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Cathedral ceiling: is this partition wall load bearing?

Cathedral ceiling: is this partition wall load bearing?

Old 02-14-16, 05:41 PM
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Cathedral ceiling: is this partition wall load bearing?

We are looking to do some renos and are trying to determine if this wall is load bearing. As the title states the room this wall is in has a cathedral ceiling. The wall in question is dead center in the room, directly under the middle of the ceiling. In the basement below this room is a main beam that carries the load of the floor joists, and runs parallel with the wall, and pretty much directly underneath it. My guess is this wall is load bearing, but I am not sure how cathedral ceilings are designed. Here are a few pics for reference.

First, an overhead view of the room.
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Here is the wall in question.
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Another view, which shows what appears to be a fake beam?
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Closer shot of the fake beam
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Old 02-14-16, 06:09 PM
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Pretty good chance that it is. With a cathedral ceiling there are no joists or rafter ties to resist the outward force on the side walls from the force of the roof. So the ridge beam must be supported (a "structural ridge") to prevent the weight of the roof from pressing outward on the walls.

Sometimes a very long structural ridge beam is used that is only supported at the ends, and you may have such a beam. But because you have that nice wall right under the ridge and right in the middle of the span, I wouldn't be surprised if the ridge beam is supported in the middle with built up posts that carry load down to the beam in the basement. That allows the ridge beam to be smaller and the supporting structures at the ends to be smaller.

It's not going to be easy to be sure which way it was done. If you have plans (they may be on file at the building dept.) it would certainly show this. You may be able to see evidence of the vertical post from the basement (but not likely because of the subfloor). Last resort would be to remove a strip of drywall from one side of that center wall so you can see structure inside.

IIWM, I'd want an engineers opinion before I'd plan on any demo.
Old 02-14-16, 06:36 PM
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If your roof overhang consists of 2x4 tails 24" on center, then you have scissor trusses.

If your rafter tails are larger, like 2x6 or 2x8, that's a bad sign for removing any walls.
Old 02-15-16, 06:38 AM
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Thanks guys. I will investigate further with the information you've given me.

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