LEVEL Blog

How To Remove A Load Bearing Wall

Posted by Scott Zurn, P.E. on Nov 29, 2017 12:09:18 PM

Whether it's to open up your house, clear the way for an awesome view, or just get rid of an ugly structure, you want to remove some walls in your house. But, what do you need to look out for before you start ripping them out?

A fantastic customer of ours recently encountered some issues prior to calling us. Watch the video below to see what happend and how to avoid this issue.

 

 

 

Load Bearing Wall Removal

A fantastic customer of ours recently encountered some issues prior to calling us. In the video above, Roberto (homeowner) explains:

"The wall between the kitchen and the living room was blocking our beautiful view of the lake. We wanted to open up the kitchen and put a bar there instead. We hired a general contractor who said it was not a load bearing wall and that I could go ahead and demolish it. So, my kids and I demolished it ourselves and took out the half wall. 

Two days later, we noticed that the pantry door wouldn't open because it was rubbing against the ceiling. That is when we realized that the ceiling was actually sagging and coming down. 

We called LEVEL Engineering who was recommended by a friend. Scott came over to the house, looked at it and said it is a load bearing wall and we need to do something about it.

He designed a wall removal and flush beam to be installed to carry the load of the second story and attic. They began work and were done in about 5 hours."

This is a perfect example of why you should hire a structural engineer before moving forward with projects such as Roberto's.

 

4 Steps To The Flush Beam Approach

 

Step One: Set Up

Construction Services of Denver (the contractor we partnered with), set up plastic to protect the rest of the house from potential damage from taking out the existing wall.

Step Two: Install Temporary Wall

Set up a temporary wall to support the load while we install the beams. This is to ensure that there is no further damage to the structure. The weight of the entire second story and attic is contributing to the lowering of this ceiling.

Step Three: Make Room

Next, we need to make room for the two flush beams that are going to be installed per LEVEL's design. This involves cutting out some room and cutting the two flush beams to fit snug in the space that we create.

Step Four: Install Flush Beams

Once we have made room, we need to put the two beams into place one by one. We cut a hole in one side of the beam to transfer a wire through and then made sure it was properly holding the load of the wall above it. We are essentially carrying the load that was initially supported by this wall, into the two beams that carry the load horizontally and then down into the basement beams that are connected to the foundation.

 

 

If you are looking to remove a wall, call LEVEL Engineering before you start demolition. 

Schedule Your Engineer

 

 

 

Topics: Structural Engineer, Load Bearing Wall, Structural Failure

Structural Engineering Simplified

Sign up to the blog to stay informed on what you can do to ensure strucural integrity for your home or your clients home. Routinely assessing the health of your home can save you hundreds of thousands in future repairs.  Schedule your Consultation or call us with questions, we would be happy to discuss.

This blog is for:

  • Homeowners
  • Contractors
  • Realtors

Subscribe!

Recent Posts