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Removing Shear Wall

Removing Shear Wall

Removing Shear Wall

I want to do a kitchen remodel in Irvine California and need to remove a shear wall. The length of shear wall is about 6 feet and it is a drywall only. I have a wall in same direction that is not used for shear wall and I can change that wall to be a shear wall by adding plywood and hold downs. The house is built about 30 years ago. Does building department let me to do this or they will ask to bring the whole building to new code and analyze the whole building?

RE: Removing Shear Wall

You should simply call the building department and ask.
In our area they would usually just ask that a licensed engineer review the changes and write a letter or do the drawings for the work and sign/seal it.
I'm not sure they would ever require the whole structure to be brought up to code for just the wall change.

In a lot of regions, there is usually a provision that requires a complete code upgrade throughout if the work involves more than 20% of the value of the building.
That percentage may vary from place to place so calling your local building authority would be the first step.

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RE: Removing Shear Wall

Ask the building dept.
How do you know a 30 yr old buildings 6 ft wall is a shear wall?

RE: Removing Shear Wall

It's painted on the wall. :)

RE: Removing Shear Wall

If it is a shear wall, you should be able to see through it.

Look to the connections and blocking above and below the wall, as well as the nail pattern and the presence of any drag links.

Mike McCann, PE, SE (WA)

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