What Is Considered A Non-Load Bearing Wall?
What Is Considered A Non-Load Bearing Wall?
A non-load bearing wall is a wall that does not support any structural load from the building above it, such as the roof or upper floors.
These walls are generally used to provide privacy and divide rooms within a space. They may be built out of wood framing, metal studs, masonry blocks, drywall or other materials depending on the application.
Non-load bearing walls do not contribute to the structural integrity of a building but typically provide visual separation and added insulation to an area.
How Can You Tell The Difference Between A Load Bearing And Non Load Bearing Wall?
Load bearing walls are those which support the weight of the structure above them, while non-load bearing walls are those that do not.
Generally, load bearing walls will be thicker, constructed with sturdier materials and will have structural components such as headers and lintels built into them.
Additionally, if you have access to your home’s plans or blueprints, load bearing walls will be marked off on there for easy identification.
If you don’t have these plans available then the general rule is that any wall parallel to the floor joists is typically a load bearing wall and should often require professional inspection before being modified significantly.
Do You Need To Support A Non-Load-Bearing Wall?
Non-load bearing walls are not required to be supported, however it is often recommended and beneficial from a safety perspective.
Non-load bearing walls do not directly support the weight of the roof or other sections of the structure, but instead act as an integral part of the building’s overall stability.
Supporting these walls through appropriate headers, braces and footings will help improve their durability and increase their life span.
Additionally, non-load bearing walls that are properly supported can add structural rigidity to your home, making it more resistant to earthquakes or severe storms.
How Do You Build A Non Load Bearing Interior Wall?
Building a non load bearing interior wall is a relatively easy process.
- First, you’ll need to determine the location of the wall and mark off area with tape or chalk.
- Next, use a speed square to mark stud locations on the floor and ceiling, 16 inches apart from one another.
- Then cut two pieces of 2×4 lumber for each stud location and nail them into place so that they’re flush against the ceiling and floor.
- Cut a piece of drywall to match the wall size and secure it in place with screws about 8 inches apart at each seam.
- Finally, fill any seams between drywall panels with joint compound and let it harden before painting or adding trim as desired.
Do I Need A Structural Engineer To Remove A Non Load-Bearing Wall?
No, a structural engineer is not always necessary to remove a non load-bearing wall. If the wall is not load-bearing, meaning that it does not support any weight such as a roof or upper floor, then removing it should be relatively straightforward and may only require some basic carpentry skills and tools.
However, if there is any doubt about whether the wall is load bearing or not, then seeking advice from a structural engineer will help ensure the job can be completed safely.
Do I Need Permission To Remove A Non-Load-Bearing Wall?
When considering removing a non-load-bearing wall, it is important to first check with your local building authorities.
Depending on your jurisdiction, you may need to obtain a building permit before performing demolition or construction work.
However, in most cases, walls are considered ‘deemed to comply’ and the only paperwork required would be from the builder who carried out the wall installation.
Even if no permit was obtained for the installation of the wall, you may still be required to apply for one prior to its removal as certain structural elements such as footings may have been installed when the wall was erected.
It is best to seek professional help from an experienced tradesperson or home inspector who can help ensure that any alterations you make do not impact on existing structures or safety standards.
How Do You Frame A Door In A Non Load Bearing Wall?
Framing a door in a non-load bearing wall is relatively straightforward.
- First, you’ll need to measure and mark the location of the door opening on the existing wall studs. You will then need to remove any existing drywall and other materials making up the wall.
- Next, cut away the existing studs along both sides of the door opening with a reciprocating saw–leaving two vertical lines at each side.
- After that, install two horizontal 2x4s between the remaining vertical studs along each side of the opening – these will become your new top and bottom plates.
- Install jack studs along both sides of the doorway–these are special short pieces that support the weight of your header assembly–and then add one more horizontal 2×4 across their top as your header board.
- Finally, attach trim around all edges with nails or screws before reinstalling any drywall and finishing materials removed earlier.