Removing a Load Bearing Wall
Should I remove a load-bearing wall to open up space? Renovating your home? Let Elite Renovators help make your project a success. This article looks at removing a load-bearing wall to create a more open-plan space.
We have a load-bearing wall between our kitchen and dining room and want to remove it to create more space. Are there any restrictions we should be aware of?
Almost any wall can be removed or altered, providing structural implications are taken into account and all alterations must comply with Toronto building codes and regulations.
How do I know if a wall is load-bearing or not?
It will be obvious if a wall is load-bearing if it supports another wall in the story above. If you’re unsure, a qualified professional will usually be able to establish if it’s loadbearing or not by lifting the floor covering in the rooms above the wall. If the floor joists run parallel with the wall it’s not load-bearing. If the floor joists sit on top of the internal wall and the floorboards run in the opposite direction, then it is a load-bearing wall.
A non load-bearing wall can be removed or opened up easily, with only cosmetic implications. However, make sure an electrician or plumber safely disconnects any services within, or on the wall, before demolition. If there is any doubt, then contact us and one of our structural engineers can help. If the wall is structural, they’ll be able to produce the calculations and drawings required for the proper removal.
What replacement options are available?
When a load-bearing wall is altered or removed, it will need to be replaced with a new load-bearing structure. Elite renovators has used many different systems, and each will depend on the load and placement of that load.
There is usually a choice between forming a wide opening/archway, or removing the wall and concealing the joist within the ceiling void, and keeping supporting piers or columns to a minimum. If two or more intersecting load-bearing walls are removed, it is often necessary to leave a structural post or column in the room. Openings can be spanned by timber or reinforced concrete beams. Larger openings can also be spanned by, usually from layers of laminated timber. They’re more eco-friendly than steel but tend to be much deeper, so in some cases they can’t be concealed.
If you are looking for a professional opinion or want a quote in the Greater Toronto Area, then please contact Elite Renovators