DIYer here and recently bought a fixer upper. I'd like to remove the wall between the kitchen and the livingroom. I'd like to complete this project soon so I can insulate the attic. My home inspector told me that wall is not load bearing and I can remove it if I want. The kitchen and livingroom each measure 12'x17'. There is no plumbing inside the wall separating the rooms but there is electrical. I'm very comfortable with electricity, so I have no issues relocating it. How can I remove this wall while keeping the ceiling joists?

Thanks in advance.


Here's the wall and you can see the load bearing beam Seperation Wall

  • The wall you want to remove is on the left of your second picture? Where those joists come together in the attic is over top the beam?
    – Brad
    Sep 25, 2017 at 17:16
  • 1
    If all those joists splice over the wall, the wall is load-bearing. You'll need a suitably sized beam (either flush or descending). If that's not the case, the question isn't clear.
    – isherwood
    Sep 25, 2017 at 17:20
  • What wall are you trying to remove in the second photo?
    – aghast
    Sep 25, 2017 at 22:32

1 Answer 1


Short answer: If the joists overlap, than it's load bearing. Take that wall out, and the ceiling will collapse inward. That being said, it's really only supporting the ceiling load, not a full structural load. But, you can't take it out without replacing it.

Long Answer: 2 Part blog I wrote for exactly this scenario. Part 2 deals with the structural bits. http://diy.blogoverflow.com/2014/07/kitchen-renovation-moving-to-open-concept/

Hire an engineer and get a permit. It'll stop the insurance company from cancelling, and the city from shutting you down.

Also, find a new home inspector.

  • I think the joists overlap at the beam or that is how I read the question.
    – Ed Beal
    Sep 25, 2017 at 18:47
  • Precisely. And if you remove the support, it will fall. Sep 25, 2017 at 18:48
  • We don't know if the beam is clear span , the wall could still be removed except for cripples if there supporting the beam.
    – Ed Beal
    Sep 25, 2017 at 18:52

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