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Hello - I attached a quick picture to help determining whether the kitchen wall is load bearing. when I checked my basement, it has set of four concrete square pillars (not in the center but towards left). Directly above those pillars is a living room wall, which runs halfway and on the above floor, there is a wall directly above it which is the bedroom walls.

The kitchen wall on the first floor, extends halfway from back (see the top view diagram). I do not see any supporting pillar for this wall in the basement, but is directly connected to the 2nd floor. I wanted to remove this kitchen wall but a bit worried if it bears the load of the back half of the 2nd floor, but then as I mentioned there are no pillars directly below in the basement. Please guide.enter image description here

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    The wall on the left does seem to be load bearing, however, it's odd that it hits mid-span on the truss chord in the attic, but not centered. It's possible that the kitchen wall could have been intended to be load bearing, but someone in the past may have removed support below and walls above. Can you find any sign of supports there in the basement? Your best bet is to spend a few hundred to have a structural engineer look at your house. The best we can do is make educated guesses that could cost you your life. – FreeMan Nov 29 '20 at 13:59
  • Thanks. From the old pictures it does not seem that there were similar concrete pillars directly below the kitchen wall. The basement is a 5 ft. high unfinished one and is not intended to be for entertainment. So, my feeling is that pillars were not knocked out from this 110 yr. old house. – Tense Nov 29 '20 at 15:03
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Bearing wall: probably not.

Structural wall: possibly.

I suspect the floor joists run parallel to the wall you want to remove. If no overhead loads bear on this wall, then it’s not a load bearing wall.

However, the wall could support (brace) the exterior wall.

If the wall does not have plywood on it, it probably is not a structural wall. The Code requires the width of a building to be a certain percentage of the length. If it exceeds (less than 1:4, I think) that amount, an interior wall (bracing) be added for shear.

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ALL walls are load bearing to a certain degree. Even ones added in later. 110 year old homes were often NOT designed by structural engineers but by the belt-and-suspenders "let's put a post in here it looks a bit saggy Bob" crowd. (I own one of these homes by the way)

You can replace a load bearing wall with a steel girder but I've seen some comical failures from people trying to expand attics and putting in dormer windows and such from barnyard wanna-be carpenters so do as FreeMan said and get a structural engineer in anytime you want to mess with a wall. With that old of a home there's no guarantee that it was even designed properly to begin with, and you can also get advice on quake-proofing it.

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  • Be careful about getting a structural engineer to give you a report on “quake-proofing” your house, because when you go to sell it you must disclose the report and what was not done. – Lee Sam Nov 29 '20 at 23:02

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