Take the 2-minute tour ×
Home Improvement Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for contractors and serious DIYers. It's 100% free, no registration required.

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?

share|improve this question
Do you know if its load bearing? You haven't provided enough information for anyone online to properly determine if it can be safely removed. Your best bet is to consult with a structural engineer. –  Steven Jan 25 '13 at 14:22
Possible duplicate: Are there ways to determine if a wall is load bearing? –  BMitch Mar 26 '13 at 18:14
maybe a duplicate but those are really bad answers –  DMoore Aug 23 '13 at 20:18
@DMoore: The answer in that question that said "1) Remove the wall, 2) If the house falls down, it was load bearing" sounds pretty definitive. It's more difficult to prove that a wall is not load bearing. –  Johnny Oct 22 '13 at 21:53
add comment

1 Answer

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. If it turns out to be loadbearing after taking off the drywall, you can always install a longer header to open up the space.

share|improve this answer
Never forget, especially in newer homes, depending on location, walls that support no vertical load may still be structural walls resisting lateral wind and possibly seismic forces. Absence of walls above and lack of headers is no longer adequate evidence of a non structural wall. If you tear into such a wall and discover heavily nailed plywood and/or heavy anchorages in the corners, you have just screwed up and need to fix it. Even GWB walls with no anchors have been used as shear walls! –  bcworkz Mar 26 '13 at 20:35
add comment

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.