Load-bearing wall and semi-load-bearing wall: what are the differences?


You find your house partitioned a bit has been and you would see her well with open pieces? Be careful not to spoil everything. Pay attention to which walls are load-bearing and which are not. You are considering renovating a house and looking for a more open layout and you like the idea of ​​knocking down a few walls that you feel are unnecessary.

Before even planning your new installation, make sure you know which walls in your house or apartment are carrying load. Those who are should in no case be slaughtered. Otherwise the building would become unstable which would endanger the balance of your home. So how do you know which wall is load-bearing and which is not? What do we mean by a semi-load-bearing wall?

Where is your wall positioned?

It makes sense, but the exterior walls that hold your whole home together are definitely load-bearing walls. Very thick, they are the ones that structure your building. So often from its location you can tell whether a wall is load-bearing or not. It’s more difficult with interior walls at home. If some walls are “superimposed” from one floor to another, it is generally that they are load-bearing. Because if there is a wall in the same place on each floor, it could be that it carries the load of the whole. This is especially true for older buildings.

How thick is your wall?

The strength of a wall can give us many clues as to whether it is a load-bearing wall or not. Depending on the material, the thickness of a wall can vary considerably. The most common materials used to construct load-bearing walls in large buildings are concrete, reinforced concrete or brick. However, all of these walls are thicker than normal partitions built in modern homes. This is not always true, but in most cases the thickness of the wall will tell you whether you can knock it down or not. In general, walls that are around 18 centimeters thick are load-bearing walls. Of course, remember to remove the plaster, the wallpaper during your measurements. Easily remove 2 centimeters on each side to get the actual size of the wall the mason has mounted. Obviously, you have to be careful with old buildings, because they may have been built in a different way.

Is your wall supported by beams?

Some elements support the balance of your building. This is the case with beams. Therefore, these should never be simply deleted without professional advice. In the case of half-timbered houses in particular, be careful as the walls have often been built to a completely different structure than normal houses. Better to ask an expert.

What is a semi-load-bearing wall?

A semi-load-bearing wall refers to a partition which originally did not support the weight of the construction but which, over time, with the propagating loads, has become load-bearing. It is therefore necessary to take all precautions before working on a semi-load-bearing wall. A semi-load-bearing wall is not originally a load-bearing wall. It is a partition that separates, for example, two rooms in a house. This inner wall does not have the function of supporting the weight of the construction, as is the case with load-bearing walls – in particular the facade walls. However, it should be noted that non-load-bearing walls can become supports over time, and therefore load-bearing. The loads may be distributed differently or the structure of the house may sag slightly. Thus, the floor can rest on a partition. In this case, the wall becomes semi-load-bearing.

How do you recognize a semi-load-bearing wall?

Depending on the building material, load-bearing walls usually have a thickness of at least 10 cm or more. If the wall you are analyzing is thinner, it is certainly not a load-bearing wall. But it can be half carrier. Semi-load-bearing walls are initially less than 10 cm, but they are, for example, thicker and more resistant than other conventional interior partitions. It is difficult to spot a semi-load-bearing wall with the naked eye because it was not intended to be a load-bearing wall when the building was constructed. Therefore, if your project involves knocking down a wall to make a room bigger, you better take every precaution. You have to act as for a load-bearing wall and therefore call in a specialist. It will be necessary to create a structure that will support the construction after moving the wall.

Consult a competent professional if you have a renovation or expansion project. Because knocking down a semi-load-bearing wall without taking precautions can have serious consequences. Even for walls that are in no way load-bearing or semi-load-bearing, care must be taken, because even if these walls are not load-bearing, there are often water or electricity lines inside. Therefore, as a general rule, again, you should always consult a professional before embarking on destroying a wall. The damage caused by removing a load-bearing or semi-load-bearing wall is more expensive than obtaining the advice of an architect or a carpenter!

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