We are looking to add a door to a wall in our basement and wanted to see what was possible by figuring out what wall is the load bearing wall. Both walls are perpendicular to the joists. The wall on the right in the first pic extends the length of the house and is nearly dead in the center of the house. I would assume this is load bearing?

enter image description here The second wall and the wall we want to put a door into only runs about 2/3rds of the length of the basement and is not centered.

enter image description here

The ceilings are short down there and there are not room for a beam to cover the spans where the wall isn't on the photo above. Am I right to think that this wall is not supporting our house?

  • When was the house built and has it had any walls removed on the upper floor?
    – DMoore
    Sep 17, 2020 at 4:05
  • 1949 the house was built and the basement was finished in 2000. The wall on the upper floor above the second photo, is a half wall where you can look down the stairway and into the hall, but no walls have been removed upstairs.
    – junta
    Sep 17, 2020 at 18:21

1 Answer 1


You cannot really tell what is load bearing or not just from pictures of finished space. Your best bet would be if there were blue prints of the original build of the house to to analyze. Walls perpendicular to joists can very well be load bearing if there are joist that span to that partition and then overlap with another that extends to the next supporting wall.

There could be other factors to consider such as these for some examples:

  1. Shorter joists were used in some instances so that they could take more load from the floor above.
  2. The wall may be located directly under a partition wall on the floor above that is itself a supporting wall.
  • Thanks for the info. Who should I be looking for in terms of coming out to give me a confident answer about this and to potentially frame out my door? When I search for folks online to frame, I don't want to just find any handyman that can frame but doesn't know about the load bearing aspect.
    – junta
    Sep 17, 2020 at 18:49

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