Hello - I have a cinder block wall separating my basement and garage. I want to knock down this wall in order to make the basement bigger and keep part of the garage as a smaller storage space. The wall runs in an L shape. The shorter end of the wall runs parallel and in between two floor joists, so I know that piece is not load bearing. The other piece however, does perpendicular to the floor joists. I do not believe the wall is load bearing and is only there for fire safety in case I park my car in the garage. The reason why I do not believe it's load bearing is because many of my neighbors have done this without adding support once the wall was down (I live in a city twin home, all the homes are designed almost, if not exactly, the same). However I wanted to get a few other opinions/viewpoints before I did anything. Any input/suggestions are appreciated. Thanks!
cut a hole in the ceiling and look
thats about the only way, unless you can get into the attic
The only 100% method is to get somebody local to take a look. While it does sound like you are correct, taking your information is about all anyone here can do. Find somebody local with some structural knowledge and have then take a look firsthand.
And just because "everyone else" is doing it does not make any less possible it's a load bearing wall.
it's not just fire safety, it's also fume safety to block the garage airtight from the house. you are going to either have to put up another fire-rated impervious wall to replace the block, or take out the garage door and brick it up. that's the code. that's life safety even if you spit on the codes.
IMPHO find another project. it's a house, there are LOTS of other things that need work
sig: if this is a new economy, how come they still want my old-fashioned money?
It sounds like you're doing away with the garage in this configuration, is that correct?
Is there a wall directly above this wall? If so, it is probably load bearing. Are there floor joists resting on this wall, are they spliced above this wall? If so it is definitely a load bearing wall.
Any advice given here is general in nature and is not necessarily valid for your given area. If in doubt check with your local codes enforcement department for what is required when doing electrical, plumbing or structural work on your house. Permits may or may not be required in your area and home owners may not be able to DIY some tasks. I have no way of knowing if you have the skills needed to complete the tasks you are asking about, when in doubt seek professional assistance.
My advice may be worth exactly what you pay me for it. :-) For the record I did not stay in a Holiday Inn Express last night.
Thanks for your responses. Sparky, there is no wall directly above the wall, it looks like the floor joists are touching the wall, however they are not spliced above. My house is only about 18ft wide, so the joists run the entire width of the house.
Then it depends on what your joists are: 2x12 joists set 16" on-center can span 18' (just barely). 2x12's 12" OC would be within a safety range. Any smaller joist (2x10's, 2x8's, whatever) and that wall is carrying the floor load above. Removing it may not have your floor cave in but it certainly would bounce.
If you have floor trusses then you have a better chance at removing that wall. Here too, it depends on the size of the truss.
Again - The only way you will get a 100% definite answer will be to get a structural person to take a look firsthand.
They're 2x12's, but the distances between are not consistent and range anywhere from 14" to 19" (not surprising, most of the wall studs are not 16OC either). I agree, I'll definitely have someone come in and take a look before I even attempt to do anything. Thanks again.
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