I'm removing a wall in my bedroom/bathroom to open it up for more closet space. Now I've been hesitant on knocking it down until I'm 110% sure it's not load bearing. To my understanding a load bearing wall carries the load all the way down the studs to the foundation of the structure correct? So in my case being located on the 2nd floor a load bearing wall would have to have studs/wall directly beneath it on the 1st floor to carry the load to the foundation of the house right. If nothing beneath it and closest wall on the 1st floor is 5 feet or so away than the wall is non load bearing correct? Can someone tell me if my thinking on this is correct or if I'm missing anything crucial.

photo of upper part of wall photo of mid part of wall photo of lower part of wall

  • The way it is built I would not think it is. Load bearing would need a header instead of a double plate for the span that has no studs. But it is tough to tell from the photos of that small section that may be supporting.
    – Ed Beal
    Dec 22, 2017 at 20:05
  • 1
    That quadrupled-stud toward the rear looks suspiciously sturdy, and is matched above...
    – Ecnerwal
    Dec 22, 2017 at 20:36
  • Ill add more pictures here shortly. At the very top though none of the wood reaching the ceiling actually touches actually comes in contact with any joist or anything for that matter to hold or bear any type of loads. Again I'll upload more pictures here shortly
    – J.Monte
    Dec 23, 2017 at 5:00

1 Answer 1


“Load bearing” means it’s holding something up. It doesn’t need a wall DIRECTLY below it. Often we’ll provide a beam or a series of oversized joists to span an area directly below a bearing wall. Not all bearing walls align all the way to the foundation.

At a minimum, it appears the wall is holding up the ceiling joists to the right side. The OSB board on the ceiling joists is a clue that something is resting on the ceiling joists...perhaps a mechanical unit.

It also appears to have some kind of roof structure spanning PERPENDICULAR to the wall. It’s difficult to see if it rests on the wall. (I say roof structure,because there is insulation exposed.)

I’d get a professional opinion before you tear it out. Maybe you’ll need to add a beam to replace the wall.

  • I understand maybe not a wall but for the most part it needs something right. The middle of my kitchen is what's beneath it.
    – J.Monte
    Dec 23, 2017 at 5:02
  • Yes, it needs “something”, but the something could be many joists upsized and at 16” oc. The wall could be set on the joists and the joists span your kitchen. This would distribute the load to each side of your kitchen.
    – Lee Sam
    Dec 23, 2017 at 7:25

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

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