How to Identify a Load-Bearing Wall
Most people benefit from an open floor plan these days but it is impossible to reach this aspect in the old houses without knocking down a few walls. As some of these walls could keep the rest of the house on foot, it is important to understand how they work the load-bearing walls and be able to identify them.
People often ask me if some walls of your home can be ripped off, and it’s not always easy to say just by looking at them. Newer homes or those that have already undergone a structural renovation such as adding or removing hotel- are particularly difficult to decipher, so it is always a good idea to consult an architect or engineer before taking a club. (There may be permits required, in order to check with your local building authority.)
Of course there are many reasons why you may want to have an idea that walls can be load, even before you are about to call in a professional. Here are a few things that can help.
Understanding the Structure
A structural wall actually exerts the weight of its house, from the roof and upper floors, all the way to the foundation. (The weight is transferred down at some point in the house is called “load” so “load-bearing walls”.) Because this weight is transferred from one level of the house to another, the walls they are Usually load directly onto each other on each floor. The exterior walls are always load-bearing, and if a previous addition involved, some exterior walls may now resemble interior walls, but are almost certainly still the load.
It begins in the Foundation
In a house that has an unfinished basement or on the wall easily accessible, find the beams, typically a metal I beam or a wooden beam from several tables, it is a good indication of where Finds the weight of the house. A wall directly on these beams (and a wall directly on the walls) are likely to support the load.
Look at the floor joists
If you can see the floor joists, either from the basement facing the first floor, or from the attic looking down to the lower floor, write down your address. Often, a supporting wall will be perpendicular to the floor joists. If you see a wall that seems to hold an intersection of beams at any point, this wall is likely to charge as well. (All walls are not perpendicular to the floor joists carrying freight and a wall load can occur in a place where there is an intersection of beams also it is why it is important to examine the overall structure of the house ).
If a wall does not have walls, poles or other supports directly above it, it is much less likely to be resistant to load. This is also true when looking into the attic. If you have an unfinished attic but see the walls of the knee (the walls below 3 ‘tall hold the roof beams) those that are probably directly on a wall load too.
Here is a great example of looking at all these different tracks to determine if a wall is the load:
For those of us who do structural calculations every day, it is not an exact science, but understanding the principles behind the load-bearing walls can help determine when to call professionals.