Load Bearing Wall Removal
Ensure that your wall can safely be removed before proceeding with demolition.
If you’re a homeowner or contractor who would like to remove a wall, make sure that a professional engineer determines whether it’s load bearing, before taking it down, in order to avoid significant damage.
What Is A Load Bearing Wall?
Load-bearing walls are designed to support the weight of the floors, ceilings, and roof, and their removal without proper support can result in structural failure and even collapse of the building.
It’s critical to have a professional engineer examine the walls to determine whether they are load-bearing.
At Criterium-Jansen, our professional engineers will use various techniques to determine the load-bearing capacity of the walls, including analyzing the building plans, inspecting the structure, and performing calculations. Based on their findings, they can advise on the best approach for the project, including which walls can be removed or altered, and how to provide the necessary structural support to ensure the integrity of your building.
FAQs About Load Bearing Walls
How can I tell if my wall is load bearing?
If you don’t have an easy vantage point to assess your structure, like a basement or crawl space, then you may be able to see beams, columns, joists, etc. Generally, walls that are situated directly above other walls are load bearing. Additionally, walls with a thickness greater than 6” are generally load bearing. It can be tricky to determine and we highly recommend you leave this critical determination to a professional engineer.
Can I remove a load bearing wall?
If a professional has determined that a wall is loading bearing, but you wish to remove it as part of your renovation, then you will need to plan for its removal and install one or more supporting beams or structural posts in its place. Planning this process is key to ensuring a structurally sound finished project, which is another good reason to have a professional engineer assess your wall.
Will my home collapse if I remove a load bearing wall?
Potentially yes, however, it is unlikely that your home will immediately collapse if you remove a load bearing wall. Over time the structure will become seriously jeopardized by the lack of interior support and could lead to serious damage. It is not recommended to live within a home that is missing a load bearing wall.