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Such wide angles don't allow the floor joists to transfer load very well, so walls at obtuse angles to your floor joists are unlikely to be load bearing. “It can be harder to determine if the second-floor system is bearing on the same wall,” he says. Here are a few terms you’ll need to know to do this: Joists: These are horizontal structures that support the floor and ceiling of your home. Our garage has a closet on one end. You should see this at the foundation level - whether wood, stone, or brick, nearly all exterior walls will extend right into the concrete. If your wall is not load bearing, you can consider taking it down yourself. In larger homes, the wall closest to the middle of the house will almost always be load-bearing. “The job of a load bearing wall is to transfer the load of the roof and floor levels down to the ground,” says Sara Martin, who owns Open Door Architecture with her husband. Please consider making a contribution to wikiHow today. If I want to convert two rooms into a single room by taking out the dividing wall, will it affect the rooms above them? It is a good idea to talk to a qualified contractor who can take a look at your blueprints and make sure that things are done properly. % of people told us that this article helped them. To gain more information on the wall, you’ll have to move upstairs. Side walls are primary load-bearing walls in simple gable-end framing, but hip roofs and complex roof lines depend on more than just the side walls. Walls that are stacked may be load bearing. If joists end on top of a wall, it definitely is a bearing wall. Is there anything bearing down, like a roof brace or a beam, on the area directly above the wall? http://www.doityourself.com/stry/how-to-determine-if-a-wall-is-a-load-bearing-wall#b, http://www.bankrate.com/brm/news/mtg/20020117a.asp, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a_UtoFPaAuM, http://www.naturalhandyman.com/iip/infxtra/infload.html, http://www.redbeacon.com/hg/ins-outs-load-bearing-walls/, consider supporting our work with a contribution to wikiHow. Check out our post on knocking down a wall for a step-by-step guide, but we do advise consulting a professional to confirm your observations before reaching for the sledgehammer. Non-continuous wall: If the floor joists run in the same direction as the wall and do not support any roof structure, it will be clear at once that the wall cannot possibly be load bearing. A building inspector should be able to tell whether a given wall is load bearing, although that becomes more difficult the more your home has been renovated. To learn more, such as how to tell if a wall is load-bearing by looking at the floor joists, keep reading! Doing a little home improvement? All tip submissions are carefully reviewed before being published. Try again... Nope! How do I know if these walls are load bearing? Knocking down a wall is a great way to create an open floor plan, or simply make a room larger. Go into the basement or the lowest level of a building to identify interior load-bearing walls. References Removing a load-bearing wall without the proper supports can cause things to collapse. This, however, can be costly. A load bearing wall is one which supports other elements of the building, such as (and most commonly) the: Roof - part of the roof structure which would include the ceiling joists within the loft area are sometimes supported from internal walls. A loa… To learn more, such as how to tell if a wall is load-bearing by looking at the floor joists, keep reading! These support walls are known as load bearing walls. In this case, 96% of readers who voted found the article helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. Please consider making a contribution to wikiHow today. Remodel consultants help people determine how to remodel their home. (The weight that is being transferred down at any given point in the house is called the “load,” hence “load-bearing walls.”) Because this weight is transferred from one level of the house to the next, load-bearing walls are typically directly over one another on each floor. Before you remove a load bearing wall, you need to know how to identify them. By using our site, you agree to our. If you have a single level home or gathered no information from your basement or attic, you can use one of the following methods to identify load bearing walls: If you suspect your wall is load bearing, you still have some options for your redesign but you will definitely need to consult a professional. The floors above, roof structure, people and furniture are the “ loads ” that the wall has to support. If you’re still not sure, call a building inspector to come and evaluate your home. Keep in mind, though, that getting new blueprints drawn is expensive. I want to open up the kitchen to the living room and there is a wall between them. This article has been viewed 1,433,444 times. It will entail removing three 2 x 4s (62 inches). Beams: These are sturdy pieces of wood or metal, which transfer the weight of your home onto the foundation. Step 2 - Check the Basement. A load-bearing wall is any wall that holds up the weight of the structure above and the people/furniture supported by that structure. Internal walls near the center of a building often help to support the weight of the house. If you’re in this situation, you definitely want to enlist the help of a structural engineer. wikiHow is where trusted research and expert knowledge come together. The first is to simply note the location of a wall and whether that wall also exists on the next floor. Every house uses load-bearing walls to stabilize the structure and support the weight of the home above. If you're unsure, check with the builder to be sure that this was the type of construction used. They do not bear any other weight of the property’s structure other than its own. Beams are often easiest to find in an unfinished basement (or attic) where portions of the structure are exposed. In the basement, is there a wall, column or horizontal beam directly below the location of the wall? The structural engineer will walk through your home to find these telltale signs to locate where the structural weight is being supported. To determine which type of wall you’re looking at you’ll need to look at the structural design of your home. 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