house. Does this mean the wall is necessary?
The house is about 24' wide.
I have a picture of the truss but can't post here. They are 2x6, and 2x4 at the smaller edge (I think that's called the knee wall??.
Thoughts? I've read a lot about truss and load bearing and am somewhat confused...
If you have roof trusses, the 2x4's should be assembled into triangular
structures, with metal plates connecting each joint. A "W" shape is the
most common layout for residential trusses. Is this what you see in your
A roof truss is usually designed to be supported only by the two outside
walls, and the interior walls are just partitions that don't support any of
the structure above.
However, before you tear it out, you may want to investigate a bit more.
Climb up into the attic and see if there are any posts, walls, or other
structures that might rest on the wall below. If so, the wall may be
holding up that load, even if the trusses support the roof itself.
Assuming there are no loads above, it is probably safe to remove the wall.
Before you rip it out, you might want to remove the interior wall covering
and see if there are any headers above the doorways. Load bearing walls
typically have a large header above the doorways, whereas a partition would
normally just have a simple 2x4 frame around the door opening. You could
probably determine this with a stud finder too, with the interior coverings
still in place.
On Wednesday, 21 October 2015 00:13:04 UTC-4, HerHusband wrote:
Thank you Anthony this helps a great deal. Yes there are metal plates connecting each and it is a W style. The house was built in the 1970's and was a cottage. I will check the other areas you mention. Thanks again!
On Wednesday, October 21, 2015 at 12:13:04 AM UTC-4, HerHusband wrote:
What would the purpose of the crawl space piers be, if that is not a load bearing wall? Just support of the floor? I'd be cautious here.
It is also is not certain that he actually has a truss. That's a technical term and he may or may not be interpreting what he sees in the attic correctly.
On Wednesday, 21 October 2015 08:38:17 UTC-4, TimR wrote:
I have a house inspection report that says truss. From all I've read I think they call it a double cantilever. I am concerned about those piers in the crawl space as well. Will check it out further. P.S. He is a she :)
On Wed, 21 Oct 2015 05:44:56 -0700 (PDT), Compromise
I don't know if it matters to the basic question of your posts, but
why do you think it is a cantilever, and why double? You may have a
good reason, so I'm interested.
But, cantilever does not refer to the geometric pattern of the pieces
of the truss, but to how the whole thing is supported. "A cantilever
bridge is a bridge built using cantilevers, structures that project
horizontally into space, supported on only one end." In practice,
there are usually two pieces to such a bridge that meet above the
middle of a river.
But the trusses supporting a roof, like the ones I have, are supported
at each end. If the truss were cut half way across, there is no way
its attachment at just one wall could support even that one half.
Contrast that with https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cantilever_bridge
Dictionary.com for cantilever
1. any rigid structural member projecting from a vertical support,
especially one in which the projection is great in relation to the
depth, so that the upper part is in tension and the lower part in
2. Building Trades, Civil Engineering. any rigid construction
extending horizontally well beyond its vertical support, used as a
structural element of a bridge (cantilever bridge) building
3. Aeronautics. a form of wing construction in which no external
bracing is used.
4. Architecture. a bracket for supporting a balcony, cornice, etc.
In a roof truss, the upper part is in compression and the lower part
is in tension, the opposite.
OTOH, I don't accept there speculative etymology. I think the origin
of the word may be counter lever. The weight at or on the other side
of the support provides leverage to hold up the unsupported end.
Well, you could, I suppose, use roof trusses like two awnings, facing
opposite directions from where they are supported in the middle.
Possibly for a fairground pavilion, so from the side the building
looked sort of like a tree. with no outside walls, just something in
the midline, maybe 3 or 4 feet wide to hold up the middle of the
Then the upper part would be in tension and the lower part in
compression. I've never seen this, and it's conceivable the metal
plates, with nail equivalents, wouldn't work so well when the tension
was in the opposite direction (though I think they are symmetric, in
result, even though the "nails" are possibly bent only from one
direction. I haven't paid enough attention.).
But if it did work, in that case they would be balanced cantilevers,
sort of like a teeter-totter that doesn't teeter.
But I suspect your trusses are supported at the ends and not in the
Cantilever roof trusses are actually fairly common when you want the roof
to extend out over a porch or patio. See the "Cantilever truss" on this
page for an example:
Of course, I don't know if this applies to Jamie's situation. Without a
picture of her roof and attic space, we're just making guesses.
Jamie: Have a look at the page above to see what a common roof truss looks
On Wednesday, October 21, 2015 at 8:38:17 AM UTC-4, TimR wrote:
Agree, kind of. He doesn't say if the cement block piers are located
directly under that wall or not. On the other hand, if that is a load
bearing wall, 24 ft long, then there should be support under it, not
only at the ends, but midpoint. Without actually seeing this and given
the possible consequences, impossible to say.
I would assume the piers support beams in the crawlspace that floor joists
rests on. A roof truss can easily span 24', floor joists typically need
intermediate support unless they are very large.
The original poster (Jamie?) could verify by seeing if there is a beam
running down the middle of the house on top of those piers in the
crawlspace. Then see what size floor joists she has (I would guess 2x8 or
2x10 for a 12' span). Also pay attention to whether the joists join
together over that beam, or if they are continuous from one side of the
house to the other.
Trusses are fairly easy to identify by their triangular structures and
metal truss plates. Also that they are typically built only with 2x4's.
Traditional rafters and ceiling joists usually require larger lumber to
support the spans (i.e. 2x6 rafters).
Still, even if the roof is constructed with trusses, there could be other
loads bearing on that wall. No way to know without climbing up in the attic
Up in your attic, under the insulation, there are a bunch of joists that
support the ceilings in your home. 24' would be a long unsupported joist.
I'd bet that that you have a central beam supporting the joists. The central
beam is supported by the mid-house wall. My guess is that it's a load
bearing wall. If you tear it out, you'll need a few support columns to carry
the weight down to the flooring structures.
| We would like to take down a wall that runs in the center and the length
of my small bungalow.
| We have a crawl space. There are two cinder block posts on cement pads in
the crawl space. They are both spread apart from one another and in the
middle of the crawl space and positioned lengthwise to the house. Does this
mean the wall is necessary?
If you're doing it yourself you should be able to
figure it out by inspecting the structure. If you
have a contractor then why are you trusting people
in a newsgroup, who can't see the house, over
your contractor's judgement?
The decision really should be made by someone
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