Low Bearing Wall

sue43August 7, 2010

My son is cutting a hole in the wall, kitchen into the living room and would like to know how to tell if it's a low bearing wall. Thanks for your help!

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If you have a basement with a center support beam and this wall occurs above above that beam, either parallel or perpendicular with the floor joists, it could be load bearing.

If your house is single story, in the attic, if the ceiling joists continue over it, end over it, are spliced over it, or you have roof bracing landing on it, It's a bearing wall. If the ceiling joist are parallel with the wall and you have roof bracing landing on it, It's a bearing wall.

If there is a 2nd floor above the wall, you have two options. You can remove a section of ceiling on both sides of the wall to determine if the 2nd floor, floor joists, cross it or end over it. If so, Its load bearing. Or you can use a stud finder to determine the location and direction of the joists.

Here are a couple of links that should be of assistance;
http://www.awc.org/pdf/WCD1-300.pdf http://www.taunton.com/finehomebuilding/how-to/articles/anatomy-stud-framed-wall.aspx

    Bookmark   August 7, 2010 at 6:04PM
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If the wall is load bearing, the hole can be done by doing it the same as a window by installing the proper header over the opening. The link snoonyb listed will probably show how that is done.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2010 at 12:48AM
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