How to Remove a Load Bearing Wall – Part 2

May 24, 2010 | by Kim (email) |

This article is part 2 of a three part series covering removing a load-bearing wall.

Removing Part of a Load Bearing Wall (Part 2)

We return to our load-bearing wall removal project here at Fred’s and my house.  In a single day, our contractors removed the drywall section, framed out the doorway, and also partially removed our pantry.  It was all going along so well until we hit that last item, but that’s for another post.

Here’s the step-by-step on the load bearing wall removal.

1. Drywall/Molding Removal: The contractor removed the baseboard on both sides of the wall, the sections of paneling in the family room that overlapped the opening, and the remainder of the drywall on the Dining Room side (where they’d cut the exploratory hole the other day.

Baseboard Removal

Paneling Removal

Drywall Removal

2. Construct Temporary Walls – on both sides of the area to be opened, in order to support the joists holding up the the second floor of the house.  As I mentioned in my Days 1 & 2 post, we needed two temporary walls because we have 14′ joists.  Had we had 16′ joists, we would have only needed one temporary wall on one side of the opening.

Framing a Temporary Wall

Temporary Wall

Two Temporary Walls

3. Remove Original Studs and Frame and Replace with LVL (Laminated Veneer Lumber) Beam at Top and Supporting Studs at Sides of the New Opening. One of the guys mentioned that their 3-stud-width support structure is actually more than required, but we support over-engineering when it’s this inexpensive!  The studs are sitting on blocks which are sitting on the beam down in the basement (a steel one).

Stud Removal

Laminated Veneer Lumber LVL Beam Installation

LVL Beam with 3 stud support

Support Studs Rest on Basement Beam

Stud Supports on Basement Beam

4.  Remove Remaining Drywall, Nail Supporting Studs Together

Drywall Removal 2

Nailgun Support Studs for LVL Beam

5. Remove Temporary Walls. We left off on this project here, Friday.  The drywall guys will come later, since we also have lighting we decided to install at the last minute in the Family Room (decided to let them handle it for us, for expediency’s sake) and the pantry removal.

Family Room With Load Bearing Wall Opened

Dining Room with Load-Bearing Wall Removed


This article is part 2 of a three-part series covering removing a load-bearing wall.

3 Responses
  1. Kim,

    That’s probably one of the most perfect examples of un-foreseen conditions and why you absolutely need to have a contingency in mind when you do any home improvement project. Sorry it happened to you guys but it’s not all that surprising. The water lines should be a breeze to move, the power maybe not as easy. Good luck!

  2. Kim,
    Great project explanation! You should post pics of the support structure below,(aka steel post). Because supporting the wall just from the floor will cause it to flex and bow giving you trouble down the line.

    Hopefully you haven’t finished the basement ceiling yet:)

    Your pantry ‘surprise’ is one of those things that keep remodeling ‘interesting’.
    But you will be able to insulate the wall and the pipes.

  3. Kim says:

    @ Todd – well, at least you know we’re listening!

    @ Alan – I added the picture (above) of the support studs sitting on the beam in the basement. Thanks for the suggestion!

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