Are you looking for a contractor?

Submit our quick form and get quotes now!

Table of Contents

What is a load-bearing wall used for and how much does it cost to remove it?

What is a load-bearing wall used for and how much does it cost to remove it?

Interior renovationsWhat is a load-bearing wall used for and how much does it cost to remove it?

Every house has load-bearing walls that support the building's entire structure. Since working on them can be very dangerous for both your house and your personal safety, here are a few important things you should know about load bearing walls before you start renovating your house.

The role of load bearing walls in a home

Load bearing walls make up the most important part of a house's structure. They support the roof, the floor and the other walls. Therefore, only professionals can safely work to remove or to modify them. 

For instance, if you want to demolish a load bearing wall, they will have to add extra support beams to complete the project without affecting the building's integrity.

Afterwards, to avoid future problems, they will find a way to solidify the structure of the house. In some cases, this will be done by building another load bearing wall in another part of the house. 

When building a new room or a house extension, they will add at least one steel or wood beam to support the house's different components. Creating an opening in these types of walls is also possible, but it must be done with a lot of precaution.

Check out the article How to create an opening in a load bearing wall for more information.

Apartement mur porteur_apartment load bearing wall

What to do with a load bearing wall during large-scaled renovations

If the load bearing wall is inside the house, it is possible that workers will be forced to rebuild a new one, depending on what of renovation is planned. 

On the other hand, if a room is being expanded, it will be necessary to install one (or more, according to the size of the room) steel beam (of type IPN) or a wood beam. These beams will support the components of the house and ensure that the floor or roof above does not collapse.

Important: do not complete this work yourself. This requires the skills and knowledge of a qualified general contractor.

Indeed, this type of project is one of 7 renovation projects that should always be left to professionals

How to identify a load bearing wall in your home

Although at times it can be hard to identify a load-bearing wall, there are a few signs that could help you recognize them. First, these types of walls are usually very thick when compared to other walls. Another trick is to knock on the wall. If the sound is hollow, chances are it's not a load bearing wall. It's also good to know that in general, floor joists near load-bearing walls tend to be perpendicular.  

Last but not least, all the outside walls of a house are usually bearing walls. If a wall contains all the characteristics that were mentioned in this paragraph, it is probably a load bearing wall. However, you should always get a second opinion from a professional.

  • Here are a few other characteristics that help determine whether or not a wall is load bearing:

  • How thick the wall is: load bearing walls are generally thicker than normal walls (minimum 15 mm);

  • Going up to the attic, study the direction of the beams and joists. Load bearing walls tend to cross beams in a perpendicular manner;

  • The wall contains large columns;

  • Walls that are located in the middle of the house are more likely to be load bearing walls;

  • For walls that are located on the ground floor, head to the basement to observe the direction of the ceiling beams.

How to remove a load bearing wall

If you decide to take the risk to remove a load bearing wall by yourself, your house could fall down after only a few knocks using a hammer or another strong tool. Since vibrations are so detrimental to load bearing walls, you should never underestimate renovations involving these types of structural elements.

That's why if you're planning to remove a load bearing wall,  it's so important to hire a structural engineer or an architect to properly plan out the wall removal proceedings. Once you have the plans in hand, a general contractor will usually be able to complete the job.

The cost to destroy and remove a load bearing wall

Since this is a project that may lead to certain complications, the destruction of a load-bearing wall must be completed by certified contractors. Expect to spend at least $ 2,000 for good quality work (Source: AmeriSpec).

Here are a few relevant articles about interior walls that could be useful to you:

Get 3 renovation quotes for your load bearing wall renovation project

RenoQuotes.com can help you get quotes for your load bearing wall renovation project. If you submit your project to us, we’ll put you in contact with the best contractors who will be able to carry out your project with success. Fill out the form on the homepage (it only takes a few minutes), and you will receive quotes from home renovation specialists.

Get 3 free quotes for your project!

Submit a project and get 3 free quotes!


Last modified 2023-11-07


Get 3 free quotes for your project!

Submit a project and get 3 free quotes!

Looking for something else?


Table of contents


Get 3 free quotes for your project!

Submit a project and get 3 free quotes!

Are you a contractor?

Join our network and receive real leads!

Download the price guide for renovations

We’ll be emailing you the latest market price guide for renovations.



Related articles

The latest industry news, interviews, technologies, and resources.

6 min read

RenoQuotes.com • 07 Nov 2023

What's There to Know About Fibre-Reinforced Concrete?

Fibre-reinforced concrete was a definite turning point in the construction industry. Designed to offset the brittleness of standard concrete and with a low-tensile strength, fibre-reinforced concrete sets a new record. As a result, some mixtures allow for fewer rebar use on construction sites since this material can withstand tensile forces of 2,300 MPa, compared to standard concrete’s 500 MPa. 

5 min read

RenoQuotes.com • 07 Nov 2023

5 things to know before building a home in the country

Planning and building a brand new home from the ground up is always an exciting venture. Of course, each home-build project is unique and will follow a specific set of rules and regulations. Where you build your home will dictate many of these regulations, as urban homes will have different needs than those constructed in rural areas.

4 min read

RenoQuotes.com • 07 Nov 2023

Our Tips to Choose the Best Energy-Efficient Windows

It’s a well-known fact that windows are more than a vital part of a home. During the day, they allow natural sunlight to seep in, and in summer, they allow for a nice, occasional breeze of fresh air.

4 min read

N/A • 07 Nov 2023

Deconstruction: an eco-friendly alternative to demolition

Moving forward with a renovation project often brings to mind the idea of building rather than destroying. Of course, construction implies that a demolition must take place before a new structure can be built. However, the sheer amount of debris produced by demolitions has become a growing concern, as construction sites tend to completely neglect the recycling of materials.

5 min read

RenoQuotes.com • 08 Dec 2023

10 Ways to Set Up and Decorate a Playroom

A kids’ playroom is supposed to be fun for them and low maintenance for us—a space that’s ultimately meant for playing and conducive to creativity. In some homes, having an entire room dedicated to such a purpose isn’t out of the question, or even a basement, while in other, tighter quarters, this area has to be merged within another space serving an entirely different purpose. 


Looking for a contractor?

Submit a project and get 3 free quotes now!