Load Bearing Stud Wall????

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j0nb0y | 21:44 Wed 13th Oct 2021 | Home & Garden
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I am looking to remove a stud wall in my house. Not sure it is classed as load bearing, but, it is definitely taking some of the weight of the joists above. I have done a span calculation and my joists are 7" x 2" which can span approx. 3.5 metres. My span is about 4.5 metres. What do I need to do to take the stud wall down, but, also keep the structural integrity of the joists above???
Any advice, greatly appreciated.


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Well, the obvious answer, Jonboy, is to simply replace the stud wall with a steel beam or steel lintel.
You won't have a clear span though. You'll have the beam sticking down.
If you need a completely clear span with no downstand, it can be done of course. It will get much more involved though.

Whichever way you do it, I must stress how essential it is to figure out all the possible loads there may be from above. Even if there is only another stud wall upstairs, it may possibly carry roof loads in an older type of house.

Any experienced builder could give you a pretty good idea of what's needed, but he would have to bear the responsibility.
What's needed is a Structural Engineer to assess the loads and calculate beam sizes.
How do you know "it is definitely taking some of the weight of the joists above." ?

If it is, it would mean the studding was erected before the floor above for the joists to be resting on it. Unlikely, unless we are talking about a very old house & very substantial studding.
If you need to ask these questions its not a job for you to tackle. For goodness sake get a builder in, it will run much cheaper to get it done properly now than have a builder come and rectify later -and it still has to pass a building inspector even if you DIY.
As Aunty says, the work is "notifiable". That is, it has to be done through Building Control.
The first thing a Building Inspector will ask for are the calculations.
I've bought a sportscar on the back of DIY going wrong lol!
If the room is 4.5m wide I don't see why the carpenter would have had to rest the joists above on a stud wall. Knock it down !
Aunty... cruel......... but true ;o)

K. I never had you down as the impetuous type ;o)
We haven't been told anything about this house, but it has happened.
I've seen it with houses built just after the War. Timber was in short supply, so lengths were rationed.

It will be interesting to find out when Jonboy gets back.
B. I agree, I might be a bit cavalier, but I'm sure you've had experience of demolition as well as construction -it's amazing how far you can go before something collapses when you want it to :0) If he's timid he could borrow an acrow, remove the studding & release it slowly ?
Question Author
The house was built in the 70’s. It is detached. The first floor joists are 47 x 175mm ( 2 x 7 inch), they are one continuous joist, not joined. . The stud wall I am looking to take down divides the kitchen/dining room downstairs and there is not a stud wall immediately above it. The roof is roof joists. All the walls downstairs are stud walls. I am happy to keep some of the existing stud wall in place, as in 600mm either end and 600mm at the top. As for a diy disaster, it’s not exactly my first rodeo, so don’t think I will be paying for any builders new car. Because the span table says a 2x7 joist can only span 3.5M unsupported and mine span 4.5m , I was assuming I would still need some kind of support. Although speaking to a neighbour, he has done what I am looking to do, several years ago, with no problems.
Question Author
Sorry, the roof is constructed of roof trusses.
Ok Jonboy. now we're getting somewhere.
Without the stud wall, the joists are "over-spanned", which you know of course.

70s house, trussed roof, stud walls, it's a normal build for that time.
There is no problem in removing the wall as long as there are no other upstairs stud walls anywhere along the length of the joists.
There are no roof loads.
If your neighbour has done this, then I guess he may now have an upstairs floor that is a little more "bouncy."

Thickening the 7x2s will solve it, but it means removing the whole ceiling first.
I would just go for a lightweight steel lintel carried on the two 600mm returns.
Or a timber one. (A little more decorative timber beam?)
Turn it into a "feature" by fitting matching timber uprights on the ends of the 600mm returns. A sort of "goalposts" thing. Sorry if that wouldn't look right, but I can't say without seeing the room for myself.

How are we doing so far? Let us know if you don't like any of this, and we'll think again.
//..the span table says a 2x7 joist can only span 3.5M unsupported and mine span 4.5m //

That's really only a recommendation for new work & one metre extra ain't going to bring the house down, the floor above was there & OK before the studding was put in place, it didn't collapse then & it wont now. If it does I'll buy the Builder a pint. :0)
Your pint is safe Khandro. It won't collapse, but I think I should make something a bit clearer.
When the building was being constructed, it was always intended to have the stud wall in place simply to break the span. It was common practice.
For a 4.5m clear span, they would have used 9x2 joists.
I'm pretty sure the wall in question was not an afterthought.
I've been giving this a bit more thought Jonboy.
Since you're happy to have a 600mm downstand above the opening: how about this...

Prop both sides of the wall with "Acrow" props to carry the floor and prevent deflection.
Remove the whole wall between the two 600mm returns.
Make up a simple studwork bridging piece up against the ceiling, between the returns. (Dimensions: 600mm x width of opening.)
Use narrower timbers. Approx. 40mm narrower than the remaining studwork.
Plant 20mm structural plywood (eg Sterling Board) on each side.
Use screws, and plenty of them.
Plasterboard & skim to finish.

This is called a "Structural Stud". It'll do the job of a lintel/beam.

That'll act as a lintel.
Who me? I haven't sad anything.
Question Author
That was the kind of thing I was thinking about ‘ the builder’ . I know the wall is there to take some of the weight/ bounce of the floor above. If there had been brick or block work, I would have put in a box lintel. But the stud/ sterling board sounds great. Like the engineered joists they use in many new builds. Cheers everyone for your input and answers. Much appreciated.

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