Learn more about whether your garage wall is load-bearing or not and whether it can or should be removed.
The prices of homes has recently skyrocketed, and as such, more and more people are looking to stay in the homes that they are in, rather than selling their home. If you need a bit more space in your existing home, you may be looking to transform your garage into usable space. There are many different ways you can transform a garage, including learning about simple garage bar ideas, simple garage gym or yoga studio ideas or simple playroom ideas. However, before you can transform your garage, you must first find out if your garage wall is load-bearing and is interior garage wall load bearing.
In most cases, a garage wall is load bearing. This means that the garage wall helps to support the structure of your home, and as such, it cannot be easily removed. If you remove a load bearing wall, you must somehow incorporate something, such as a beam, to help support the weight of the home. If a wall is load bearing, most people decide to leave the wall in place as they go about completing renovations.
If you are considering transforming your garage and making it something that is more useful to you, you may be wondering if your garage wall is load bearing and you may be looking for different ways to use your space. Read on to learn more about your garage wall and garage space.
Is a Garage Wall Load Bearing?
In most cases, a garage wall is load bearing. However, this is not always the case and there are some non-load-bearing walls out there. As a general rule of thumb, if the wall runs perpendicular to the floor joists, the wall is load bearing.
If you have questions about whether your wall is load bearing or not, the best way to find out for sure is to work with a contractor or a structural engineer. A structural engineer can look at your garage wall or exterior wall, as well as the set-up of your home, and determine if your garage wall is load bearing or not. Until you know for certain whether the wall is load bearing or not, you should not tear it down or rip it out.
What Are Some of the Signs That a Garage Wall is Load Bearing?
The best way to determine if a garage wall is load bearing or not is to have a structural engineer, architect or contractor look at the wall and make an official decision. However, there are also signs that a garage wall may be load bearing. These signs are an indication to the average person that the garage wall they are considering taking out is indeed load bearing, and as such, should not just simply be removed. Read on to learn more about some of these signs and how to tell if a garage wall is load bearing.
The Garage Wall Is An Exterior/Interior Wall
As a general rule of thumb, if a wall doubles as an exterior and interior wall, it is likely load bearing. It is very rare that exterior walls are non-load bearing. As such, you can generally assume that if a wall doubles as an exterior and interior wall, it is load bearing. This also means that if you are asking is the wall between garage and house load bearing, it likely is.
The Wall Is Six Inches or Wider
Another sign that a garage wall is load bearing is that the wall is six inches wide or wider. As a general rule of thumb, the wider, or thicker, a wall is, the more likely it is that the wall is load bearing. Walls are made thicker when they are supporting weight.
The Wall Runs Perpendicular to the Joists
Any time a wall runs perpendicular to the joists, it is a load-bearing wall. In most cases, if the wall runs parallel to the joists, it is nonload bearing.
There Are Supports Or Columns At the End of the Wall
If a wall has supports or columns at either end of the wall, or on both ends of the wall, that is a pretty good indication that the wall is load bearing. The supports or columns help to reinforce the wall and help to carry the load that the wall is carrying.
There Is Bracing or Brackets At the Top of the Wall
If you notice bracing or brackets, such as purlin bracing, at the top of the wall, the wall is load-bearing. The bracing and brackets help to support the top of the wall as well as the weight that the wall is designed to carry.
What Does It Mean If a Garage Wall is Load Bearing?
A wall that is load bearing means that the wall helps support the weight of your home. A load bearing wall helps to support the weight and structure of your home, helping to support the roof, beams, walls and joists all the way down to the foundation. Every home or structure has enough load bearing walls to support the entire structure of a home. If a load bearing wall is removed, theoretically, the home can collapse or cave in if it is removed. If you have a non load bearing wall, nothing will happen if the wall is removed.
Can You Remove Load Bearing Walls?
If a wall is load bearing, and you are looking to remove the wall, you may wonder if there is any way to remove the wall. There are options available, including placing headers or beams, that can help to support the weight and structure of the home. However, it is important to note that installing a load bearing beam can be extremely time-consuming and costly. As such, for many people, it is not worth the costs associated with removing a load bearing wall, especially if that load bearing wall is in the garage.
What Happens If You Remove a Load Bearing Wall?
A load bearing wall helps to support the structure of your home. If you remove a load bearing wall, many negative things can happen. Once the load bearing wall is removed, you can create structural problems in your home. Your ceilings can start to sag, your floors can become uneven, you may start to see cracks in your drywall, your doors and windows can become hard to open or shut, and you may notice the framework around your windows and doors has become unlevel. All of these are signs that a load bearing wall has been removed, and now, your home is unable to support the weight of the entire structure and structural damage is taking place. As time progresses, these relatively minor problems can worsen, and eventually, your ceilings may collapse or your walls may fold inward.
What Does the Process Look Like If You Decide to Remove a Load Bearing Wall?
If you are looking to open up your home and you are looking to remove a load bearing garage wall, you will need to work with either an architect or engineer. They will have to put together a plan to explain how they can support the weight of the home that the load bearing wall carries. In most cases, this involves replacing the wall with a large overhead beam that can support the weight the wall was carrying. From there, the plans typically need to be approved by your local building or permitting authority, as a permit is often needed to remove a load bearing wall. Once the plans have been approved, a contractor can get to work removing the load bearing wall and placing a beam, or other support structure, in place, to help carry the weight of your home, while also helping to open up the space.