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We hired a plumber to fix a corroded gas valve in the kitchen. The valve was difficult to get to, and there was an existing pipe in the way, so they had to hack a chunk out of the cabinet and neighboring beam. I'm not sure, but I believe this beam might have been a load-bearing wall stud. (Right behind the black lining is the exterior kitchen wall, though I'm not sure how much stuff there is between that and the outside. There's wall insulation next to the valve.)

  1. How big of an issue is this?
  2. What happens if it's not addressed promptly? (In other words, is this an emergency?)
  3. If repairs are required, is it possible to repair the gap without taking apart the entire kitchen wall and/or floor? (Can it be "patched"?)

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  • Note: they're not done with the job yet, so this might not be the final state of the repair. But I don't think they're planning to reinforce the beam.
    – Archagon
    Aug 16, 2023 at 2:28
  • Also, this section is pretty close to the corner of the building.
    – Archagon
    Aug 16, 2023 at 3:16
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    In my experience, plumbers only rip out what they need to fix the issue. It will be up to you to make the other repairs. It being a corner that was cut on is a help. It is the strongest part of the wall, usually has the most studs in one spot. How much of the studs is gone, about half it its width?
    – Jack
    Aug 16, 2023 at 3:38
  • The stud in question looks to predate modern dimensional lumber. Just how thick is it? Aug 16, 2023 at 3:43
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    If you're a renter, this sounds like a problem for your landlord. If you're concerned about a safe repair (i.e. continuing to live in the place after the repair), get the local housing/code authority in for an inspection.
    – Huesmann
    Aug 16, 2023 at 12:02

1 Answer 1

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We hired a plumber to fix a corroded gas valve in the kitchen.

Where do you live? Per your comments, you rent. If this wasn't authorized by the landlord then you could be on the hook.

so they had to hack a chunk out of the cabinet and neighboring beam

Plumbers are notorious for this kind of behavior.

How big of an issue is this?

We can't tell, the image is zoomed in too far. Add a zoomed out image, an image from the outside of the house, and describe anything above this stud such as a second story.

What happens if it's not addressed promptly? (In other words, is this an emergency?)

If it was an emergency then you would not have had time to take the picture.

If repairs are required, is it possible to repair the gap without taking apart the entire kitchen wall and/or floor? (Can it be "patched"?)

House framing is built with redundancy in mind. It's fairly difficult to botch a single item and cause a failure. I guess sawing a 20-foot load-bearing beam in half would probably do it.

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  • We called the plumber ourselves since this was an urgent matter, but it was authorized in writing by our landlord. He is in chemo so we're trying to coordinate with the plumbers as much as possible and make his life a bit easier. He is footing the bill.
    – Archagon
    Aug 16, 2023 at 18:40
  • We're on the second floor, and there is another floor above us.
    – Archagon
    Aug 16, 2023 at 18:41
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    @Archagon Ah, I see. I'm glad to hear that this is all coordinated. I wish your landlord the best and a good recovery. This could be "patched" by getting that stud cut flat so that you can insert a new piece of wood to handle the vertical load. It will be impossible to strengthen it enough for shear strength unless the wall is opened up more. It is just a single stud and is unlikely to result in anything catastrophic. You should provide the picture to your landlord and ask how to proceed. If he insists that the plumber has to fix it then you will get to experience the "fun" of all that ensues.
    – MonkeyZeus
    Aug 16, 2023 at 18:48
  • Thank you, that's very helpful. I added some more photos to the question showing the rest of the kitchen corner as well as the outside wall.
    – Archagon
    Aug 16, 2023 at 20:22
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    @Archagon I see the new pictures. In the grand scheme of things there is no emergency here and the structure should remain standing for the next 100 years. Still, present the situation to your landlord and let them make the final decision.
    – MonkeyZeus
    Aug 16, 2023 at 20:25

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