I’d like to remove the drywall built-in pictured. That includes the ceiling, side wall and floor section. My question is how can I determine if it’s load bearing and if there is duct work in the upper section? Any other items I need to be concerned about?enter image description here

  • 4
    Would be surprised if it's load bearing. Do you know which way the floor joists run? Ductwork or wiring or whatever may simply require opening a hole to check; if you want to spend money on a borescope that would let you snoop through a relatively small hole but may be overkill.
    – keshlam
    Jul 19, 2023 at 5:27
  • @keshlam Over time "non"-load bearing walls can start to take on settled portions of the home so this is trickier than meets the eye. Jul 19, 2023 at 21:00
  • Granted; had to deal with that when opening a passageway in my own house. But I am guessing/presuming that the wall at the back of this built-in is the one carrying weight if anything here is, and I think the intent is to keep that one.
    – keshlam
    Jul 19, 2023 at 21:43

1 Answer 1


You will not [likely] be able to confidently ascertain without opening up the drywall at least at the top. Doing so will give you more of a "lay of the land" in terms of ductwork, electrical, and framing.

Something to keep in mind is that as the house settles some weight may transfer to the studs framing the alcove, intended or not. The linked question mentions ways to determine if the studs are carrying load.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.