I want to remove a wall that breaks up the flow in our living room and dining room. The wall is perpendicular to floor and ceiling joists.

The wall is about 3 feet from a support beam in the floor.

In the attic, the wall has a 2x4 that is attached to the ridge board in the roof. This is the only board supporting the ridge board in attic.

  1. Can I remove the wall and 2x4 in the attic or do I need to brace the 2x4 in the attic?
  2. Why is there only one 2x4 off the wall?
  3. Was this a support for installing the roof or is this really a supporting member to the roof?

stud in attic tied to wall and ridge board

picture of wall in room

  • 6
    None of those questions can be adequately answered by people peering at it through the internet. You need an engineer or experienced builder to have a look at the entire structure. Why the post is there is a mystery (though it's presumably to prevent ridge sag). The wall isn't technically load-bearing, yet it is. – isherwood Nov 8 '16 at 20:03
  • Our house was supported by walls; by all indications the walls had no support under them and were not "load bearing" BUT the wall itself was acting as a double layer plaster 8' tall "wall-beam". We could only ascertain this by reverse engineering the existing structure in detail. So, measure it out, draw it up, and figure out each connection where structural members tie into each other. Then consult with a professional for a third party opinion. In our case, we installed beams, post, and footings to properly support things. What you need depends on your existing structure. – Damon Nov 11 '16 at 7:40
  • Is there a beam directly above the red one in your picture where the joists change direction? How is the roof ridge attached at that same position? – Preston S Jan 30 '17 at 20:51
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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because this needs a pro on-site. – ThreePhaseEel Jan 31 '17 at 0:23

It is highly highly likely that not only is that wall load bearing but it is a crucial loading bearing wall in the house.

Without a lot more pictures and plans I can give you a best guess:

  1. Do not remove the 2x4 in the attic. I doubt there is much load (there shouldn't be) on it but I bet it was added to strengthen the horizontal forces.

  2. It looks like the two kitchen walls next to the living room are fulfilling the load across the house. The gap looks like what a decent size doorway would be. Also the fact that one is a few feet in just looks like a design element. I would think that those few feet are still within the base for holding the load across the path of the "red" beam.

  3. Which means most likely an architect will suggest running a header across bottom wall all the way across the house - on the same plane not the current plane a few feet away. This is a considerable distance (from the looks of it) so it will be a big big piece of wood or an i-beam.

  4. You can certainly hide the whole header, but this install will cost you a lot more in either work or money or both. Or you can integrate part with existing wall and maybe have a post on the outside wall side. Throw a faux wood cap over the ibeam and the install might be just 2-3k.

Just understand there is a very very small chance you could just knock the wall down. There is a great chance that if you did you would see issues almost immediately as there is nothing close to this wall and it hold the perpendicular run on it. This is something that you will have to have an architect look at. Even if you DIY you will need plans for permits signed off by someone the city inspector trusts. You knock down this wall and put up a header... don't plan on selling your house without an inspector noticing it and don't plan on your insurance company helping if there are problems.


Yes you can, but only after hiring a structural engineer to design a structure to hold the load.

Your pictures seem to indicate a design flaw that may need to be corrected.

  • Can you add some more information about the design flaw you mentioned? Without it, this Answer is a bit lacking... – mmathis Jan 30 '17 at 21:01
  • Sure. I may not be understanding your photo correctly, but when I look at the photo with the red and purple lines, it seems like the post in the wall you want to remove should be on top of the beam in the floor. If it isn't over a beam, it should go down to a pier or slab directly below the load bearing wall. But regardless of that, my advice of going to an engineer still stands, you need a alternative support to replace the post in the wall, and a structural engineer is the only one qualified to address that. So regardless of anything I say, this all goes back to consulting an engineer. – Bigtexun Jan 30 '17 at 23:51

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