Load-bearing walls typically run in the same direction. Go into the basement or the lowest level of a building to identify interior load-bearing walls. A load-bearing wall or bearing wall is a wall that is an active structural element of a building, that is, it bears the weight of the elements above said wall, resting upon it by conducting its weight to a foundation structure. However, often even an experienced carpenter will scratch his head! Climb up to the attic. Once you’ve found it, look for walls with sturdy pieces of metal or wood beams that go directly into the concrete foundation. In simple homes, looking at the construction design can be a clue. If the wall is located directly … That’s either the ground floor, or a basement, if you have one. Walls that are stacked may be load bearing. The materials most often used to construct load-bearing walls in … The direction of beams and joists. Let's say that you've just bought a house. In the process they remove a load bearing wall and don’t realize that it is a load bearing wall. We removed a section of a load-bearing wall in order to open up our kitchen to the adjacent living area. If you’re able to look at the floor joists from below (such as in the basement or a crawl space) you might see a heavier beam beneath the wall. Note exterior walls -- and original exterior walls concealed by later additions. Load Bearing Walls Start at the foundations, the lowest point in your home. If your wall conforms to the situation shown, you can be sure it’s load bearing. Moving all insulation to the side. It looks great, and … by Michael C. Kerner, FASTM, CSI, CDT With a history spanning more than a half-century in non-combustible commercial construction, cold-formed steel (CFS) is a popular material choice for framing non-structural interior walls, load-bearing interior and exterior walls, curtain walls, and floor joists. on center) and sandwiched between top and bottom plates. But removing, or even cutting into, a load-bearing wall can be a dangerous and costly mistake. If you can see the floor joists, either from the basement looking up to the first floor, or from the attic looking down to the floor below, note their direction. These are the floor ceiling … The most likely time that a load bearing wall gets removed is when a home has remodeling work done. Some are purely used to segregate space. Load-bearing walls often are made with lapped joints in the joists and/or added braces or beams near the walls. Ceiling or floor joists that are spliced over the wall, or end at the wall, mean the wall is bearing. You see, most structures contain two kinds of walls. Since the curtain wall is non-structural, it can be made of lightweight materials, thereby reducing construction costs. Identifying a load-bearing wall can be difficult since most walls look the same, and removing one from your home without replacing it with another load-bearing structure can be catastrophic. For example, in the graphic left, you can see that the wall shown is holding up an intersection of beams holding up the upper floor. Be extra careful with the walls that have other walls above it. The top of the wall, the load bearing beam that spans the length of it and the truss itself will look similar to this. That could signify that a shear or load bearing wall is being utilized. However, ceilings that go from one height to another on the same wall can be a sign of a load-bearing wall. 2 Look inside the attic, if possible, to identify the direction in which the rafters or joists travel. Load-bearing walls inside the building typically run parallel to the ridge. Step 4 Support the framing in a load-bearing wall by adding a beam. This would be considered a load bearing wall. This indicates that it’s load bearing. or 24 in. Generally locations of each stud are not included, due to a recognized universal building code. A load-bearing wall will often be perpendicular to floor joists. If they run parallel to the wall, they are most likely non-load bearing walls. That wall looks to be approx 20' long It is possible that a steel beam could possibly be designed to carry that load but more than likely you would need a post in the middle as well.. You could open just a portion of that wall and use a wood or steel beam that can span the chosen distance. It opened up the whole front of the house. The load-bearing walls would be above those beams. The top plate can be either single or double. Cut two, 2-by-2 boards to the length of the wall and lay them side by side. While stick framing might use larger 2x8, 2x10, etc. It is best to consult a structural expert to determine if a wall is load-bearing, but some basic steps can help you determine what to look for. 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