I would like to take down a wall between the kitchen and living room. How do you know if its a load-bearing wall and if it needs to be reinforced with crossbeams?
If you are able to see above the ceiling you will see the ceiling joists and if they are perpendicular to the wall you want to remove then it is a bearing wall and will need a header installed. if you see that the joists a parallel to the wall then you are good to remove it. hope that helps you.
best of luck.
Just remember if you decide to take down the wall you will be required to have a Building Permit wether it is structural or not.
Owner - 360renos Inc.
It should be checked by a qualified structural engineer to determine if a wall is load bearing. In most cases if the joists in the basement run perpendicular to the wall to be removed, it is load bearing. if joists run parallel it is non load bearing.
You haven't said whether the wall is on the main floor of a 2 storey home or if there is only the roof above.
If it is only the roof and you have access to see the framing you should either see a stick framed roof (roof & ceiling joists, collar ties, etc.) or roof trusses. If it is roof trusses the loads are normally carried on the outside walls only. If there is a 2nd storey above then you also need to analyze the floor structure to see how the loads are carried.
Anyone familiar with reading the various span tables in the Code should be able to analyze the structure - i.e. a knowledgeable framing carpenter, general contractor or someone like me who is a Safety Codes Officer. It should not be necessary to involve a structural engineer unless there is some unusual circumstance such as butchered framing or something outside of the span tables in Part 9 of the Code.
One further note is that if it is a load-bearing wall and it is being replaced with a beam naturally you will need to see that the supporting structure below (floor system, any supporting walls down to the earth) also conforms to Part 9 Code rules or else is engineered to Part 4 requirements. If a supporting beam below is now being point loaded this is also a situation that requires engineering as it is outside of Part 9 rules.
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