Load Bearing Walls: Removal Issues & Warning Signs

Removal of a load-bearing wall can cause structural issues in your home, like low ceilings

Load Bearing Walls: Removal Issues & Warning Signs

Removal of a load-bearing wall can cause structural issues in your home, like low ceilings, uneven floors and drywall cracks, and stuck doors. Be aware of warning signs for this is crucial. Just removing a tiny part of a load-bearing wall to make a larger window or door opening could cause problems if executed correctly.

The removal of load bearing walls that aren't being able to support the load they're carrying could often lead to structural collapse or even injury.

Is a wall load bearing?

A house has two fundamental kinds of walls: loaded and not-load bearing. Like the name implies, one is able to carry loads above it, while the other doesn't. The load-bearing wall a Structure Wall which can bear its own weight, including the load of roof or the weight of the higher floors, or even the ceiling's weight. The weight is usually known as"the "load".

The loadstarts at the roof, and all underneath it, gets transferred down to the foundations. Engineers frequently use the term "load path", which is basically the method by which the weight is transfered to the foundation of the home or the piers.

Generallyspeaking, the exterior walls have load-bearing. The inside walls of a house may be or might contain load bearing dependent on the way in which the home was constructed. For older homes that have a hallway running down the middle either one or both hallway walls could bear loads. In many modern one-story homes which are constructed with trusses, there might not be any internal walls bearing loads since all loads are transferred onto the exterior walls via the trusses.


The most likely time the Load Bearing Wall is eliminated is once a house is being renovated. People who own older homes usually desire a more open layout, therefore they will remove walls in order to have a more spacious look. While doing this taking down the wall that is load bearing and do not realize it's an wall that is load bearing. Professional contractors usually verify whether the wall is bearing before removing it. If they find it so the case, they'll usually place an edging (wood or stainless steel) into the opening to support the weight. In some instances, engineers may be required to make calculations about the design and size of the header.

Signs to alert you that an wall that is load bearing has been removed

Ceiling sagging, or dropped down

If walls are taken down between rooms, or even moved to increase the size of rooms, then the ceiling might slide. This is because the correct support for the structure was not in place to support the weight the wall that was removed was weighing. Ceilings made of plaster and drywall are typically attached to ceiling beams made of wood, spaced at 12 or 24 inches along the center, or attached with wooden trusses. When walls are removed which supports the ceiling's end trusses or joists, then the ceiling's weight and any other load that is placed above it could make the ceiling slump or lower. The ceiling could sag by at least a half-inch and in rare instances, could be able to collapse.

An inch-wide sag or a 2 inch sag?

Ceilings that lean by as much as one quarter or even a half inch is not necessarily a sign that the load bearing wall was removed because over time, ceilings tend to be sagging naturally. If a ceiling falls by a half-inch after a load bearing wall been removed, it is an issue. A ceiling that has a sagging inch or two can be than a sign due to the fact that the load bearing wall was removed and the ceiling was not correctly supported. Consultation with a structural engineer will provide you with valuable information.

floor sagging or not at a level

If a two - or three-story house has the load bearing wall removed , without providing structural support, the third or second floor could be sagging in the space above the area the area where the load bearing wall underneath that floor has been removed. If you notice that the floor of the third or second story has a tendency to sag, you need to take a step down one story and examine the ceiling for signs of bows or sags.

Windows and doors rubbing or sticking

If a wall bearing load was removed from the first floor with no support for the load that is above it, then the windows or doors on the floor below it might rub, stick or shut because of the framing on the wall where the window or door are within could have moved.

Be aware that there are plenty of reasons why doors and windows might rub or stick apart from an unload bearing wall to be removed. This could be due to the shift or movement from the base, the expansion of the wall due to moisture and humidity or too many coatings, and inadequate installation and workmanship.

cracks that appear in wall or the plaster

Cracks tend to form in the plaster or drywall in the event that a wall bearing load is taken away without properly supporting the load it was supporting. The reason for this is that the ceiling's surface may fall or shift, leading to cracks. Cracks can also be found in certain wall spaces due to the pressure created through the movement of ceilings, framing and walls.

Notice: Signs that an load wall bearing structure has been removed and no appropriate support was installed, might not be visible immediately following the work has been completed. It could take months, or even years for warning symptoms of problems to become apparent.

Removal of the load wall bearing

If a load bearing wall is taken down, or the entire wall is removed, it should be followed by an idea of what the weight it is supporting is supported. When removing a wall that is load bearing must be carried out by a professional who is aware of how the weight it is being supported will be temporarily as permanent support modifications are being put in place. If the space being removed is not large and the load isn't too heavy, there is no need support, but the minimum support is required.

Typically, a beam, whether metal or wood, will be erected in the space that the wall was taken out of to help support the weight. In some instances, contractors may refer to the beam as"header" "header".

On either end of the beam or the header an electrician will generally be supported by a structure of some kind, usually it is a post. The post's base requires a stable space or a base to rest on. Sometimes, the footing or pier made of concrete must be constructed to make it easier for the post to carry its weight.

Engineers have a variety of ways for supporting a ceiling when the wall bearing loads is gone

Homeowners and buyers typically have a variety of options on how to hold the load up over the load bearing wall after it has been removed. Naturally, there are some methods that are more difficult or costly than other options. Affordably educated and competent framing contractors and general contractors are great people to speak with, and structural engineers.


In general, buildings Jurisdictions require permits when the structure is altered to a home. Doors and windows are generally simple and quick to get. If a lengthy or huge weight-bearing wall to be removed, the building departments typically require the plans are signed by an engineer in structural engineering. If there is plumbing or electrical wiring within the wall, an electrical or plumbing permit might be required to make those changes.

  • It is possible that you only require preventive maintenance
  • If the issue is minor, perhaps you should be aware of it.
  • If repair is required It is more affordable to make repairs in the beginning stages rather than when it has become a major issue.
  • If the issue is serious or significant, you might require the assistance of a professional