Tips on Building off a Load Bearing Wall

Lead Image for Tips on Building off a Load Bearing Wall

A load-bearing wall is a kind of wall that receives the enormous weight of the upper floors or whatever is resting on top of it. Load-bearing walls are often used in skyscrapers or any structure that has more than one story. Often, load-bearing walls are made of brick, concrete, or block. Due to the specialized function of load-bearing walls, average homeowners cannot work on them the same way as ordinary walls. There are a number of modifications that you can create out of your load-bearing wall, but it takes a lot of consideration on your part.

Knowing Your Wall's Load

One thing that you can do with your load-bearing wall is to make an opening, the likes of those on archways. You need to know the load amount of your wall in order for you to find out how the weight will be allocated once it gets transformed as an archway. A load-bearing wall will always tend to distribute the load through its wall studs. If you make an opening through the wall, you will need to be sure that the loads are distributed to both sides of the arch. A beam will need to be created according to how big the arch in your wall will be. You may need the help of a carpenter to find out exactly how much load your wall carries, and how large the beams will be. Do not just simply rely on luck or on your powers of estimation.

Creating Support

Another option with a load-bearing wall is to install a beam in it, but to do so, you will need to create some kind of temporary support. Making an interior load-bearing wall into a beam, fortunately, does not necessitate the use of some kind of support. This is because you will be able to make use of both sides of the wall. The trick is to place half of the beam in at a time. You can make notches on the top of your load-bearing wall and then snugly fit your beam into this notch. After that, you can place the king studs at the ends of the beam to provide support. From the king studs, you can place the jack studs next to them. You can then place the beam on the other side of the wall once you have secured the first half with the use of the studs.

Masonry Walls

You have to know when to leave the job to the professionals, and masonry walls will require you to do nothing but that. Masonry walls are very heavy and you shouldn't even attempt to work on them on your own. The steel roof and the floor loads contribute to the great weight. For any modification of your masonry walls, you need to contact your local carpenter.