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Host Tim Carter walks you through the steps to determine if a wall is load bearing or not. Before removing a wall you, must ...
make sure that it is not load bearing or you can collapse your home.
Tags:How to Determine if a Wall is Load Bearing,home improvement,Load Bearing wall,askthebuilder,demolition,diy,How to Determine if a Wall is Load Bearing or Not,how to remove a wall,Remodeling,tim carter,wall removal
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Oh, hey, how are you doing? I’m Tim Carter from askabuilder.com, and we’re going to have some fun today. This wall right her, we’re going to take it down. But before we start the demolition and blowing the studs out, I have to determine whether or not that wall is a bearing wall or supporting wall. And there are some clues that are around here in this home that will tell us whether or not that’s the case. But let me show you something first of all, this wall right here, I’m pretty convinced this is a bearing wall, and I’m going to show you why, just a second. Come with me. So look here, here we are in this giant room and look up above. Notice there’s that big box up there. Well, that, I’m convinced absolutely, is a big beam because that box, runs the entire length of these two rooms over to that fire place. And this particular house, we’re down in the basement, right here, this is actually a foundation wall of the house and right here is an outside wall that is absolutely a bearing wall, all the load from the room is coming from this wall and that wall. And that tells me that that is absolutely a big beam right here and the floor joist in this room are running probably like this; from that bearing wall behind you, to the beam, and then from the beam over to the other foundation wall. But let’s go back in this room here a second. So look up here, this is where that beam should be, right here, that big box. And there’s not a big box. That’s a clue, so what I actually think is happening in this room is crazy as it sounds, even though the floor joists on that side of the wall are running this way, I’m convinced that the floor joist in this room, run this way, parallel with the wall that I want to take out. But that still doesn’t mean this is a non bearing load wall. We need to go upstairs right now, find out where this wall really is, and see if there’s something on top of it. Let’s go do that right now. Oh, this is great! Check this out. Here I am, I’m standing right now, right above where that big step ladder was that just climbed down from and look, behind me, there’s no wall, this is a giant wide open room, and even right here, remember where that, that bearing wall that I thought was downstairs, it doesn’t even exist up here. Absolutely, I’m convinced at this point, that that wall that I want to tear out downstairs is not a load bearing wall, its not a supporting wall but we need to verify a couple of ways. If you’re lucky enough to have blue prints of the house, when it was built, that could be a really, really good thing to look at. Let’s go check it out right now. Look at this. We looked up. I found the original blueprints for this home, that’s pretty rare to be honest with you. And these are really good plans, actually. I’m going to page through and what I’m looking for is a page that maybe begins with an S. and the reason that it stands for S is for structural. Look at this, found it, S1. And S1 says foundation plan. So let;’ hope we can find the next page. S2, main level framing plan, that’s exactly what we’re looking for. So let’s open it up that page, and oh look at that, do you see this? This maybe confusing to you but what it really is—this is showing each of the floor joists that I’m actually standing on right now, and look at that, there’s that giant beam I was telling you about and stairs in that basement, and look at this, the floor joists are going exactly as I said from the foundation wall to that other wall. But look here, in the room right above where that wall is the floor joists have changed direction. That’s fantastic, that’s exactly what we wanted to know. That tells me right now that that wall down in the basement is a non bearing wall, it’s not supporting any weight whatsoever. But before we blast it out with a stud detector, that those four joists in the ceiling are absolutely going this direction, that’s all you have to do, if you want to make sure that a wall is load bearing. If you have any questions whatsoever on your job, absolutely call a residential structural engineer. Don’t make mistake, don’t collapse your house, it’s not worth it. I’m Tim Carter for ask a builder.com. If you want to discover more home improvement tips, go to askabuilder.com.