I want to tear out a wall on my second floor. The house was built in 1904 and I cannot tell if this is a wall that could be holding up the roof. How do I find out without making a big mess?:eek:
should give you some good information to start with (the first match has some good test info).
In general, if the wall is perpendicular to the roof trusses, it's most likely a load bearing wall. But I'd recommend further research on Google for tips on checking to be sure.
No need to make a mess, simply go into the attic and look for the following:
1) Are there ceiling joist bearing on the wall plate?
2) Are there roof braces bearing on the wall plate?
3) Are the roof rafters running perpendicular to the wall in question?
If you answer yes to either of these questions then you very likely have a bearing wall and you will need to make arrangements to support these framing elements. Suggest installing a flush beam, Laminated Veneer Lumber, or LVL's for short, in the ceiling and adding jacks in the walls down to new foundation piers if necessary to support the beam loads. The ceiling joist can be supported on hangers into the side of the beam and any roof bracing can be reapplied to the top and now you have an opening in a bearing wall.