How to determine if the wall you want to take down is load-bearing.

Today I’m here with Ken Justice, my expert engineer from KMJ Inc., and he’s going to help me address a common question. When I walk through homes with buyers, many of them ask me: “What if I wanted to open up that wall; do you think it’s load-bearing?” 

“See which direction the joists are going.”

According to Ken, the easy way to find out if you have a load-bearing wall or not is to look in the attic, and see which direction the joists are going. If your wall is parallel with the joists, then it is not a load-bearing wall, and it’s pretty easy to break down without having any structural ramifications. However, if your wall is perpendicular to those joists, there’s a good chance it is a load-bearing wall. That doesn’t mean you can’t take the wall down; it just means you’re going to need to add a beam to carry the load. The length and size of the beam have to do with how wide of an opening you want. It can all be done, and it’s not too scary. 

I’ve done that before with a property that Ken and I renovated. Ken’s an expert at this, and he can help you determine what your particular wall might need. If you want more information, I’d be happy to get you in touch with Ken. You can reach me anytime at (215) 680-4652. I would love to help you with your real estate needs.