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Thread: Load bearing walls or not

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    DIY Junior Member JayP's Avatar
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    Default Load bearing walls or not

    I have a tri-level house and want to open up the kitchen to the family room and dining room but I am not sure if the walls are load bearing. I have a picture of the walls. The wall that does not go all the way to the ceiling was put in by me 11 years ago, that was to divide the dining room from the family room, I know that is not load bearing. It's the walls perpendicular and parallel to the vaulted ceiling. The perpendicularName:  IMG_0948.jpg
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Size:  49.9 KB wall never spanned the entire length and there is not another wall on the opposite side of the vault. Just on that one are of the vaulted ceiling.

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    DIY Junior Member Seattle2k's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JayP View Post
    perpendicular and parallel to the vaulted ceiling.

    How is the wall both perpendicular AND parallel?

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    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Your description is confusing, but normally, a vaulted ceiling like that is composed of trusses which are supported on their ends by the outside walls. When that is the case, there are no internal supporting walls. If the ceiling is "flat", then the trusses could meet in the middle and rest on a center supporting wall.
    Licensed residential and commercial plumber

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    DIY Junior Member tdiygreg's Avatar
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    If I understand your intentions correctly, you could open up the kitchen to the family room and not have to remove a wall completely up to the ceiling. Your current appearance is nice and you could seek to open up the two rooms to each other with a large entrance. Maybe arched or something of that nature.

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    DIY Junior Member wmheinz's Avatar
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    Is the floor slab-on-grade or is the a crawl space? If it's a crawl space, then you need to head down for a look...if the wall is bearing, there should be some sort of support directly underneath it.
    Is there any structure above this roof - like a second floor over the area enclosed by these two walls? If not and we are just talking about supporting the roof only - it's very unlikely the wall running parallel to the slope is load bearing. Regarding the wall running perpendicular to the roof slope...it's unlikely it's load bearing either because of the way the roof is unsupported over your addition. However, there are a couple of other issues...the air supply or return that's on that wall - it looks like there might be two grilles - one high and one low. Finally, something very few DIY'ers ever think about is the lateral support these walls provide against earthquake, high winds, etc. Just because a wall is non-loadbearing doesn't mean it's not contributing to the structure of the house...

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    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    quote; like a second floor over the area enclosed by these two walls?

    I suppose someone COULD put a second floor over a vaulted ceiling. I have never seen it done, but it would give a lot of space between the two floors for storage.
    Licensed residential and commercial plumber

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