How to Identify a Load Bearing Wall

Are you working on a home renovation? If so, you might come across a load bearing wall that supports the weight of house structures.

While they are essential, they might interfere with your concept layout. You probably want to move or get rid of them. The thing is, it’s not safe to just remove them.

So, how should you start? Here’s your guide to removing the load bearing wall. Keep reading!

Identify the Wall

Before you take down a wall, determine if it’s a load bearing wall. You can do this by checking how your joists run in the attic or basement.

Many homeowners aren’t familiar with it. If you’re also wondering, “what is a load bearing wall?” Keep in mind that it supports your home’s weight. It does this by transferring it from the roof through floors until it reaches the foundation.

So, you’re likely to find it in the center of a building or running perpendicular to floor joists. If the walls are parallel, it’s not a load bearing wall.

Secure the Home

Once you’re ready to start, you need to prepare your home for removal. Turn off any electric or gas supplies, cover furniture and fixtures that might get damaged, and remove wall finish materials.

Even if you hire a general contractor to work on it for you, it’s best to check these off to prevent harm or damage.

Insert Temporary Walls

Next, install temporary walls. They make up for the loss of support when you’re removing a load bearing wall. Common support systems include posts, beams, and jacks.

Posts support floor joists, beams go between posts in the width of the building, and jacks support the structure under floor joists.

Your choice should vary on the size and weight of your home and where the load bearing wall is. It’s crucial to keep these secure, so take your time finding the best option.

Cut the Wall

After you fix the temporary system, carefully cut the load bearing wall. Try not to apply too much pressure and ensure every cut is in the correct order and location.

A quick tip is to start with the top plates, bottom plates, then the studs. It’s also good to remove any debris when you finish.

Install New Support System

Load bearing wall removal means you should replace it with a permanent solution. You can add a beam or post for this. A few things to note include choosing sturdy and durable material and ensuring you anchor it correctly to the floor joists or the home’s foundation.

Don’t hesitate to call a professional if you need help with basement remodeling to make this possible.

Add Finishing Touches

Finish up by adding drywall, plaster, and the like to the new wall. You can also turn the gas and electricity back on. If you still feel unsure, contact a professional to check the walls for you.

Learn How to Remove a Load Bearing Wall Safely

Some renovations require you to remove a load bearing wall. It’s not an easy task, so many recommend leaving it to the professionals.

Nonetheless, you can work on it on your own as long as you get expert supervision or aid.

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