Removing Load Bearing Walls
There often comes a time in every home owner’s life where they feel the need to remove a load bearing wall. Whether a load bearing wall is an eyesore within your property, or if it just simply messes with the flow of your home, you may find it’s time to totally change up your living space. But what do you actually do when removing load bearing walls? Let’s take a look at all of the things that you need to consider before you make that all important decision!
What is a load bearing wall?
A load bearing wall refers to the wall(s) that both hold and distribute the weight of your home evenly across the entire structure. As these walls need to ‘bear the load’ of floors, ceilings and more, they need to be pretty heavy duty. What this means for you is that it’s a tricky task, but it’s by no means an impossible one.
Which walls are load bearing?
When it comes to wall removal, you need to know which walls are load-bearing before you start the project of removing them. Load bearing walls are typically found around the center of a building, and often run at right angles to the floor joists. It may be worth it to bear in mind that if a wall doesn’t have any extra walls, posts, or alternative supports directly above it, then it’s not likely to be load-bearing. Looking within your attic can also give you clues as to whether walls are load bearing or not, because ‘knee’ walls (3″ or shorter walls that support roof rafters) are generally placed directly above load bearing walls in many structures.
Alternative methods of support for load bearing walls
When you remove a load bearing wall, it is essential that you implement an alternative method to support the weight of your home’s structure. There are a few different methods that you can choose from, so be sure to find out exactly which will work best for your living space before you begin wall removal. Posts and headers and even load-bearing beams can more than do the job and although the project may require heavy lifting and some carpentry, it shouldn’t be too hard to undertake.
Taking the necessary precautions before you remove a load bearing wall
You will need to acquire a permit from your local authority before removing or replacing load bearing walls, as it is against the law to undertake any major structural changes without gaining the correct permissions. When you submit the paperwork for your permit, a building inspector will have the opportunity to double check all of your planned changes, which will work to ensure that the wall removal project itself is safe. You may find that the certain floor systems need to be better supported, or that you may need to use slightly different materials to what you have already planned to use, to get the safest possible alternative support for your home.
If you would like more information about removing load bearing walls at home, or if you need a professional team to tackle the project for you, please feel free contact us here at http://www.hypergrind.com.au/ for all of your wall removal needs.