I know "A" is a load bearing wall.

"B" may/may not be load bearing. Correct?

What about "C"? I want to take that wall down. Can I safety assume non-load bearing?

Edit1: Horizontal lines are the joists.

Edit2: Empty attic is all that is above.

enter image description here

  • 3
    There is nowhere near enough information to give an answer to your question.
    – JACK
    Commented Feb 2, 2021 at 15:54
  • Load bearing is pretty self explanatory. If it's taken away, is there any possible way the load above it is still supported, or is there a possibility if someone waliked on it/ put weight on it, it would possibly fall down. C is only under one joist, which is supported at its end by B.
    – Tim
    Commented Feb 2, 2021 at 16:13
  • For 'C' best bet is to check if there is extra heavy weight above it, like a steel safe or big hot tub.
    – crip659
    Commented Feb 2, 2021 at 17:38

3 Answers 3


Based on your description, and assuming your horizontal lines are joists, I would say A and B are load-bearing. C is likely safe to remove.

However you provided limited details, so we can't say for sure...also don't blindly trust people on the internet.


Unfortunately, your drawing doesn't provide enough information to give you a specific answer with any confidence. You only have enough information for a general response.

And, as always, random internet responses are not a substitute for a qualified engineer. It's not common, but what if you don't realize a drag strut is fastened to that wall and it's transferring shear to the floor system below? Very unlikely, but technically possible. On the same vein, you've drawn 'C' like it rides directly over a joist, it could be carrying a load that the joist is transferring... you would need to fully understand everything interacting with that system to determine whether and how it could be removed or even just modified.

That said, sure, exterior walls are usually load bearing, but not always. Interior walls parallel to joists are usually not load bearing, but not always. And more importantly, some walls which are not load bearing may still function as a secondary structural component that is integral to a larger structural system, especially in earth quake and high wind zones where they are designed to transfer moments, like a transfer of shear, and especially in "modern" designs.

More generally:

Pedantic point, you know this, but maybe the next person doesn't: All wall systems bear a load (the materials themselves are a dead load, a waste line fastened within the wall carries a live load), but not all walls are Load Bearing.

When we talk about a wall being "load bearing" we generally mean a primary structural building component that, if removed, would cause the structural integrity of a secondary structural component, usually some framing system resting on the wall, to fail and which may also cascade into failure of other structural components and even the entire system.

The load carried by a Load Bearing wall that is typically referred to in a forum like this is a floor or roof system resting above and running by the wall and the wall is an interior wall, perpendicular to the joists below or directly supported by some means to foundation components at the bottom of the building. In some cases, an interior wall could be ballon framed, and in this case the load would be interrupted by the wall and the vertical framing elements run by the floor system, but this is not common in residential construction.

We are also generally talking about a compressive load, but in the case of roof framing an intermediate wall may also serve the purpose of anchoring or bracing framing components.

In general, don't go tearing down walls if you don't know what you're doing... but maybe your HI policy covers that sort of thing.

Good luck and work safe!


It's load bearing when the wall bears a load.

If you have a second floor with a wall which runs along the joist above C and that wall supports joists that run perpendicular to the first floor then wall C is load bearing.

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.