Removing a Small wall

I want to remove a small section of the wall between my kitchen and living room in a small one bedroom second floor condo.

Im an electrician so I have a very rough idea what to look for. The roof is trussed and the wall is very short so I figured I was ok until I saw the wall in question has a double plate. Now I dont know.

Below is a quick layout.
The joists are left to right.
At the top is the basic layout of the trusses in the attic.
The nodes dont fall on the wall but I believe that doesnt always matter.
The red X’s show the area I want to remove.
I have no access to the first floor or the basement crawl space.

I may be able to bribe a GC ont he job to come check it out or just hire a SE but I think some of the inspectors around here may not be interested in a small thing like this.
I greatly appreciate any advice.

Uploaded with

I had a small 3 foot wall in my home I wanted to remove. It didn’t appear to be load-bearing but I discovered I had rafters in my attic with little support. Interestingly, the one supporting 2 X 4 which held up the entire roof rested directly on this short wall. I had to do some re-structuring in my attic to remove the wall. I noticed that the North(?) living room area has no center supporting structure at all even now. Have you noticed sagging in the ceiling in this area or cracks in the ceiling?

You have to get building approval to do any remodeling in a condo.

Their attitude is do whatever you want inside, its your problem. I called the association manager.

The entire span is about 20’

Ive noticed other units have completely open kitchen but I cant be sure if it was remodeled or it was original. Buildings were built in 88.

The small wall parallel to the joists is double up at the top as well but its definitely not bearing. Its mounted in between joists by 1x’s.

2x4 trusses.

Thats everything I can think of. I think I may be safer just leaving the perpendicular walls’ basic support in place. It will still look open.

Even if it is a load bearing wall you can remove a section of it as long as you install a header above the opening (half inch thick plywood sandwiched between 2X8’s, 2X10’s or 2X12’s) depending on the width of the opening.

Dan, assumming you have permission and permit to do this, I would recommend that you get someone qualified to tell you if ok or not to remove it.
From my perspective and what you said and shown in the drawing, I would not see any problem in removing that portion of the wall.
It is not uncommon to see a double plate for non-bearing walls. Some like to add the addittional plate to compensate for ceiling finishes and nailing backup of crown or bed mouldings or for the simple reason of a straighter wall construction.

Hope that helps. :slight_smile:

Maybe it’s different in the USA but we use a double top plate (top and Cap)for all of our walls. That to me would not have BEARING on me if it is structual or not. I think Marcel is right about having someone come in and take a peek at it before you start taking down any walls. They are likely a clear span truss but from here it is hard to tell.

Any inspector wouldnt have access to the unit below or its crawl space. Not unless our neighbor would be very nice and our neighbor is the one everyone around here hates so thats that.

Theyd see basically what Ive shown other then they would have experience knowing where the weight is distributed. Everything is pretty uniform int he attic.

There are definitely other 2nd floor condos here that are larger with open kitchens with no walls at all that span a longer distance but to be safe Ill just use a 2x6 header.

rip it out and see what happens. :slight_smile: I agree with the guys above. Its likely not bearing in any way. Trusses are designed for load on outside walls- full span- interior walls dont matter to trusses. there are always excpetions and you might have one… cracked members or missing plates may have made this bearing in some way over the years… my 2 cents

YEP. If it is load bearing…just build two dead walls on either side, knock it out, put in a new header, drywall, done. Thats what I did. I had never done anything like it before and it came out perfect. I didn’t have trusses either so I was able to make it flush with the rest of the ceiling. Doubt its load bearing though so just knock that **** out.

This means absolutely nothing. The HOA does not over-rule government and their rules. You need to contact your local Building Department, just as if you were getting a permit to work on the electrical in your day job (City/County/etc.).