I am doing some renovations on our home and would like to open up some areas but not sure if the walls are load bearing or not I have a three story semidetached home no basement just a crawlspace were furnace is and duck work. also would like to open up stair ways but keep part of walls

  • 1
    What is the question?
    – bib
    Feb 11, 2015 at 18:12
  • do you have maybe a house design/plan which you can post...It would help Mar 28, 2015 at 20:04
  • Hi Cheryl! If you ever return to this post and the linked Q&A doesn't help you, please update your question with additional details to describe the difference between your situation and theirs. Your question will be reviewed for reopening. Thanks!
    – Niall C.
    Apr 27, 2015 at 20:07

1 Answer 1


Load bearing walls typically run perpendicular to the floor and ceiling joists. So if you can figure out which direction those run in, any wall perpendicular to that has a good change of being load-bearing.

If there is a crawlspace you can access, that's an easy way to determine floor-joist direction. You can also spot the support pillars/poles underneath as well. Any wall above a support pillar is also likely load bearing.

Other than that, you need to bring someone in that can help you figure it out (contractor/engineer).

Note that if you are open to the idea of keeping 'parts' of the walls, that's helpful, as said parts can then house support columns for beams that span the section of the wall you took out. How large those beams need to be goes back to needing a structural engineer for help.

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