Renovation 2007: Structure

Getting closer to understanding my house, I had a structural engineer come by as consultant. I think he specialized in foundations so we did the basement first. Then we moved up to the first level where he made a hole in my ceiling. I’m going to see how much joint compound I still have to fix it, as it will be a few months before I actually do any tearing apart. Lastly he looked at my roof crawlspace and noted a concern.
In earlier conversations with him I mentioned the house was about 130 years old and I was wondering about a crack in the party wall. When he looked at the basement I told him what the landlord of the house told me, which was when “they” dug out the basement it created a crack in the party wall and the landlord wanted to sue the previous owners but didn’t ’cause by the time he got around to thinking of sueing the house was up for sale. The engineer did not see a horizontal crack long the basement wall, so he doesn’t think the party wall crack was the cause of the basement. Because I’ve been in the house for 5 years and nothing bad had happened he didn’t think I had anything to worry about.
He aslo gave a long explaination of how my wall worked and why he believes it is doing what it is supposed to do. Vertical loads are fine. The problem is horizontal pressure from all the dirt below the neighbor’s soil line. But it is not a huge problem as the walls aren’t bowing. I’ve got unlevel floors through the house and to level the floor above (the first floor) the beams in the basement may need to be shimmed.
On the first floor my concern was if I could get rid of a center wall. Answer, yes as it is not a load bearing wall. Moving on.
On the second floor the question of if I could get rid of the walls was harder to answer. He looked in the crawlspace and noticed a center beam, which was 10 feet from a certain point in the ceiling. The center beam is old and sagging and seems to be loading on the wall between the bedrooms. The bedroom wall juts out a bit into the hallway and continues overhead giving the appearance of a load bearing wall. However when measuring it, it was about 5-6inches short of where the center beam is ‘loading’. The engineer said that the wall wasn’t supposed to be a load bearing wall. The beam keeping the roof up is begining to bear weight on something, possibly on the wall I want to remove. He gave me a couple of options of what to do, one was to shim the center beam so that it is bearing more weight on the party walls and less on whatever it is bearing weight on. That would give me the freedom to get rid of that bedroom wall.
I’m blogging this so I won’t forget it and because I’m not getting a written report. At $150 an hour, on top of the come to the site and walk through the door fee, I’ll write up my own report.