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  • FIRST POST
    • Rich1234a
    • By Rich1234a 16th Jul 17, 4:54 PM
    • 25Posts
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    Rich1234a
    Is this a load bearing wall?
    • #1
    • 16th Jul 17, 4:54 PM
    Is this a load bearing wall? 16th Jul 17 at 4:54 PM
    Hi,

    I wonder if anyone can shed any light on this issue please?

    I have a 1940's ex-council house. The kitchen / dining room are at the back of the house - ground floor.

    There is a small wall between the kitchen and dining room & some double doors. This small wall comes off the back of the house and is 46 inches long (@117cm). It is covered in plasterboard, but the wall is made of the black / dark grey cinder blocks.

    I've knocked the plaster off where the wall adjoins the ceiling. To my suprise there is a 2 inch gap between the top of the wall and level of the ceiling - which was hidden by the plaster board i.e. there is nothing resting or touching the top of this wall.

    There is a wall above on the first floor, however, it is not directly above this wall - it is offset, this top wall is built on the floor boards and runs along a joist (all joists run from the back to the front of the house)(so this top wall is essentially built along one joist).

    So, as for the wall in question, the only thing it is in contact with is the concrete kitchen floor and the posterior wall of the house.

    Has anyone seen a wall like this and do you think it is load bearing?

    Many thanks in advance!
    Richard
Page 1
    • FreeBear
    • By FreeBear 16th Jul 17, 7:39 PM
    • 1,140 Posts
    • 1,664 Thanks
    FreeBear
    • #2
    • 16th Jul 17, 7:39 PM
    • #2
    • 16th Jul 17, 7:39 PM
    So, as for the wall in question, the only thing it is in contact with is the concrete kitchen floor and the posterior wall of the house.

    Has anyone seen a wall like this and do you think it is load bearing?
    Originally posted by Rich1234a
    Sounds just like the wall between the kitchen & dining room in my house. Except my wall is brick and the wall upstairs is stud/lath/plaster construction. In my opinion, not structural for the majority of its length.

    But as with anything involving internal demolition, it is best to seek the advice of a qualified structural engineer - If he gets it wrong and the place collapses around your ears, you have someone to sue.
    Her courage will change the world.

    Treasure the moments that you have. Savour them for as long as you can for they will never come back again.
    • konark
    • By konark 17th Jul 17, 2:17 AM
    • 825 Posts
    • 643 Thanks
    konark
    • #3
    • 17th Jul 17, 2:17 AM
    • #3
    • 17th Jul 17, 2:17 AM
    Council houses in the decade after the war were notorious for using low quality cinder blocks, often only a couple of inches thick (have you checked thickness?), that had no structural strength and can be knocked down without any problem. The fact that there is a 2 inch gap between top of wall and ceiling should be enough to convince you that you can knock it down and my money would be that it's only the plaster that's holding it up..
    • stator
    • By stator 17th Jul 17, 9:25 AM
    • 5,621 Posts
    • 3,587 Thanks
    stator
    • #4
    • 17th Jul 17, 9:25 AM
    • #4
    • 17th Jul 17, 9:25 AM
    If there really is a gap between the wall and the ceiling then it's no load bearing.
    In my house you can see the top of the wall by looking under the floorboards upstairs, and it is clear it's not load bearing because nothing is on top of it.

    You might want to also consider whether it is providing lateral support to the external wall, if so you would want to leave enough of the wall to continue providing that support.
    Changing the world, one sarcastic comment at a time.
    • phill99
    • By phill99 17th Jul 17, 2:22 PM
    • 7,873 Posts
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    phill99
    • #5
    • 17th Jul 17, 2:22 PM
    • #5
    • 17th Jul 17, 2:22 PM
    Do not rely on this forum for advise on this issue. None of us can see it and most of aren't qualified to give you concrete advice even if we could see it. Ask Building Control to come out (they may charge) or get an engineer (who will charge).


    Don't gamble on this!!
    Eat vegetables and fear no creditors, rather than eat duck and hide.
    • MrBluesky
    • By MrBluesky 17th Jul 17, 2:39 PM
    • 18 Posts
    • 13 Thanks
    MrBluesky
    • #6
    • 17th Jul 17, 2:39 PM
    • #6
    • 17th Jul 17, 2:39 PM
    As what ^ phill99 said

    Get an SE to do a written report,i know it costs cash but apart from peace of mind its a very important piece of paper when you come to sell your house and a few other reasons.

    Good luck,
    • stator
    • By stator 17th Jul 17, 3:29 PM
    • 5,621 Posts
    • 3,587 Thanks
    stator
    • #7
    • 17th Jul 17, 3:29 PM
    • #7
    • 17th Jul 17, 3:29 PM
    Do not rely on this forum for advise on this issue. None of us can see it and most of aren't qualified to give you concrete advice even if we could see it. Ask Building Control to come out (they may charge) or get an engineer (who will charge).


    Don't gamble on this!!
    Originally posted by phill99
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8X_Ot0k4XJc
    Changing the world, one sarcastic comment at a time.
    • Rich1234a
    • By Rich1234a 17th Jul 17, 9:01 PM
    • 25 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    Rich1234a
    • #8
    • 17th Jul 17, 9:01 PM
    • #8
    • 17th Jul 17, 9:01 PM
    Many thanks for your help to date. I intend to ask a professional, I'm just interested & forewarned is forarmed I think.

    The wall is 9.5cm thick (with plaster both sides). I've measured the plaster thickness and it is 2cm each side, which means the wall (specifically cinder blocks only) are approx 5.5cm (2.16 inches) thick.
    • EachPenny
    • By EachPenny 17th Jul 17, 11:14 PM
    • 1,404 Posts
    • 1,449 Thanks
    EachPenny
    • #9
    • 17th Jul 17, 11:14 PM
    • #9
    • 17th Jul 17, 11:14 PM
    I agree with phill99 and others. As stator points out, bearing loads is only one function of walls - there are others, which only a qualified engineer visiting your property will be able to completely assess in your specific circumstances.

    Hope you get the answer you are looking for though.
    "In the future, everyone will be rich for 15 minutes"
    • konark
    • By konark 18th Jul 17, 12:20 AM
    • 825 Posts
    • 643 Thanks
    konark
    Throw your money away if you want to but I am familiar with this type of wall and they have the structural integrity of a crisp packet, it will be barely holding itself up let alone anything else.
    • Apodemus
    • By Apodemus 18th Jul 17, 7:09 AM
    • 700 Posts
    • 502 Thanks
    Apodemus
    I think I'd be more concerned about the wall upstairs that is resting on a single joist! Although if it has held up for 70 years it can't be all bad.

    As mentioned above, the 40s were not our finest period in construction...
    • Rich1234a
    • By Rich1234a 18th Jul 17, 10:10 AM
    • 25 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    Rich1234a
    Many thanks.

    The upstairs wall is of the same construction as the one downstairs - same material & dimensions. I feel this was standard building procedure at the time.
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