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chucas00 01-06-2006 08:47 AM

load bearing walls
i want to remove a wall between rooms. How do i determine if wall is load bearing.

HandyMac 01-13-2006 02:32 PM

One way to tell in a single story house is to look in the attic. If there are trusses, there is a good chance all interior walls are nonloadbearing. Most walls parallel to attic framing members are also nonload bearing.

If trusses were not used and if you are not sure, having a structural engineer look at the house/wall in question is a good idea. That cost will be much less than any cost to repair a mistake.

broke 03-06-2006 01:57 PM

does that mean that interior walls that are parallel to the slope of the roof are non-loadbearing?

i live in a 2-story townhouse.

is the load it is bearing just the roof weight?

inspectorD 03-07-2006 09:16 PM

Before you do anything..
You folks trying to remove walls....
The ONLY way for you to tell if a wall is bearing is to contact a professional. There is no way anyone on this forum can tell you how to determine this with out careful study.
If you try to figure it out you could do serious damage to your home.
Please just leave the major problems to the experts.


broke 03-12-2006 08:45 PM

oh, i would never guess and i hope the others won't either!!!

just dreaming and hoping i'm going to be able to knock a 3'-4' door in one of these walls into the next room.


CraigFL 03-13-2006 10:56 AM

I understand InspectorD's concern but as long as you look carefully and ask some questions, you should be OK to put a 36" or 48" door in most walls. The key is to brace the ceiling when you remove Studs and put a suitable header and braces back in. Replacing or eliminating a whole wall would be more difficult although I've seen many homeowners do this with the sagging ceiling/roof...

BillsCatz 03-16-2006 05:17 PM

Lets get a grip there, Inspector D. A few of us here are licensed contractors and finding a load-bearing wall is not brain surgery. Rules of thumb: A. All outside walls are load-bearing. B. The load-bearing wall in a two or three family home is the typically in the center of the basement and has lally columns under it. In fact, to qualify as a load-bearing wall it HAS to have lally columns between it and the finished basement floor. See, that wasn't so hard. =)

inspectorD 03-16-2006 09:56 PM

Sorry Bill
Bill when you say it's that easy it all makes sense....
All the contemperary homes I see are all easy to find load bearing walls.Right?Or what about the McMantions I deal with on a daily basis, All must be straight forward.
Bill I understand that a few of us here are builders and remodelers, most are not. This is where I cant seem to "Get the Grip" on where you would As a professional tell someone on this forum how to determine LOAD bearing walls. I would understand your explanation if all homes in you area are cookie cut.
I'm not going to give that advice however.

Licenced CT Contractor 20 years,
Licenced Home Inspector 8 years
NATIONAL Home Inspection Instructor 4 years


MinConst 03-17-2006 05:15 AM

I've been doing remodeling for over 30 years off and on. I still don't see this as a simple call. I use to think that a LB wall had to run to the basement like you explained but have since seen the need for walls to hold up things that are not through to the basement but still "need to stay". Yes most of the time a well supported opening can be built but well built is something learned not automatic. DIY people don't have the learned part so making a cookie cutter statement on load bearing is kinda scary. Best to have a professional look at the situation before loosing the roof.

BillsCatz 03-17-2006 07:15 AM

MinCost & Inspector D,

Pardon my forgetting that many people really don't understand the theory behind a load-bearing wall. I've been doing this for a long time and such things just seem like common sense to me... "Well, I didn't see any colimns with "Lally" written on them in the basement, so I cut them off!" =) Once barely saved an inlaw from wrecking his house because he thought the wall between the living room and dining room was just a partition wall.

You're right, get a licensed contractor in there to explain what's what and be safe. Some newer construction also has supports that aren't specifically load-bearing but still hold a lot of weight on engineered beams.


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