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Kitchen Renovation: The Importance of Considering Load-Bearing Walls

If you loved the kitchen in your home when you first moved into your home, but it no longer meets the needs of your family, it is time to increase the usability of your home by renovating the kitchen. Therefore, understanding the importance of load-bearing construction will help you plan for your new and improved kitchen.

The Significance of Load-Bearing Walls in a Home

One of the more common complaints about kitchens is often its size. Whether it is the total square footage, number of cabinets, or the placement of the major appliances, extra space is crucial as your family grows. Therefore, you may be thinking of creating an open floor plan in order to make the space more usable.

An open floor plan is a great idea, but if you are planning to knock out a wall or two to get it, you must determine where the load-bearing walls are located. Obviously, your contractor will be able to tell you, but when considering your options, you should allow for the extra expense and time associated with removing and replacing a load-bearing wall.

Specifically, a load-bearing wall normally exists in order to provide adequate support to the home. It can be found on any floor with a level above it and should only be removed when there is already a similar wall in place nearby. The expense and time associated with its removal will vary based on the material it is made of, its size, and its location within the home.

You can often knock out a load-bearing wall to provide more space. It is just very important to be aware of how challenging it might be for your contractor to do so. In addition, your contractor may be able to provide the necessary support for your home by replacing a load-bearing wall with a load-bearing beam. Doing so may not give you the completely open floor plan that you want, but it can open up some space.

Easy Ways to Know Which Walls Are Load-Bearing

It is first necessary to understand that until you closely inspect an internal load-bearing wall, you typically will not be able to identify its status. By definition, all of the walls on the outside of your home are always load-bearing, and removing them without planning ahead is a very bad idea.

Instead, just remember to look in your basement and inspect any wall that you may want removed. Load-bearing walls typically run perpendicular to the rafters of a home and the presence of joists near or attaching to the wall is a strong indicator that the wall is load-bearing. If the wall in question is immediately above a basement level foundation or concrete footers, it is probably a load-bearing wall.

You can also look for support beams that connect with or are adjacent to the wall, as support beams are often necessary for load-bearing walls. They might even be hiding within a post.   

Finally,after you have familiarized yourself with a few ideas and the placement of load-bearing walls within and near your kitchen, you are better prepared to speak with a contractor. Sooner than you might think, you and your family could be enjoying a new and improved kitchen. Contact a group like Gravelle Woodworking Limited for more information.