Load Bearing Wall Removal

Dear Robin:

I am renovating my home and I want to remove a wall to open up my floor plan; what do I need to do? sincerely, Want to Remove a Wall

Dear Want to Remove a Wall:

Many homes have load bearing walls throughout the home. Simply stated, the weight of the roof and structural beams rest on some of the walls. You should hire a structural engineer or architect to come to your home and examine it to determine which walls are load bearing, and how the changes will track down to the other load bearing beams, posts and footings. Often times non-load bearing walls can be taken out but not always. There can be vertical load bearing walls in your home … and there can be walls that are load bearing in other ways such as walls that are designed into the home to resist horizontal loads like wind. Some load bearing walls can be removed or changed if they are replaced with another system (like a beam), but an engineer or architect (licensed in your state) will need to perform a structural review and analysis with calculations to determine whether it can be done and how best to perform the work for your situation. The design (recipe for repair) will need to be followed by the contractor and usually your city or county will want a copy of the design for permitting and inspection purposes to make sure work is performed correctly. You (or your contractor) will also need to make sure when you start the work that everything is supported correctly before you begin. Shoring and bracing is crucial to safely performing this type of work. After that, have at it! Once everything is accounted for you can safely “Knock down that wall.”

Posted in
PST Engineering Logo

PST Engineering

Recent Posts