Additional info: -Ceiling joists have studs running down directly above floor joists -Floor joists are 2x10 spanning ~14’ 16OC -One of the floor joists that will carry the load is doubled and right on the stairs wall -Wall in question is 20” offset from the basement beam below -load is just the ceiling joists/drywall -plan is to burry the header in the attic

City wants an engineer plan that will prove the floor can carry the load or how I can make it carry the load. -can adding a sister joist to the floor where it isn’t doubled work? Does that sister need to carry the full 14’ span?

I’ve learned that most of the time a load bearing wall in the center of a home (60s ranch in this case) is typically directly over the basement support beam thus transferring the energy of the roof straight down the wall/floor and into the columns/foundation. A wall I want to open up into a kitchen is load bearing (ceiling joists overlap across it) but the basement beam is 1.5-2’ off of being directly below. Does anybody see a problem transferring the load from a 30” opening to a 7’ opening with a new header etc? Wisconsin snow covered 5/12 pitch for reference.

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  • Hello, and welcome to Home Improvement. It's going to be hard for us to help you without a diagram of some sort. And, you should probably take our tour so you'll know how best to participate here. Commented Dec 19, 2019 at 14:42
  • Thank you. I’ll take the tour and get better while I also sort through my issue. Excited to be a part of the group.
    – Uwtriguy
    Commented Dec 19, 2019 at 18:40
  • 1) It looks like you’ve drawn the top plates rotated 90 degrees from a normal (code approved) installation. Is this accurate? 2) If the “only load” on this wall is “ceiling joists” as you say, then it’s non-structural and does not need a permit nor an engineer’s review/stamp. Is it really just ceiling joists? 3) If it’s floor loading too, what is the span of the floor joists on both sides of the wall that is being removed? 4) Is there a footing under both ends of the new beam?
    – Lee Sam
    Commented Feb 14, 2020 at 6:25

1 Answer 1


Without seeing any pictures its hard know so they would help. If its a 60's ranch house I would think that the roof is a truss roof and the roof load is on the outside walls. With that said there would be no load bearing walls interior. The purpose for the beam running down through the center of the basement is for floor support because back in the 60's truss roofs were becoming popular but not truss floors, they used 2x6/2x8/2x10 depending on the span and placed them on a steel W beam in the center. Its all guesses without images - but go in your attic to see what type of roof you have, you have to look up before you look down in the basement.

  • Sorry should have added that to the original post. It’s a rafter roof. I’ll go up and take more pics but I’ve attached 1. You can see the ceiling joists cross the top plate of the wall in question. I’ll try to get more pics up soon.
    – Uwtriguy
    Commented Dec 19, 2019 at 18:38
  • Don't see the pic, I'll wait until you get up some images to try and give you direction Commented Dec 19, 2019 at 18:42
  • Hi, @Uwtriguy. You've added your additional question info to this answer, when you should add it to the question. I'll move it there. Commented Dec 19, 2019 at 18:49
  • Good image of roof, now then, you are roughly talking about 27" on each side which isn't much but the question now is where do the studs holding up the header fall in that opening - if they fall between the joists in the basement you will need to provide a way to get the load onto the joists. Seeing as this sounds like a remodel and you may have some room try to get the studs from that opening to line up with the joists in the basement. If you don't all of the load will have to go onto the floor and then transferred to the joists which isn't good. Commented Dec 19, 2019 at 19:04
  • It will be roughly 5’ added to the side of the current opening. I’ll have to either open up the wall and see where the studs fall or peel up some floor in the kitchen behind the wall and drive a nail through the floor. Measure nail to joist and where the nail is in relation to the stud. If the subfloor doesn’t have too much gunk on it I might see the fastener locations as well but don’t want to completely tear out kitchen floor until after wall is up. Appreciate everyone patience as I learn the forum.
    – Uwtriguy
    Commented Dec 19, 2019 at 19:12

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