When it comes to remodeling an older home many people want to know how to remove a load bearing wall. Older homes often have many small rooms instead of the open floor plans and great rooms that are poplar today. Opening up the rooms and removing load bearing walls has is something most homeowners have done or are looking to do.
To remove a load bearing wall, you will need:
- Lumber for the structural beam
- Drywall tape
- Joint compound
- The preparation. The first thing a homeowner needs to do before removing a load bearing wall is have it looked at by a structural engineer to be sure that it can be done safely. When you remove a load bearing wall you are removing a wall that supports the load above it. When it is removed it can make an area structurally unsound if it is not done correctly. A structural engineer will be able to tell you what size of beams and other supports you will need to safe remove the load bearing wall.
- The beginning. Before you can begin removing the load bearing wall you must redirect any electrical or plumbing that may run through that wall. This should be done by a professional. Hang plastic to protect the rest of the house from dust and debris. Build a temporary support wall to support the load of the house until the load bearing beam is in place. The temporary wall should be close enough to support the area but far enough away that it doesn’t interfere with construction.
- The demolition. After the temporary wall is in place you can begin to remove the load bearing wall. Begin by removing the drywall and about 1 foot of the drywall on the ceiling. Once the studs are exposed begin removing one by one including the top plate and back studs.
- Installing the beam. Once everything have been removed from the load bearing wall it is time to beam but first you have to build a beam cradle to hold the beam. Cut the beam to length and set within the cradle. Make sure the beam is level. Use a 2 x 4 or larger stud at the end of each beam for support.
- Finishing the beam. Use the drywall to repair any areas as needed. Once the structural supports are in place the temporary wall is removed you can begin to place the aesthetic features of the beam.