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How do I tell if its a supporting wall

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  1. #1
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    Default How do I tell if its a supporting wall

    The wife wants me to remove a wall in the kitchen to open up the room. I removed some plaster board to see if it was a supporting wall and all I could see was that it was hollow apart from the top of the wall where it meets the ceiling. At this point there appears to be a beam which extends from the archway into the wall.
    Looking from the outside of the house my upstairs bedroom external weatherboard wall appears to be in line with the wall that I am trying to remove. Therefore is this a load bearing wall? If it is, what do I need to do to allow this wall to be removed without the house falling around my ears. Is there a way of telling if a wall is structural or not?

  2. #2
    Oink! Oink! pawnhead's Avatar
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    If it's a lower storey wall with another one above it, and if there's a beam going into it from an archway, then it's most certainly loadbearing. There are very few walls under any circumstances that aren't load bearing. Most are carrying, at a minimum the adjoining ceiling framework, and many are providing bracing for the structure as a whole.

    There are ways of removing walls by concealing the supporting structure inside the remaining walls/floorspace/ceilings, but that's usually more complicated (read expensive) than having a post and beam exposed. The new load points must be transfered adequately to the footings, or new footings may have to be dug.

    If you value your life, and the lives of anyone who walks in your front door, then you will require an engineer to design and certify it. Especially since it appears to be a lower storey wall. You may find yourself in a lot of hot water if you remove the wall without proper inspection and certification.

    edit: You're also suppose to apply to the council for any work on loadbearing walls, but I wouldn't bother with all that expensive red tape, so long as you obtain an engineers certificate.
    Cheers, John

    Short Stack (my son's band)


  3. #3
    Im here now, Damn it! Zedd's Avatar
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    if you pull it out the roof falls down...
    Religion is the bane of civilization, superstitious proleteriat controlling poppycock.

    Zed

  4. #4
    Senior Member DvdHntr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chessp View Post
    and all I could see was that it was hollow apart from the top of the wall where it meets the ceiling. At this point there appears to be a beam which extends from the archway into the wall.
    Please define hollow. Do you mean there are no studs? If all that is in the wall is the beam and it is not sitting on a wall below then the beam is already carrying the upper level. We need a picture and more information. Best bet is to contact a structural engineer.

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