Load-bearing walls are an important part of the structural elements of your home. When you are going through home model redesign one of the most influential factors that will determine how you can go about home construction are your load-bearing walls.
What Is A Load-Bearing Wall?
The name says it all with this type of wall – the wall bears the load of the ceiling and other structural elements above it, and rests on a foundation which is strong enough to bear such weight. A load bearing wall can sometimes be found inside your home, but will always be the walls which separate the outside world from the inside of your home. It is not merely a partition or a curtain wall, which means it does not consist of only the wall. What you see is not what you get, as there are hidden elements above the wall which prove important in home redesigning.
How To Identify Load-Bearing Walls
It is not very easy to identify load-bearing walls, but with these tips and with the help of professionals such as Miller Construction & Design, it should be easier to figure out. Firstly, all walls which come into contact with the outside area of your home bears a load. The walls inside your home may be only for separation purposes, which means it bears no load and there are minimal or no other structures dependent on it, or it may in fact be a wall which bears a load. Look above the wall to the ceiling and check out in which direction the beams go. Also keep in mind that load bearing walls are normally thicker than internal walls, due to the fact that they help bear the load. The material may also be indicative of the type of wall that you’re dealing with. It is usually acceptable to use plasterboard on partition walls, but this wouldn’t normally be the case with load bearing walls. Thin walls which show no obvious alignment to ceiling beams may indicate a partitioning wall – not a load bearing wall.
Options About What To Do With Load Bearing Walls
If you are busy with home renovation and would like to create more space and need to take down a load bearing wall, what do you do? Firstly, you will need the help of a professional contractor. Taking down a load bearing wall could result in the collapse of the surrounding structures eventually if not immediately. It is unlikely that collapse could happen, but do you really want to take that chance? It is ok to take down the wall, but you will need to replace this with a structural beam or the like. Remember that the wall was providing important support to the ceiling and surrounding structures. If you remove that support base it will need to be replaced with something else even before demolishment, to prevent the risk of immediate stress or worse, collapse! Before taking down the load bearing wall, a professional contractor can provide the support necessary by using Lally columns to give the support which was removed. Lally columns are steel rods ending typically in an H-shape or square shape, and these should be locked in place at the ceiling and preferably on the floor as well. You can also “build” a second wall in place by using Two-By-Fours – this is however more challenging as you cannot customize its’ length to suite your floor-to-ceiling height.
Evidently, a wall can carry a story and it’s not advisable to just demolish indiscriminately. Serious damage can be done in the process of home remodeling if you don’t know what to do with your load bearing walls. Miller Construction & Design are experts in the home remodeling industry and can help you in your remodeling needs.