How to tell if a wall is load bearing
Want to open up your home by knocking down a wall? You will need to know how to tell if a wall is load bearing. With signs to look for plus safety and legal tips.
Owning a home is a luxury not everyone can afford, but while it’s great to get a foot on the property ladder, many people are unhappy with the layout of their homes. Whether you’re looking for a more open plan layout, or just want to move a wall, learning how to tell if a wall is load bearing is essential.
While you may have heard of load bearing walls, you might not know what exactly their purpose is. This guide is designed to teach you about these walls, plus how to identify them and the cost of moving one.
What is a load bearing wall?
So, what exactly is a load bearing wall? This term refers to any wall that supports a large amount of the weight of your home. Load bearing walls are essential to keep your home strong and stable so it’s never a wise idea to remove one without finding another way to support your home.
How to tell if a wall is load bearing
Wondering how to tell if a wall is load bearing in a UK house? There are a few tell-tale signs, including:
- Go into your attic or basement and look at the direction of your floor joists. Generally, if a wall is load bearing, these joists will be perpendicular to the wall.
- Go upstairs and see if the wall continues from below. Load bearing walls often have walls above them.
- Check if the wall is an external or internal wall. Most external walls will be load bearing in order to hold the weight of your homes’ roof.
How to tell if an interior wall is load bearing
Unlike exterior walls, not all internal walls are load bearing. If you’re unsure how to tell if an interior wall is load bearing you can also use the tips in our ‘how to tell if a wall is load bearing’ section.
What’s more, as with other types of homes, you can learn how to tell if a wall is load bearing in a UK bungalow by looking at your attic or basement floor joists.
How to tell if a brick wall is load bearing
When it comes to brick walls, they are often used externally to build homes. This makes knowing if a brick wall is load bearing simpler as most external walls will be load bearing.
If your internal walls are made with brick, it may be worth checking whether or not they are load bearing with our ‘how to tell if a wall is load bearing’ section.
How to tell if a stud wall is load bearing
Stud walls are often used internally in homes throughout the country. These walls are sometimes load bearing so you’ll need to spend a little time following the tips in our ‘how to tell if a wall is load bearing’ section, to be sure one way or the other.
What are the building regulations for removing load bearing walls?
In order to safely remove a load bearing wall, you will need to adhere to a number of regulations. One of the best ways to make sure these are followed is to use the checklist created by Beam calculation.
It covers essential checks like party wall agreements and planning permission so is a great way of staying safe. The most important thing to remember with building regulations is that you’ll need to get approval before beginning the work.
Is knocking down an external load bearing wall safe?
Before you plan to knock down any wall, internal or external, you’ll need to consider a few important issues. Firstly, is knocking down an external load bearing wall safe? As we mentioned previously, it’s never safe to knock down a load bearing wall without properly supporting your home through an alternative measure and without building regulations approval.
You should also look into whether your wall has any electrics or plumbing that could be damaged, whether you have obtained building consent or planning permission and how this may affect your ceilings and flooring.
How much does it cost to find out if a wall is load bearing?
If you’re struggling to figure out whether a wall is load bearing, you may choose to hire an expert. Thankfully, you can pay for an inspection to find out if your wall is load bearing and if there are any issues with electrics or plumbing before removal.
But how much does it cost to find out if a wall is load bearing? You’ll need a home visit, which will cost an average of £200.
What is the best way to deal with load bearing walls?
If you are unhappy about the position of a load bearing wall or just want to knock it down, you’ll need to hire a professional who is properly qualified. This way you can rest easy knowing your home is safe from collapse and damage.
To find a trusted professional in your area today, use our free search engine. Just input your postcode and we’ll find you the right tradesperson.
What is the cost to remove a load bearing wall?
Once you’re ready to go ahead with your load bearing wall removal, it may be useful to know how much you will need to budget. The average cost to remove a load bearing wall is £1,500, plus the cost of the new support.
If you’d like to learn more and see more prices for load bearing wall removals, the following guides are perfect reading material: