Load Bearing Wall Removal
These days many homeowners like the look and feel of open-plan living space in their homes. This has led to a surge in demand for interior wall removal to open up rooms to make good use of the available space and let light and air into the home.
The only problem is that some interior walls may be load-bearing walls, so it’s not as easy or straightforward to have these removed compared to an interior non-load bearing walls.
When removing a load-bearing wall you need to have it replaced with a load-bearing beam to help support the weight of the house in place of the wall.
Non-load bearing walls, which are also called partition walls, do not help to support loads from the structure above them and are simply used to divide up rooms and spaces within a house.
Sometimes it can be difficult to tell by simply looking at a wall whether it is load-bearing or not. This is why it is important to have your renovation plans and interior walls inspected by a qualified building engineer to make sure the removal of any walls will not endanger you or your house.
Adhering to building code requirements
It is a good idea for homeowners to hire professional contractors for the safe removal of load-bearing walls. It isn’t advised for a homeowner to attempt a heavy and important project such as this as you need the appropriate knowledge, training and experience to complete the work to code and pass safety inspections.
Removal of any load-bearing walls in your home needs to be structurally replaced to bear weight and hold up your house. Even putting in a window into a load-bearing wall needs careful planning.
You cannot simply cut a hole in a wall to fit the window as it will compromise the structural integrity of the wall. This is why professional window installers use window headers, which are small beams that are designed to replace the removed portion of the weight-bearing wall.
This same principle works when you need to remove a weight-bearing wall. Your building contractor will replace the wall with either a strong horizontal beam of sufficient strength to support the weight above it or with a beam and post structure using a strong horizontal beam plus one or more intermediate posts for added support.
Using the right supporting materials
While you may think it would be easy to go down to B&Q and get a thick looking post to use as the support beam, you need to have the right sort of supporting beam installed to make your wall safe. You will also need to consider how you want your work to be finished.
You may want to have an attractive looking exposed wooden beam finish, which would cost you more money than a metal support beam that is meant to be covered over and hidden from view. There is a lot to think about and it is worth consulting with GL Design Services to ensure you make the best decision when it comes to not only the safety of your project but the finished look you want to achieve.
If you are thinking about removing any of your internal walls, do not hesitate to consult with our team of trained structural engineers so we can advise you of the best steps to take to achieve your dream home interior plans.