Basics of Removing a Load-Bearing Wall

Opening up walls, widening doors, and freeing up the flow within the house is the dream of many homeowners, especially those who own older, pre-midcentury homes that have lots of walls and narrow doors.

Sectioning the house into separate rooms does have its advantages. It allows you to heat and cool rooms individually, plus it cuts down on the transmission of sound throughout the house. But removing walls and significantly widening doorways makes the house feel more open and airy and updates it. Plus, it’s usually good for resale.

Removing a load-bearing wall and replacing it with a beam is significantly different from removing interior non-load-bearing walls. Load-bearing walls are structural elements that help support the weight of the house.

Non-load bearing walls, also called partition walls, do not support loads from above and are simply there to divide spaces. If you’re considering removing a load-bearing wall—whether you plan to do the work yourself or hire a contractor—there are some core issues you must consider first.