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Remodeling Basics: Don’t Remove a Load Bearing Wall

 

You may want an open floor plan inside your home, but there are certain walls that you will not be able to remove because they are load bearing walls. A load bearing wall actually supports the weight of your house and transfers that weight to the ground. Thankfully most load bearing walls are along the outside walls and many of the interior walls are just considered partition walls.

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5 Things to Consider with Load Bearing Walls

Risk of Collapse

A load bearing wall provides support for your roof. You may weaken the structure of your home and it could collapse if you remove walls that provide support for the roof or second floor. Remodeling load bearing walls can be done, but special precautions must be made. Removing or modifying load bearing walls should never be tackled as a DIY project if you’re unfamiliar with such projects.

Weight Distribution

Two story homes have more load bearing walls than a single-story home does and the load-bearing walls inside the two-story homes are stacked on top of each other. These walls are more difficult to take down, because there is no easy way to distribute the weight of the house for both levels.

More than Meets the Eye

Load bearing walls are often supported with more than just wood. You may find concrete, brick, or metal beams inside the wall or ceiling structure. These materials are more difficult to remove than standard walls.

The Support System

If you should happen to decide to have a load bearing wall removed, you will need to have a plan of how you are going to support the weight of your home. We recommend using pillars or sturdy beams that run the length of the ceiling.

Tear it Down – Build it Back

Removing load bearing walls can be very time consuming and expensive, plus there is no guarantee that any other support will be as sturdy as the original wall. You may end up removing the wall and then need to rebuild it for safety reasons.

Household Safety

Your family’s safety is our number one priority and that is why we never recommend removing a load bearing wall as a DIY project. There are other ways to open up your home or make changes that will allow you to have the home that you have always dreamed of.

Give Bart’s Remodeling a call at 312-714-5454 if you’re in Chicago or the surrounding areas and would like to discuss remodeling your home with us. We’ve helped many Chicagoland homeowners customize their home to fit their lifestyle. Take a look at some of our basement, kitchen, and bathroom remodeling projects and give us a call to schedule an appointment.

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