Turning this front coat closet into a mini mud room/bench storage thing. Trying to figure out if this closet wall is load bearing. It’s just a 17” wall framed with 2x4’s so I don’t think so, but it runs the same direction as the primary load bearing walls so I simply want to make sure. Any feedback is welcome, thank you!

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  • 1
    It is unlikely to be load-bearing. If you can get up in the ceiling space, you could confirm it. Apr 16, 2023 at 4:47
  • 1
    You need to look above and below for things landing on it or supporting it. Looking here tells you nothing. 2x4's can most certainly be framing in bearing walls. Before higher insulation standards 2x4's were often the only thing bearing walls were made of, including the exterior walls.
    – Ecnerwal
    Apr 16, 2023 at 11:21
  • Duly noted! I guess I meant there’s nothing more than a 2x4 for the header, I assumed it’s always at least a 2x6 but maybe that’s a newer thing. Yeah there is nothing supporting it from below but I’ll definitely see if I can check above
    – Rocco
    Apr 16, 2023 at 12:08
  • FWIW, on this one, closet rather than room wall, I would probably assume nonstructural. But that's on instinct, not evidence, so you shouldn't take my word for it.
    – keshlam
    Apr 16, 2023 at 14:44
  • knock hard on the stud. if it hurts your knuckle and makes a thud and doesn't vibrate at all, it's under load. If the board vibrates like a plucked string and doesn't hurt your knuckle and you can wiggle it with your hand, it's just a vertical board that's not being smushed. Lastly, and i might get push back here, but if your house is built so that removing one stand-alone 2x4 will cause problems, you already have bigger problems.
    – dandavis
    Apr 17, 2023 at 21:25

1 Answer 1


Since you're renovating it's not too big a deal to remove the ceiling so you can have more certainty. From the available clues:

  • It looks very much like it was built after the load bearing walls went up, to create the desired opening for the closet door and only for that purpose.
  • If it was a load bearing wall I wouldn't expect the extra stud nailed to the wall on the right ... it would be odd to build it that way, and odder still to have it supporting the small bit of framing on the top that is clearly there for the closet wall alone.
  • If it was a load bearing wall I would expect the stud on the left to be double or triple and a header going across what was the closet door.

None of that is conclusive. Just encouragement to keep checking. When you refinish this space it will be only a little extra work to repair the ceiling.

  • Update: there’s no pole or anything below, just the basement walls. Likewise, there is no direct support coming down, although that top 2x4 is nailed into a joist. Is that just to nail it into sl
    – Rocco
    Apr 20, 2023 at 2:08

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