I recently purchased a small home in a very rural area (in other words, no original blue prints at the recorder of deeds). The home is sitting on a concrete slab and is a single level. I have attached my own rough floor plan identifying a wall that I would like to remove to open up the kitchen into the living room (and add a load bearing beam). Originally I believed that it was a load bearing wall since it runs perpendicular to the rafters. However, when my father-in-law looked at the floor plan he thought that it was not load bearing since there is an additional 10 feet from the end of the wall to the edge of the home with no walls or headers (see left side of floor plan). Short of calling in an engineer, are there any other things I could check to determine if this wall is load bearing? mostly cleaned up image

  • Existing plans may be at Building Codes office rather than Recorders Office.
    – Lee Sam
    Commented Dec 3, 2018 at 3:33

1 Answer 1


I’d check: 1) roof framing, 2) top plate, 3) sole plate fasters, 4) wall sheathing

1) If the roof framing is identical over the “no wall” area as the “wall to be removed” area, then I’d assume it is not a load bearing wall.

2) If there’s a single top plate at the wall to be removed, then that would give additional indication that it’s not load bearing.

3) If there are no bolts with over sized washers (3” sq. Washers) in the wall to be removed, then that is an indication that it’s not a load bearing.

4) If there’s no wall sheathing (plywood, OSB board, etc.) then it’s not a lateral resistance wall.

If all indications are “negative”, then I’d assume it’s okay to remove.

Note: I did not mention checking for a footing, because you indicated your house is slab-on-grade.

  • #2 won't apply in a main floor situation.
    – isherwood
    Commented Dec 3, 2018 at 16:42
  • @isherwood Sure it will. If the roof is supported by the wall, it will have a double top plate. If it’s not, it COULD have a single top plate. Right?
    – Lee Sam
    Commented Dec 3, 2018 at 19:02
  • All walls must be the same height. Therefore, whether they need it for load bearing or not, they'll have doubled top plates. No carpenter wants to deal with two different stud lengths (or have to cut studs, period). :)
    – isherwood
    Commented Dec 3, 2018 at 19:05
  • @isherwood Oh sure they do. Often all the load bearing walls are built and the roof framing installed, then after the roof is on the interior non-load bearing walls are installed...often with a single plate. BTW, carpenters deal with different stud lengths all the time...that’s their job. AND they need to (or should) cut each end of each stud to “square it up”, because you don’t want to use them as they come from the mill.
    – Lee Sam
    Commented Dec 3, 2018 at 19:18
  • Umm, no. No they don't. Unless you're dealing with a basement, on top of a slab, no you don't. I've been doing it and watching it done and dismantling it later for 40 years. No one does that.
    – isherwood
    Commented Dec 3, 2018 at 19:46

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