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Is the wall between the garage and the kitchen load-bearing?

5 replies [Last post]
Joined: Apr 16 2006

I am the owner of a small Eichler (original square footage 1300) in Palo Alto, CA. I
am wondering if the wall betwen the attached garage and the kitchen is load-bearing.
I suppose it is but would like to make sure.

Thanks a lot in advance.


Joined: Mar 21 2003

I am sure it depends on the exact model you have.

In our Sunnyvale courtyard model the beams in the garage garage do not line up with the beams inside the house. And they are a different size too. Thus the wall is supporting the ends of the beams and therefore the wall must be load bearing.

If you can't tell by looking, I'd suggest that you consult with a contractor or architect.

Joined: Apr 16 2006

Thanks Tod,

In that regard, i.e., in terms of the orientation of the beams, the beams in
the garage are parallel to those in the rest of the house, including the
kitchen. This may indicate the wall (between the kitchen and the garage) is
not load-bearing.

I had thought it was load-bearing as I had observed that the floor in the
garage is 3.5" lower than the rest of the house and suspected a separate way
of support. Now I realize that that thickness is perhaps for the floor
heating and was added after all the foundations and framing had been done.

I will ask an engineer to take a look.



Joined: Mar 25 2005


Check with a structural engineer...

I think that the kitchen is higher than the garage floor for code purposes in many homes (including non-Eichlers) - and that this is not related to stuctural support requirements.

In our Sunnyvale Eichler, the wall between the garage and kitchen is a SHEAR wall.

Joined: Mar 16 2005

I don't have any particular insights or knowledge.
But if you think there is a header beam in the wall, you can assume the (inside) wall is load bearing. Also, even a single car garage has large spans, so the walls are likely to be load bearing.
With a little modification, you probably can add a door to the wall, but here's what I would consider:
(1) In my Eichler, the posts holding up the beams are pretty flimsy - I think 4 x4 - - so any support shouldn't be tampered with. A while ago, someone posted about knocking down a wall to get an unobstructed layout - - people said "be careful" but he blew off the cautionary comments (quite rude). Not sure what he did afterwards.
(2) My Eichler has 3 roofs over 30+ years -- the original tar & gravel and 2 foams -- that's a lot of weight on the roof so it's a consideration whenever you do something in the middle of the house.

Joined: Apr 16 2006


This is just a follow-up of the thread I started.

I took the question to a structural engineer. What I found is that the wall between
my current kitchen and garage is not load-bearing. But it was reinforced in
past remodeling with plywood for shear walll. The minimum for such a wall is
40". If I open a door on this wall, I won't have that 40". Thus, we have given
up on that.

Thanks a lot for all the suggestions and advices.


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