I want to remove the closets that are in the hallway off of my garage so I can install new cabinets for a mud-room. I want to make sure the closets are not load bearing before I remove. Here are some details:

From the garage you open the door and walk in, directly in front of you is the laundry room and if you turn right you are in the hallway that leads straight to a 1/2 bathroom and turning left in that hallway gets you to the kitchen. The right side of the hallway are 2 closets, with a dividing wall between them. From the garage wall, the closets are roughly 30" deep. The basement and attic above/below the closets have the joists run north-south. The closet divider and wall next to garage entry door run east-west. However, there are no supporting beams in the basement under these closet walls, and the closet walls don’t run the entire length of the attic.

The picture below shows the opening to the closet, this opening runs parallel with the joists above it, but the wall that makes a right angle with it is perpendicular.

So is it safe to remove the entire thing? According to all my Googling, the only thing that might make this load bearing is that this 30" wall run perpendicular to the attic joists, while only hitting 2 out of 10 joists in the attic. Other than that, it doesn't have any support under them in the basement.



Closet 2

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  • Check for headers.
    – isherwood
    Jun 12, 2019 at 18:23

2 Answers 2


No. The front of your closets are not load bearing. The back of them could be - probable.

Upon updates of the red Xs...

Left one (front) - no way in the world unless it is a metal beam (it isn't).

Right one (side of closet) - 99.9% chance no. When you open it up you can double check by looking at header.

  • I updated the post. So you're saying those walls with the Red "X"s should be safe? I am fairly confident, but everything online makes it seems like "if perpendicular, then load bearing". I just have a hard time believing that a 30" wall with no support below it would be load bearing. Thanks for the comment!
    – Brett
    Jun 12, 2019 at 18:15
  • thanks! I'll check the headers tonight. Speaking of "Metal Beam", there might be some type of metal at the corner of the right "X". I only notice this because my kids have a magnetic dart board and the darts magnetize to a lot of our doorway openings in our house. That corner is one of those spots...maybe metal framing? Is that a thing? I'll check tonight.
    – Brett
    Jun 12, 2019 at 18:48
  • No architect would design a house where the closets fronts are load bearing. I mean it could happen because of a special circumstance but closets are designed to be mobile - as in they could change. Let's knock out that closet and put a walk-in on the other side of room, whatever. There is little concern on knocking out closet fronts, although always good to double check headers when wall is opened or perphaps a hidden metal beam. Only reason you would see this is really if someone already reconfigured house and took walls out but needed to hide support - yours isn't that.
    – DMoore
    Jun 12, 2019 at 18:53
  • Again, thank you! This is my first time doing any "major" remodeling.
    – Brett
    Jun 12, 2019 at 19:00
  • Metal framing is a thing. thin sheet metal. not load bearing, thick RHS and RSJ load bearing, or it could be a nail plate or bracing strap on a wooden frame, which would make it load-bearing.
    – Jasen
    Jun 13, 2019 at 8:06

Sounds like walls are not load bearing . you can beef up the 30 inch span ,by doubling joist and apply a header or beam. Simple strong backs help the load also .

  • thanks! I'll definitely open everything up and look at the headers, see exactly what I'm dealing with. Luckily closets (for the most part) don't have outlets/electrical issues, so I'm safe there.
    – Brett
    Jun 12, 2019 at 19:02

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