Author Options:

interior wall help Answered

17x 25 ft room-8 ft interior wall-taking out only 3 feet of it--can I attach support beams from the joist to the rafters in the attic to help supprt the span or do I need to do a header


Remember that the wall supports the joist which supports the rafters in the attic. In other words the joists don't hang from the attic rafters. Support should come from below the assembly. It woudnt hurt to use a header even if you think you are working with a non-load wall. Just double the joists and put a few extra studs under them at the edge of your opening. If your putting a door there I would definitely use a king/jack/header system to prevent any problems with the door binding. Remember also that the supports under the wall may need upgrading or replacement as the force of support changes. If you get a free estimate from a reputable contractor, he will tell you if its a loaded wall or not.

Before you do anything, determine whether this is a loadbearing wall. If it isn't, then you can generally do anything you please to it. If it is loadbearing, then you need someone who knows what they're doing or you can put the whole building's stability at risk. If you aren't sure, DON'T until you get advice from someone who has the requisite Clue. In general, if a wall runs parallel with the floor joists it will be non-loadbearing, whereas if it runs across them it is more likely to be loadbearing. But in older buildings, stresses may have redistributed themselves so you want to be more careful/paranoid. And occasionally someone does something just plain weird.