I’m no structural engineer, but pretty sure this isn’t load-bearing...

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Forum topic by AM420 posted 05-25-2020 10:56 PM 938 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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287 posts in 1154 days

05-25-2020 10:56 PM

I use my small one car garage for my shop, shared with my wife’s car. There’s a storage closet in the back that I’ve been itching to open up for extra working room, but didn’t know if it was structural.

We got a ton of rain last week and I noticed some dampness by the wall. I decided it was a good enough excuse to tear open the wall and see what’s going on. The photo below is how the studs meet the ceiling, or almost meet I should say.

For contact, it’s a tuck under garage taking up half the house footprint: 13×27’ including the storage closet. The joists run the 13’ width to what I believe is a steel beam running the length of the house in the middle of it.

I’m no expert but I think I’m safe to take this wall out completely without expert advice. What do you think?

13 replies so far

View farmfromkansas's profile


182 posts in 384 days

#1 posted 05-26-2020 02:22 PM

Need more pics.

View HokieKen's profile


14002 posts in 1909 days

#2 posted 05-26-2020 02:37 PM

Need more pics.

- farmfromkansas

+1 and rotate them the right way. Can’t really tell much from that picture.

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

View LesB's profile


2551 posts in 4213 days

#3 posted 05-26-2020 04:35 PM

Is this the correct orientation?

-- Les B, Oregon

View Woodknack's profile


13383 posts in 3150 days

#4 posted 05-26-2020 05:20 PM

If you aren’t sure, hire a carpenter, a real one with a few white hairs, and he will tell you all you want to know.

-- Rick M,

View AM420's profile


287 posts in 1154 days

#5 posted 05-26-2020 05:35 PM

Is this the correct orientation?

- LesB

Yeah that’s right. Not sure why it went sideways.

Can’t imagine a wall having any structural value when the studs don’t have a header board and instead end at the subflooor above. If there was any drop above I’d think the stud would just start poking through the subfloor.

I find it odd that they put the wall right next to a joist rather than right under it. I suppose it doesn’t matter if it’s not load-bearing.

View HokieKen's profile


14002 posts in 1909 days

#6 posted 05-26-2020 05:55 PM

I wouldn’t want to hazard a guess just based on what I can tell from the picture. It’s possible that the studs could be sistering the joists together? I would tend to think you’re probably right but I wouldn’t offer any advice based on it…

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

View Dark_Lightning's profile


4096 posts in 3879 days

#7 posted 05-27-2020 03:41 AM

From the right side of the stud as posted in LesB’s rotated version, how far is it the next floor joist going left? Not putting the “stud” directly under the joist gave more floor space could be an explanation for that. If that was the reasoning, then it isn’t a load-bearing wall. Are the “studs” sitting on concrete? They don’t appear to be treated, so should not be in contact with concrete less than 4’ from the floor. That’s the UBC I’ve built to , but which is out of date, since the last time I built a structure was in ‘88. More questions than answers, but until a really clear picture is had, I personally would not make a recommendation.

-- Steven.......Random Orbital Nailer

View Redoak49's profile


4727 posts in 2759 days

#8 posted 05-27-2020 11:17 AM

I have looked at the picture several times and have no idea what is going on. If you want some informed guesses, you need to provide more picture so people can understand the situation.

View DonB's profile


582 posts in 3463 days

#9 posted 05-27-2020 12:16 PM

Far from being an engineer, I just don’t like the looks of this. Doesn’t look secure, doesn’t look attached to anything else. I hope you don’t have to walk underneath it.

-- DonB

View Woodknack's profile


13383 posts in 3150 days

#10 posted 05-27-2020 06:37 PM

You really need someone to look at this in person. I doubt you are going to get a structural engineer to come out and look at your wall and even if you did, I doubt you would get a useful answer without emptying your bank account. On most houses it’s actually very easy to identify structural walls but there isn’t near enough information posted here for anyone to credibly tell you one way or the other. The picture is zoomed in and has no context so I have no idea what I’m looking at but am 99% sure that it’s wrong, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t structural.

-- Rick M,

View Aj2's profile


3075 posts in 2568 days

#11 posted 05-27-2020 08:05 PM

I see some Douglas fir a copper pipe a nail head. Some cement stucco possibly. The Douglas fir has what looks to be fungus that has started.
That’s all I got

-- Aj

View controlfreak's profile (online now)


749 posts in 372 days

#12 posted 05-27-2020 09:02 PM

I can see two farmers putting that together. “Floor is sagging”, “Put a post in the middle and bang some nails int it while I step on this lever”

View pottz's profile


9847 posts in 1754 days

#13 posted 05-27-2020 11:20 PM

as stated by most we need more than this one pic.but from what i see this was never properly built.good luck.

-- working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

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