In our last two blogs, we talked about the process in preparing to remove a load bearing wall and a non-load bearing wall. In continuing our discussion of removing a load bearing wall, we are going to get into the specifics of removing a load bearing wall.
We will be discussing, framing temp walls, installing headers, and installing posts. We will be discussing core filling the block walls, and installing footings.
Before you start removing the load bearing wall, you need to remove the drywall and anything inside the wall, such as insulation, plumbing, electrical, etc.
Temporary walls need to be framed on either side of the wall you are removing. Frame the walls about 2 to 3 feet on either side. You need to leave room for you to work once the walls are framed. FYI, you may need to place the new header in inside the temp walls before framing.
Now, based on the structure of the home, you may need to frame temp walls on the second floor and in the basement, in the same manner that you framed the temp walls on the main floor. Temp walls above and below the load bearing wall you are removing is added insurance to prevent the home from sagging, once the wall is removed and before the new header is installed.
Now that you have the temp walls framed, it is time to remove the load bearing wall. This is done one stud at a time. If you notice any sagging of the temp walls as you are removing the studs, this will be your opportunity to beef up the framing of the temp walls.
Once the load bearing wall is removed, it is time to place the header. Based on the size, length and weight of the header you may need to have a lift. For the job below, we used 2”x14” double LVL’s for the header.
Below, you will see pictures of an Edina kitchen remodel where we removed a load bearing on the main floor. The newly installed beam was about 37 feet in length. This home was a split level so the height of beams was a non-issue, because we had the attic space for the beams to be placed.
Load bearing wall before removal.
Notice the cold air return and electrical in the wall? The cold air return was placed in the island in the new kitchen, and electrical was re-routed.
Headers, 2’x14” lvl’s
Header installed with hanger ties and vapor barrier being installed
PSL’s being installed
Example of footing, read below.
Now that the header and posts are installed it is time to work in the basement to core fill the concrete wall, and install a footing.
What is core filling and why is it needed? If your basement foundation is made with concrete blocks it is typically hollow. Engineering usually cannot be completed to verify that the hollow concrete blocks will not crumble under the additional weight.
The blocks will need to be filled with concrete to make it a solid wall. If your foundation walls are poured, then there is no need for core filling since there is nothing to fill.
If one or both posts land on the interior of the home, then an interior footing will most likely be needed. See figure 2 above. To complete an interior footing, you need to cut open the foundation floor, remove some dirt and fill with concrete.
Footings for us have ranged in sizes from 2’x2’ to 4’x4’, 9” to 12” deep, rebar placed in the hole, and back pin the footing to the existing concrete slab.
Well, that is it. It is now time to have the framing inspection completed. Then it is onto insulation and drywall.
When you are thinking about a remodeling project for your home, don’t hesitate to remove an interior wall or even two walls. You will be delighted with final results of new transformed space without the hassle of moving.