There are 13 replies in this Thread which was already clicked 517 times. The last Post () by Semigoodlooking.

Load bearing wall

  • I am renovating the top of my house, which has been untouched for 15 or more years. There is a wall spanning the width of the bedroom that I want to knock down but I am concerned if it is load bearing.


    My belief it is not but my wife is more cautious. I base my opinion on the following:


    The wall is 5cm thick.

    I can knock a screwdriver clear through it.

    It appears to be made of hollow (single chamber) brick.

    There is no connecting wall either above or below (I presume a load bearing wall on the first floor would need to extend to the foundations downstairs).

    The room itself is not very big (3.5 meters wide) and has strong external walls.


    Does anyone here have experience to back up my opinion, or am I way off?


    But my real question is does anyone know an honest builder who will tell me if it is neccesary or not?

    So far I have had one who said do it just in case, while charging $450,000 to do it and not telling me if it is needed, and another $100,000.


    Obviously I would prefer to avoid that sort of expense for something that may be unneccesary. So bascially I am looking for a reputable builder who will assess the job fairly. Any ideas?

  • Semigoodlooking ..

    What is above the wall but more importantly, what is underneath. A load bearing will transmit the load to the foundation, via the floor joists or directly to the foundation

    via a slab. To determine if the wall is load bearing, how is it built, with relation to the ceiling joists. Is the roof built with self supporting ceiling trusses or is it a framed roof?

  • Semigoodlooking ..

    What is above the wall but more importantly, what is underneath. A load bearing will transmit the load to the foundation, via the floor joists or directly to the foundation

    via a slab. To determine if the wall is load bearing, how is it built, with relation to the ceiling joists. Is the roof built with self supporting ceiling trusses or is it a framed roof?

    Thanks for the information.


    I am speaking as a relative novice so will try to explain as best I can. It is a flat ceiling/roof above, so I presume it supports itself with a series of beams? Underneath I am not sure other than there is no wall directly below it in my house, so there is no direct path to the foundation. Whether it is on the floor joists I am unsure. If I open up the bottom and top of the wall, is there a way for me to find out for myself?


    Honestly, I have no issue paying for it if neccesary but I want more than "do it just in case" that the builder told me. So, I want a contractor who is trustworthy to give an honest appraisal and confirmation either way. Problem is I am struggling to find someone who is not charging huge amounts, is being vague about when they can do it (loads seemingly don't want to work), or providing photos/videos of their work that is less than impressive.

  • A wall of 5 cm tickness is certainly not a wall bearing loads. And if this is made with bricks with rectangular holes, much more. The local laws does not allow a load bearing wall with that thickness, only are allowed walls made with solid bricks and having more that 15 cm thickness. My conclusion is that this is not a load bearing wall. It cannot be, is too thin to bear any load. It is only an enclosure of an interior space.

    I am not in Argentina, but I can recommend you a good constructor to help to demolish this wall. Please contact me to cbozzoli@gmail,com and I will call one of my contractors.

  • Thanks for the information.


    I am speaking as a relative novice so will try to explain as best I can. It is a flat ceiling/roof above, so I presume it supports itself with a series of beams? Underneath I am not sure other than there is no wall directly below it in my house, so there is no direct path to the foundation. Whether it is on the floor joists I am unsure. If I open up the bottom and top of the wall, is there a way for me to find out for myself?


    Honestly, I have no issue paying for it if neccesary but I want more than "do it just in case" that the builder told me. So, I want a contractor who is trustworthy to give an honest appraisal and confirmation either way. Problem is I am struggling to find someone who is not charging huge amounts, is being vague about when they can do it (loads seemingly don't want to work), or providing photos/videos of their work that is less than impressive.

    It is probably not load bearing, but the rule of thumb, when tearing out a wall is to be cautious. Feel the studs and find if any have undo tension, if so then a header may

    be of need to install. Since this is a flat roof, the header would have to go under the ceiling, most flat roofs are constructed to be self supporting, at least they are where I live.

    Not really up to codes in Argentina.

  • Thanks to everyone who replied. You did confirm with knowledge what I presumed with little knowledge.


    I think either way we may put a large wooden beam across the room where the wall was because it would match with our general design goals as well. Perhaps this would not be enough support under normal situations but I think in this case it will be just for doubts. My brother in law has knocked down walls and put beams in before so I am going to twist his arm to do it.


    Carlos, much appreciated for the offer of reccomending a contractor and I will bear that in mind for future work we have (I have humidity upstairs in another room and suspect it is coming from the roof, so I may need someone for that).

  • From my obsevations most new builds don't use any solid bricks in their contsruction...they're all square 'honeycomb type bricks'. Everything seems to be supported by reinforced concrete pillars. I know fuck all about it though right enough.

  • From my obsevations most new builds don't use any solid bricks in their contsruction...they're all square 'honeycomb type bricks'. Everything seems to be supported by reinforced concrete pillars. I know fuck all about it though right enough.

    Yes, this is in fashion nowadays. But to do that you have to deal with two kinds of builders: the one who makes the reinforced concrete structure, and the one that puts the bricks in th voids. A total load bearing walls, with common, solid bricks, prevent future breaks in the surface as reinforced concrete and bricks have different behaviour regarding temperatures.\

    The breaks appear in the stuccoed surfaces. That is why I prefer the old, traditional system. Only in tall buildings (more that 2 story) I would use reinforced concrete.

  • Instead of a wooden beam I would an RSJ (rolled steel joist?)

    For sure I would use this if the wall is load bearing. I have found someone who is coming to check on Monday but it seems from just about everybody I talk to and the information online that this is not load bearing. We will use the wood beam because it meets what we want to achieve with the room aesthetically.