I want to remove these three small pieces of wall (Marked in yellow arrow) to combine dining and living room? Since the house has a basement. I also attached the basement pic to show the structure those walls. Are they load bearing? can I remove them? enter image description here enter image description here

  • I also attached the basement pic to show the structure those walls are above.
    – Erica
    Apr 4, 2015 at 17:20
  • Any idea which way the joists run? Is there anything above the wall you want to remove?
    – Tester101
    Apr 4, 2015 at 19:07
  • 2
    You need pictures from your attic to tell at all. The basement really doesn't mean much. I would need pictures on each side of the wall and where kitchen is.
    – DMoore
    Apr 4, 2015 at 21:01
  • 1
    This looks like it could be a new house. Are the blueprints available?
    – wallyk
    Apr 4, 2015 at 23:53
  • 2
    If in any at all, doubt, pay a few bucks and ask an engineer to evaluate it.
    – keshlam
    Apr 5, 2015 at 2:38

4 Answers 4


It can be kind of hard to tell from photos.

Your house plans (blueprints) would tell you for sure, presuming the house was built faithfully to the plans. You really should have a good look at the plans, or get somebody knowledgeable to look at this in person. Or both.

Do you know which direction the joists are running? Floor and ceiling joists will be perpendicular to the load bearing walls (or beams!), not parallel to them. If the joists pass across the top of the wall (or beam) unbroken, then the wall is possibly not load-bearing, depending on your joists, the length of the span after you remove the wall, and the load on the floor above.

If the ends of the joists are resting on the wall or beam, then it is definitely load-bearing.

if there isn't another floor above this one, and you have engineered, prefabricated trusses holding up your roof, this won't be load-bearing. The trusses are engineered to handle the load of the roof by themselves. If they aren't engineered trusses, that doesn't apply.

Is the long common wall of the living room/dining room/kitchen directly on top of (parallel with) the long wall downstairs, and is the opening between the dining and living rooms perpendicular to that long wall downstairs? It looks like the photos might be from different directions? If so, then the common wall with the kitchen is probably the load-bearing wall, and the opening between the living and dining rooms may or may not be, depending on how the joists are laid out.

But you really should look at the plans or get somebody knowledgeable to take a look in person.


Its unlikely you can remove those walls.

In any case, would you really start knocking down walls in your house based on what random people on a forum wrote?

  • I agree. Asking people on the Internet, is probably not the best approach here.
    – Tester101
    Apr 5, 2015 at 3:29

TL:DR version:

Is it possible? Yes.
Is it load bearing? Perhaps but I think not - Get professional, in-person opinions

Long version:

You can remove them, because anything is possible with enough money. Even if the wall is load bearing, a carrying beam could be put in, posts added to support the beam, and footers added to support the posts.

A contractor could tell you better if he is thinks it is a bearing wall. Then you'd need an engineer to tell you the right way to do so and possibly a contractor to tell you how much it would cost.

Then you have to make the determination if this is worth it too you.

Non-load bearing would be substantially cheaper, but there could be other issues inside these walls like plumbing, electric runs., etc (but doubtful from the pictures alone.)

All that said, if the stairs in the basement pic are behind you and to the right in the main floor pic and there is not another floor above, then I doubt this is load bearing. Otherwise, it's anyone's guess.


An interior wall which is perpendicular (at right angles) to the floor and ceiling joists was probably originally intended to be loadbearing. An interior wall parallel to the joists was probably not originally intended to be loadbearing.

Probably. Originally.

There are exceptions, and load may shift as the house settles.

When I had two walls opened up, I paid the relatively small amount to bring in a structural engineer to advise us.We knew one wall was certainly loadbearing and needed him to design the path by which those forces would now travel and specify the materials. But even though the other wall was across the joists, he expressed concern and recommended a heavy parallam beam across that opening too, to make sure it would be properly supported.

There are some rules of thumb. There are some ways of getting a partial test. But given the possible cost of getting this wrong, I have to recommend getting an expert opinion if there is any doubt. You can still do the work yourself, if it turns out to not be loadbearing or if you get expert advice about how to handle it... but it's worth paying someone to tel, you before you make a potentially serious mistake.

If you don't know, assume it's loadbearing until you find out.

  • Load bearing walls are typically perpendicular (90') to joists, not parallel!! Bearing walls are typically parallel to a roof ridge, not the rafter.
    – Ben
    Jun 4, 2015 at 9:39
  • Yeep. Good catch, thanks. Must have been writing in my sleep.
    – keshlam
    Jun 4, 2015 at 14:44

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