I want to remove a wall with pocket doors. Crawl space joists run parallel, but I see a parallam beam. Is this wall load bearing.

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    – isherwood
    Apr 20, 2022 at 20:12

2 Answers 2


It is load bearing. While the i-joists parallel in the crawlspace, there is a concrete wall below the opening. The parallam beam has 2x6 jack studs under the edges and a 2x6 king stud. Near the exterior wall, is a 4" drain pipe (not a vent). So the 12" or so off the exterior also needs to remain (and 12" on the other side too for symmetry). Thanks for your help.


Get a Permit!

Most USA cities require you to get a permit before removing a wall so you avoid any damage to your home. Do this. They will be able to ascertain if it is indeed load bearing before you start.

I'm no civil engineer, but...

I have done a lot of mechanics (statics, dynamics, failure analysis) and spent years analyzing beams, stress fields, and load paths. Without being present to inspect and calculate loads, I would only take this answer as a back-of-envelope, do-not-act-on-this, starting bit of information. Get that permit per local regulations from your city/county/state.

The existence of joists running parallel to the wall indicate it is most likely not structural. The joists will transfer the loads which the wall was supporting out to walls that are load bearing.

This being said, you do need to be careful about shear walls. Whomever made the plan thankfully labeled walls as 'shear walls', and this is not one of them!

Get That Permit

That permitting process is there so someone with the proper background can examine your home, protecting you from damage. Go get it.

  • I might agree it looks like a load bearing wall, non structural walls don’t require a permit in any of the locations I have lived. Builders don’t add structural beams under walls for fun they cost$ and the roof line information looks like it but I only looked on my phone.
    – Ed Beal
    Apr 20, 2022 at 18:01
  • @EdBeal I looked at it in my phone, too, which is why I heavily qualified my answer. In my neck of the woods, we were told to get a permit anytime a wall gets modified. determination of structural ness is part of that process. Also, parallel joists doesn't mean coplanar (and needs support).
    – PipperChip
    Apr 20, 2022 at 18:14
  • 1
    I have a meeting with a structural engineer later today. One issue is there is a vent about 12" from the exterior wall. I can block off and drywall around it. I will post later what the licensed guy says. thanks for your comments.
    – dwlima
    Apr 20, 2022 at 18:22

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