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Any structural engineer in the forum? Questions about a frame on a inwall closet
Any structural engineer in the forum? Questions about a frame on a inwall closet
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Old 3rd March 2013, 06:15 PM   #1
ofesad is offline ofesad  Argentina
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Default Any structural engineer in the forum? Questions about a frame on a inwall closet

I know that the name of the thread sound weird, but it's for a good reason.
The inwall closet has no use for me now. The idea is to turn it into a space for the HT (LCD tv, speakers, etc).

Something like this could be the final result:
Click the image to open in full size.

This is the actual inwall closet:
Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.

Now, I was thinking that I could use the upper storage, so I was wondering if I could cut just the middle-lower beam, like this:
Click the image to open in full size.

I know that the structure wont be as rigid as befor, but the ideas is to use the upper part to store some cardboard boxes (empty boxes actually).
Nothing too heavy.
Could be possible?

Any comments, opinions and suggestions are welcome!
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Old 3rd March 2013, 06:39 PM   #2
thenuh is offline thenuh  Germany
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Looks like the weight is supported by the metal T bar which looks like its set into the wall.
Check if its attached somehow to the bar you want to cut off. Is that wood or metal? I can't really tell from your pictures.

It's propably metal though. It might start to sag and distort if the upper part of the vertical bar is not attached to the ceiling somehow. Which would make the doors get stuck. If the ceiling is solid concrete you could weld or screw an L shaped metal piece on the backside right behind the T section of the upper part and anchor it with a heavy duty dowel.

MfG P. (I'm not a structural engineer fyi :P)

Last edited by thenuh; 3rd March 2013 at 06:52 PM.
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Old 3rd March 2013, 11:32 PM   #3
Ron E is offline Ron E  United States
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Also not a structural engineer, so understand that anything you do is at your own risk.

If you remove that lower strut, you will want to make something that can carry the load that it did/could. Most invisible perhaps is to make some sort of truss behind the upper strut that is fastened to both the wall and ceiling structure, or else the whole frame may sag if someone falls and tries to catch themself, or some kid decides it looks like something to hang from... perhaps you could accomplish most of the strength needed by simply mounting some sort of metal bracket to the horizontal tubing above the cut and screw it to the wall structure towards the top.

If you remove the lower vertical piece, it is probably best to remove the existing shelf and hanger bar and put some wall-anchored shelving standards in to carry any potential future shelving.
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Old 4th March 2013, 01:07 AM   #4
Jay is offline Jay  Indonesia
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You should ask a carpenter or interior designer, not a structural engineer

But it looks very strong to me. The strut is actually not so necessary in providing support for such a structure (there are other means of support). If the ceiling is concrete, I believe there is a strong joint between the concrete and the metal bar that will provide the main support for the metal truss. I can also see a metal bar going through the concrete wall supporting the frame.

Especially if you're not going to put heavy material on it, it should be fine. If you do, you can still add extra support if existing one is not adequate.

ADD: Simply bring a carpenter or interior designer to look at and assess the real situation. Because I just noticed that you're not in US, who knows if carpenters in your country like to do stupid things

Last edited by Jay; 4th March 2013 at 01:11 AM.
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Old 4th March 2013, 02:30 AM   #5
Kindhornman is offline Kindhornman  United States
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First off tell us what the ceiling material is constructed of. It looks to me that the bar running across the closet is a rod for hanging cloths on. The upper section if using the center support in compression and I wouldn't cut that before you reinforce the top section or add temporary bracing before you cut that out. There are few things you could do. If you can give up some of the height to the shelf you could run a board from side to side across the opening under the shelf and tied into the walls to support the shelf. I assume you are going to remove he doors as you show in your picture. I am guessing but that looks to be about 10 to 12 feet across by the size of the dresser. A 2 x 6 screwed into the shelf and tied into the wall at the ends would should support that wide an opening. Just because you say nothing heavy is going to go up on top you better think that at some point somebody is going to put something on top that will be heavy.
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Old 4th March 2013, 03:04 AM   #6
ofesad is offline ofesad  Argentina
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Thank you all guys! Great ideas! I have bee thinking a lot about this.

Here, first let me tell you some things about me and what I plan to do:

First, I live on my own, on my on house, so no one will mess with my stuff. Dont have a GF either...
This room is going to become a HT room / Home cinema, as seen in a previous picture.
The house is build of bricks and the ceiling is... i dont know how you call it (Im from argentina) . But its also some sort of brick and cement/concrete

All the closet doors will be taken out and use them in another closet of the exactly same size as this. In fact, is on the other side of the wall, but it never got doors before.

The size of the closet is:
118.11 inches (3 meters) wide
93.7 inches (2.35 meters) tall
25.59 (0.65 meters) depth
NOTE: it's exterior measure (including the frame/struts)

The struts: made of alloy (iron):
Thickness: 1.18 inches (3 centimeters) x 3.14 inches (8 centimeters)

The short vertical strut (upper) height (interior measure): 27.55 inches (70 centimeters)
The long vertical strut (lower) height (interior measure): 62.20 inches (158 centimeters)

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Old 9th March 2013, 03:33 AM   #7
ofesad is offline ofesad  Argentina
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So... finally I cut it out....

Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.

Holds well, but as RonE said, if someone hangs of the frame, you can hear the top part crushing.

Anyway, Im tempted to just cut all the "cross" frame... but for now I think it will work just ok.
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