Thanks in advance for your thoughts; we're looking to do a remodeling project, and want to remove the 'chopped up' nature of our home to make it feel more open. It is a 1986 build, nothing renovated in the space we're working in right now.

The space in question is 2x4 construction, with a 6' cutout opening between the dining and sitting rooms. It's supported by a single 2x4, but there is a large amount of wood added to the space above the opening, which has me concerned this is load bearing. The floor joists are also running perpendicular to the wall ('vertical' relative to the blueprint picture, while the wall is horizontal).

The question: can the wall come down? And if not, are there creative alternatives that could minimize how much wall we need in the space to support the floor above?

Annotated blueprint

Here's the wall with the drywall removed - the goal is to remove all the studs, top plate, and header / those big pieces of wood if possible, making it one large room. Span is just under 13' total per the blueprints.

Target wall to be removed

All pages of the blueprints:

Blueprint Page 1 Blueprint Page 2 Blueprint Page 3 Blueprint Page 4 Blueprint Page 5

  • Any idea what the ceiling joists are doing? Is there just attic above here or another floor?
    – JPhi1618
    Commented Oct 19, 2021 at 18:24
  • It looks like it is possible to be load bearing. Is there a beam holding the floor joists up underneath this wall? If it is load bearing it is usually best to have a structural engineer have a look at it(before removing it). It is odd to build a wall after floor and moulding put down.
    – crip659
    Commented Oct 19, 2021 at 18:36
  • IMO what you're looking at there is a supporting wall. For an example of a non-supporting wall, look at the other wall you've opened up & observe that there's no big header beam above the opening.
    – brhans
    Commented Oct 19, 2021 at 18:43
  • @JPhi1618 - I'm not able to see the joists at this time, with what is exposed. It is a 2-level house, so the master bedroom and hallway is immediately above this space. I just updated the original post with all pages of the blueprints that I have.
    – Mark
    Commented Oct 19, 2021 at 18:43
  • @crip659 - the bottom of the wall (sole?) is laying directly on the subfloor, and the moulding starts/stops around the wall; I can look through the edge and see insulation inside there.
    – Mark
    Commented Oct 19, 2021 at 18:45

1 Answer 1


The section drawing on page 5 shows 2x10 joists at 16" on center below the master bedroom. They cantilever out to the right and they rest atop the wall adjacent to the stairs on the left. This drawing doesn't actually show the dining-living room partition wall, but the details are sufficient for us to understand that yes the wall is carrying a load.

The second floor drawing shows us there's a walk-in closet sitting above the wall in question. I note that the drawing does not call for a header above the entry to the closet, and also neither closet wall is even close to being stacked above the dining-living wall. A note in the master suite mentions manufacturer designed trusses; this and the misalignment of the closet walls to the one below suggest there's no roof load being carried on the dining-living room wall. It appears to be carrying only the load of the floors of the 2nd story.

With some help from prescriptive design span tables and/or an engineer you can choose a new header/beam to span that space. It could span the entire gap, or just a portion of it. There's a trade-off in beam depth (how tall it is), cost, and span.

It's more work, but it may be possible that you could get a beam equal in depth to the 2x10 floor joists and put it up into the floor/ceiling so that the dining-living ceiling is flat from front to rear. This would be likely to involve re-routing wiring and air ducts though.

  • Thank you Greg! This is helpful. I'm going to have a structural engineer come out and have a look to determine options for safely reducing the size.
    – Mark
    Commented Oct 21, 2021 at 18:53

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