Will the house fall down?

Question Icon
Posted by: from Pictou
11/22/2008 at 4:47:55 PM

We are in the planning stage, our split level has two bedrooms on the lower floor and we want to open the space. The living room and kitchen are directly above. The wall to be removed has nothing in it (wires/plumbing). I can only assume it is load bearing, but don't know as I'm no engineer. I expect it will require a support and hope to use a beam that can be dry walled in. Failing that I guess it would need posts. How do I determine if a beam can be used? If a beam is out, how do I decide where the posts go and how many are required? Please pass on your professional or personal advice!



User Icon
Date/Time11/22/2008 at 6:30:42 PM

Hi J- seeing as how you want the wall gone that seperates the 2 rooms, punch a hole near the top & see if in fact there may be an existing beam, which there should be. Better yet, peel the drywall from 1 side entirely so you can get a good look. You don't normally see bedrooms on a lower level unless they were put there previously, so someone may have framed the wall directly under the beam, enclosing the beam and any support posts inside the wall. You did not state if you were the person who put the bedrooms there in the first place, so I assume that they were already in place. If a beam exists, you should be alright. If in doubt, take a measured drawing showing the wall to be removed, posts if any, joist spacing & size (2x8, 2x10), span you want carried, to your local building inspector who should be able to help you. Hope this helps.

User Icon
Abba's Service in Huntsville
Date/Time11/23/2008 at 1:06:03 AM

Bill is giving you good advice chances are it might already be supported by beams and if in fact it is you can probably take it down.

User Icon
Date/Time11/28/2008 at 11:50:55 AM

Hi J

This type of modification requires that you have an engineer look at it and make any remarks that would professionally cover you in the event of problems. Your insurance coverage would require a professional to approve any of these changes in case something happens. Don't do it yourself, no matter how easy it sounds and even if there is a beam there you dont know why the wall was installed??? People do crazy things and then sell houses, and the new owner has no clue on the history. take care and be careful...

User Icon
Date/Time1/26/2009 at 3:28:57 PM

Both contractors seem to have given you some good me i would think your better to be sure footed.....i guess it depends on your technical skills if you feel you are solid then do it if you rather be safe best to get structual engineer in...cheers...good luck!



User Icon
Date/Time3/2/2009 at 2:53:57 PM

YES THE HOUSE WILL FALL DOWN,, if you listen to all contractors above that are giving you ADVICE without even seeng what situation you have in your house.

my advise to you is

HIRE A PRO. Contractor

i see that you want to have a free advice,and do the work by yourself

asside that it can even ingure you

User Icon
J in Pictou
Date/Time3/6/2009 at 12:38:02 PM

Thanks All

There was no beam existing. I have a appt with the building comm. and they have a program to crunch the numbers the determin the size beam required.

User Icon
Date/Time8/3/2010 at 11:56:49 PM

Dear J?

You have to hire a structural engineer for assessment.

Don't forget there is a lot wan to be contractors out there.

A little extra money well spend will bring you peace and safety.

The only one can answer your question is an STRUCTURAL ENGENER nor architect or contractor.

Best Regards John-Luc Rizzo

Search the TrustedPros directory and discover the best contractors in your area.

Find your home service pro
Great renovations start with a great contractor.

Since 2004, TrustedPros has been helping homeowners find the right contractor for their home improvements and repairs.

Post Your Project

Within hours you'll be comparing offers from top-rated professionals. It's free to post and you're under no obligation to hire.

Trustedpros Inc. does not warrant the accuracy, completeness, safety, legality or usefulness of any Content, or Whether Content is Current and up-to-date, and TrustedPros Inc. Shall have no liability whatsoever with respect to your use or reliance upon any content or for content being removed or otherwise ceasing to be available. Please refer to the terms and conditions of use of this websites for more details.

Get Free Estimates

Post your project and compare offers from top-rated pros.