Load-bearing and semi-load-bearing walls: what are the differences?

You find your house partitioned a little has been and you would see it well with open parts? Be careful not to spoil everything. Pay attention to which walls are load-bearing and which are not. You are planning to renovate a house and are looking for a more open layout and you like the idea of ​​knocking down a few walls that you feel are unnecessary.

Before even planning your new installation, make sure you know which walls in your house or apartment have a load bearing. Those who are should never be put down. Otherwise the building would become unstable, which would jeopardize the balance of your home. So how do you know which wall is load-bearing and which is not? What is meant by a semi-load-bearing wall?

Where is your wall positioned?

It makes sense, but the exterior walls that hold your entire home together are definitely load-bearing walls. Very thick, they are the ones that structure your building. So often from its location you can tell if a wall is load-bearing or not. This is more difficult with interior walls at home. If certain walls “overlap” from one floor to another, it is generally because they are load-bearing. Because if there is a wall in the same place on each floor, it could carry the load of the whole. This is especially true for older buildings.

How thick is your wall?

The strength of a wall can give us many clues as to whether it is a load-bearing wall or not. Depending on the material, the thickness of a wall can vary considerably. The most common materials used to construct load-bearing walls in large buildings are concrete, reinforced concrete or brick. However, all these walls have a thicker thickness than the normal partitions built in modern houses. This isn’t always true, but in most cases the thickness of the wall will tell you if you can knock it down or not. In general, walls that are around 18 centimeters thick are load-bearing walls. Of course, remember to remove the plaster, the wallpaper during your measurements. Easily remove 2 centimeters from each side to have the actual size of the wall that the mason has erected. Of course, care must be taken with old buildings, as they may have been constructed differently.

Is your wall supported by beams?

Some elements support the balance of your building. This is the case with beams. Therefore, these should never be simply removed without professional advice. In the case of half-timbered houses in particular, take care because the walls have often been built according to a completely different structure from that of normal houses. Better ask an expert.

What is a semi-load bearing wall?

A semi-load-bearing wall refers to a partition which originally did not support the weight of the construction but which, over time, the loads being propagated, has become load-bearing. It is therefore necessary to take all the precautions before intervening on a semi-bearing wall. A semi-load-bearing wall is not originally a load-bearing wall. It is a partition that separates, for example, two rooms in a house. This interior wall does not have the function of supporting the weight of the construction, as is the case with load-bearing walls – in particular the facade walls. It should be noted, however, that non-load-bearing walls can become supports over time, and therefore load-bearing. The loads may be distributed differently or the structure of the house may sag slightly. Thus, the floor can rest on a partition. In this case, the wall becomes semi-supporting.

How do you recognize a semi-load bearing wall?

Depending on the building material, load-bearing walls are usually at least 10 cm thick or more. If the wall you are analyzing is thinner, it is definitely not a load-bearing wall. But he can be half-carrying. Semi-load-bearing walls initially measure less than 10 cm, but they are, for example, thicker and more resistant than other classic interior partitions. It is difficult to spot a semi-load-bearing wall with the naked eye because it was not intended to be a load-bearing wall at the time the building was constructed. Therefore, if your project is to knock down a wall to make a room bigger, it is better to take every precaution. It is necessary to act as for a load-bearing wall and therefore to call on a specialist. It will be necessary to create a structure that will support the construction after the wall is moved.

Consult a competent professional if you have a renovation or expansion project. Because knocking down a semi-load-bearing wall without taking precautions can have serious consequences. Even for walls that are in no way load-bearing or semi-load-bearing, care must be taken, because even if these walls are not load-bearing, there are often water or electricity lines inside. Therefore, as a general rule, again, you should always consult a professional before embarking on any wall destruction. The damage caused by the removal of a load-bearing or semi-load-bearing wall is more expensive than obtaining the opinion of an architect or a carpenter!

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