We own a Gambrel house built in 1978. I want to remove a six foot wall section that includes a doorway. This wall runs parallel to the floor joists in the basement. The main center beam is about three feet away. Is it structurally sound to remove this short wall?
If there is a wall directly above the wall in the basement, then don't take it out. Otherwise, cut the drywall from the top of the door. If there is a header above the door opening, then it is most likely load bearing and the wall cannot be removed. If no wall above the wall and no header, you should be okay. Take all the drywall or paneling off the wall and do a good inspection before you knock any studs out. Look for diagonal bracing, heavily nailed plywood, and/or heavy anchorages in the corners which would be an indication of a shear wall, which cannot be removed. If it turns out to be load bearing for just vertical loads, you can always install a longer header to open up the space.