This article provide an overview of how to remove a load bearing wall. A professional structural engineer or licensed architect can provide the exact details for your specific situation. We highly recommend consulting a professional before attempting to remove a load bearing wall.
In your home improvement or remodeling project you may face having to cut a new doorway into an existing load bearing wall or open up living space by removing a load bearing wall.
If you determine that the wall that is to be removed or cut into is a load bearing wall, because it is supporting a second story or the structures roof rafters then you have to construct a load bearing wall support and create new framing to support the roof or second story joists.
This situation may even occur if you are building a kitchen pass through.
As a note, you must investigate what if any electrical, plumbing or ducting may be in the wall or section of wall that you want to remove.
Figure 1 - Remodeling project requiring the removal of a wall
A load bearing wall is taking the weight of the end of floor joists from a second story or the end of roof rafters, see Figure 2. You cannot safely remove this support and hence must support the load in a different manner.
Figure 2 - Load bearing wall
The most common load bearing walls are made of two top and one bottom plate tied together with wall studs every 16". The lumber is generally 2" x 4"
In many cases the support or load bearing wall will be supporting roof rafters or second story floor joists from both directions as shown in Figure 3.