If you’ve ever tried to buy or sell a house you may be familiar with the services of a house inspector. They’re there to make sure you’re getting your money’s worth in the house-selling process. However, a home inspection is also useful when you’re trying to maintain a home because it can show you some issues you might’ve missed on your own.
A home inspection is also essential if you’re planning to redesign your home. These days, open floor plans are all the rage and a lot of people are tearing down unnecessary walls to create wide spaces in their homes. However, before you proceed, it’s important to make sure none of the walls you’re tearing down is a load-bearing wall. That’s where your inspector comes in, so they can check for you and give you the all-clear.
What Is a Load-Bearing Wall?
A load-bearing wall is any wall in your house that acts as a support for the structure overhead. It could be your entire second floor or the ceiling. A load-bearing wall keeps that structure from falling down on you, so that’s why the last thing you want to do is tear down those walls. The purpose of a load-bearing wall is to streamline the load all the way down to the house’s foundation.
Now, if you’re trying to tell which wall should stay and which should go, that might be hard for you to do because there isn’t a standard for where load-bearing walls should go. It’s going to depend on the design of your house. Your best option is to get a professional to take a look at it.
Other Purposes of a Load-Bearing Wall
A load-bearing wall also has other purposes aside from transferring and supporting the load of the structure above. It’s also used to separate rooms, provide acoustic separation, prevent sound travel, and lessen the chances of a fire spreading to the rest of your house.
A load-bearing wall can also provide an aesthetic feature to your home. It can be a room’s accent wall. It can also act as an enclosure for conduits and plumbing. It also provides security for your house in general.
Can You Remove a Load-Bearing Wall?
The short answer is yes, you can tear down a load-bearing wall. However, you can’t just leave the structure above unsupported unless you’re looking to tear your entire house down. You need to replace the wall with something else to support and streamline the weight to the house’s foundation.
Now, you can talk to your contractor about options for replacing the load-bearing wall. Some would suggest using a transfer beam or installing a lintel below the wall. However, try to consider if the removal process is worth all the trouble. You might find that keeping the load-bearing wall where it is will work better for you.
If you’re unsure whether the wall you want to tear down is a load-bearing wall or not, you can hire home inspection services to do a check for you. Not only that, but they can also check the rest of your house for anything that might need immediate repairs.
AEI Inspection offers home inspection services in Tulsa and areas around North Eastern Oklahoma. Our goal is to provide you with the best service possible and to take the stress out of assessing your home for issues. Contact us today to schedule an inspection.