Remove One Wall and Join Two Rooms
Hanging the ceiling joists from an engineered beam is the fast, simple way to replace a bearing wall.
Synopsis: In this article, veteran contractor Mike Guertin replaces a bearing wall with a beam that supports the ceiling joists from above. Unlike other methods, there’s no need to build temporary support walls during construction, so the process is faster. A detailed drawing demonstrates the load paths present after the remodel. Photo: Andy Engel
Many of my remodeling clients want to remove a wall to create a more open floor plan by integrating the kitchen into the living and entertaining part of their home. A nonbearing wall is a cinch to remove. However, if the wall is bearing, which means that it carries ceiling or floor loads from above, removing it requires replacing it with a properly sized beam. The conventional approach is to remove part or all of the bearing wall and to support the framing with a header that sits below the ceiling plane. In this case,…