Q&A / 

A Load Bearing Wall Can Be Deceptive

An Innocent Looking Wall

Here is an interior wall of my own home. Sorry about all of the clutter. As I took the photo, I was standing in the family room looking at the breakfast table and the adjacent window on the outside wall.

The average person would think the interior wall with the large opening and doorway is a standard interior non-load bearing wall. The truth is, that this wall has an enormous load upon it. Directly above the wall is a wall that supports part of the roof of my home. In addition, there is a major beam hidden in the ceiling that runs just above and a little behind the crown molding that you see in the upper left corner of the photograph. This beam carries one entire side of the roof, and one third of the second and third floor loads! The beam rests on a column within the wall about one foot to the left of the large pass-through opening. Above the large pass through and the doorway are triple 2 x 12 beams.

This load bearing wall has a large opening and a doorway. © Tim Carter

The point is, that there are large concentrated loads at the edges of these two openings. Beneath the floor, I placed blocking that transmits these loads directly to a 12 inch deep 12x31 I beam, that I work directly underneath each and every day.

Column B397


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