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April 29, 2022

Expert Guide on How to Remove Load Bearing Walls


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Interior design trends keep changing, but one style preference that has stood the test of time and still isn’t going anywhere is the open space layout. 

This makes sense because modern homeowners prefer a house that’s spacious and unobstructive in design. However, most homes have multiple walls that divide the space into smaller rooms. 

One of best ways to embrace the open-floor concept is by removing these obtrusive walls, some of which may be load bearing, to create an expansive, seamless, aesthetic, and functional living space.

However, taking down walls is no DIY task, especially if it involves load bearing wall removal. 

As experienced load bearing wall removal experts, we’re often asked whether or not load bearing wall removal is possible. In most cases, it can certainly be done as long as the job is safely performed by a load bearing wall removal contractor

If you’re planning to create an open space in your house, you should know about a few important things about load bearing wall removal to make the best decisions. First off, let’s try to understand what a load bearing wall is. 

What Is a Load Bearing Wall?

The walls in your house are of two types: load bearing and non-load bearing. A load bearing wall is a crucial structural element in the architectural framework of your home. It helps keep your house standing upright by supporting and distributing its weight. Without load bearing walls, your house can collapse. 

Non-load bearing walls, on the other hand, do not carry or distribute any weight of your house. Their main purpose is to divide up the interior space into smaller rooms. 

What Is the Purpose of Load Bearing Walls?

As mentioned, load bearing walls provide the necessary support that enables an even weight distribution across your home’s framework. This line of load dispersal, called the load path, transfers the weight from the roof of your home to the foundation in a stable and sustainable manner.  

Load bearing walls work by providing the optimum load path balance needed to strengthen the structural integrity of your house. Simply put, they help ensure that your home stays sturdy and standing.  

As you can see, load bearing walls are vital to your home’s structure, which is why they cannot be removed without first installing proper support beams, posts, and columns.

Careless load bearing wall removal or incorrect identification can lead to the sagging of your home’s interior and exterior walls, which can ultimately cause your roof to cave in. To prevent this, you should hire a reliable load bearing wall removal contractor as they can accurately calculate the load pathways that can keep your home structurally stable. 

How to Identify a Load Bearing Wall

For starters, you should know that all external walls of your house are structural or load bearing. If you live in a home with two or more stories, the interior walls that stack on top of each other could also be structurally important. 

Most of the time, you can tell a load bearing wall in your home by looking at the floor plan. Another way to identify it is by going down to your basement or crawl space and checking for continually running support structures beneath the wall. 

A load bearing wall may also have joists running perpendicular to it or it might be standing at an angle to sustain the roof. 

To make identification easier, here are a few features of a load bearing wall to keep in mind. 

  1. These walls carry the weight of your house and transfer it evenly – from the roof and the upper floors to the foundation or other suitable frame members. 
  2. Load bearing walls can support structural members like beams, slabs, and walls on the upper floors.
  3. It will typically carry the vertical load directly above the beam. 
  4. Usually, exterior walls that are stacked over one another are load bearing.
  5. They’re often perpendicular to the floor joists or ridge. 

If this sounds way too complex for your understanding, you’re not alone. Fortunately, you can easily hire load bearing wall removal experts to identify a structural wall. They will take all the necessary precautions to ensure safe load bearing wall removal in your home. 

Is It Actually Safe to Remove a Load Bearing Wall?

In a word, yes. Most of the time, load bearing wall removal is safe as long as alternate support structures are put in place prior to taking the wall down. These structures can continue to facilitate a balanced transfer of weight. 

However, load bearing wall removal is not meant to be a DIY project. Bringing down a structural wall is a complicated process that necessitates thorough planning. After all, your home’s structural integrity is at stake! Compromising it in any way could mean an unsafe home for you and your family. 

Further, load bearing walls often hide water pipes, electrical wires, gas lines, and ductwork within them. When going for load bearing wall removal, these elements will need to be rerouted safely – a job best left to an experienced load bearing wall removal contractor. They will ensure that the work is done by the right kind of professionals and in the right manner. 

How Is a Load Bearing Wall Removed?

As the first step, you should hire a licensed load bearing wall removal contractor for the job. They’ll create a foolproof plan for tearing down the wall and use the right type of alternate support structures to add stability to your home’s structure. These plans will prove to be particularly helpful at the time of getting permits. A reckless plan for load bearing wall removal can land you in a soup.

Improper load bearing wall removal can damage your home, and make it dangerous to live in. For instance, your drywall may start developing cracks or your ceiling may start to wilt. If things continue to get worse, your house could come crashing down. So, it is best to avoid a DIY attempt in this crucial matter and engage load bearing wall removal experts to protect your home and your family.  

What Do I Need for Proper Load Bearing Wall Removal?

Before removing a load bearing wall, the contractor will install temporary support structures in your home. These beams or columns will prevent your house from falling. As they’re put into place, any damaged parts in your house’s framework will also be reinforced with added support. An inspector will review the situation to ensure that things are being done properly before any further work can continue. 

How Can Load Bearing Wall Removal Experts Help Me?

As mentioned, any carelessness while taking down a wall that supports a great deal of weight can cause a part of your home to crumble. Instead of removing the wall yourself, hire a professional load bearing wall removal contractorto get the job done. 

Here are a few ways they can help you. 

1. They Know How to Correctly Identify Load Bearing Walls

Before performing any load bearing wall removal, the professionals will identify which walls in your home are actually structural. 

It might be extremely difficult for the layperson to correctly tell a load bearing wall from a non-load bearing one. The last thing homeowners would want is to take down walls only to realize that they were load bearing too late in the process. 

When you work with load bearing wall removal experts, you completely eliminate the chances of incorrect identification. 

2. They Can Tell You Whether or Not Load Bearing Wall Removal Is Practicable

A proven load bearing wall removal contractor will be in the perfect position to guide you about whether or not it is feasible for you to tear down the wall. 

While it’s true that most load bearing walls can be removed, some cost a lot more to take down than others. Depending on the effort needed, the load bearing wall removal experts will let you know about the resources that will have to be expended for the job.  

3. They’ll Inform You about the Impact of Load Bearing Wall Removal

Any load bearing wall removal will likely have a huge impact on the rest of your house. It’s crucial that you understand what this could potentially mean. Only a knowledgeable load bearing wall removal contractor will be able to explain this aspect in an easy-to-understand manner. This, in turn, will allow you to make sound decisions pertaining to removing the wall.

4. They’ll Ensure Adequate Short-Term Support for Your House

It’s absolutely vital to install temporary support structures near the load bearing wall before it is removed. In the absence of the load bearing wall, the support will do the job of keeping your home upright. 

As a DIYer, you probably won’t know the ideal places to install this support. Load bearing wall removal experts will use their skills and experience to install the right structures in the right areas. 

5. You Can Count on Them for Long-Term Support Solutions

Did you know there are a multitude of long-term support solutions you can choose from for your load bearing wall removal? Most homeowners install huge beams in place of the wall to provide their house with proper support. But, if you don’t really like beams, you have other alternatives. A load bearing wall removal contractor can help you out here as well. 

6. The Job Will Be Done Most Efficiently

Load bearing wall removal experts know how to bring down walls without causing too much disturbance or interruption in the rest of your home. Experienced contractors will also see to it that no damage is caused to the plumbing pipes, HVAC ducts or electrical wires that may be hiding behind your wall. 

7. They’ll Help You Get the Right Permits

Like most construction projects, load bearing wall removal will also require you to obtain certain permits from relevant authorities. Your load bearing wall removal contractor will be able to help you determine which ones you need and guide you to procure them at the earliest. They’ll also make sure that the permits are properly displayed in your home before the load bearing wall removal projects begins.

8. They Get Rid of the Broken Wall and Debris

Implementing a load bearing wall removal task on your own will mean that you’ll have to rent a dumpster and dispose of the torn down wall as well as other materials and debris. When you hire a load bearing wall removal contractor, however, they’ll arrange for the dumpster or find another way to get rid of the wall properly. This will spare you the stress of figuring out how to dispose of the wall once it’s brought down. 

9. The Load Bearing Wall Removal Will Be Quick and Safe

One of the main reasons why homeowners shy away from hiring a load bearing wall removal contractor is because they think it’ll be too expensive. However, this is a myth that needs to be shattered. Hiring a professional can work out great because they’ll charge you a fair and reasonable fee for their high-quality services. You can get the load bearing wall removal done in a quick and safe manner. 

Wrap Up

Taking down a load bearing wall can help you open up your home and make it spacious. However, it’s important to hire certified load bearing wall removal experts to get the job right. Only experienced professionals will know how to complete the load bearing wall removal quickly, safely, and to your satisfaction. You can rest assured knowing that your home is in safe hands, and will have a new look and feel to it once the work is done. 

The team at Load Bearing Pros has been executing complex load bearing wall removal projects for years. With our load bearing wall removal contractor in your corner, you can expect the job to be done in a quick, hassle-free, and safe manner. Call (385) 300-8322 today to talk to our load bearing wall removal experts or fill out our online form to get in touch.