Walls - Load and Non-Load Bearing

In addition to the differences between interior and exterior walls and their makeup, another important factor in regards to walls is whether or not they are load bearing or non-load bearing.

As the name implies, load-bearing walls carry the structural weight of your home. Load-bearing walls in platform-frame homes will have double top plates. That is, two layers of framing lumber. Note: all exterior walls are load bearing; interior walls that are aligned above support beams are also lead bearing.

Non-load-bearing walls support only themselves; they are interior partition walls. They have a single top plate. While non-load-bearing walls might run perpendicular to floor and ceiling joists, they will not be aligned above support beams. Note: all walls that run

While non-load-bearing walls can be altered or even removed completely without weakening the home’s structure, alterations that can be made to load-bearing walls are limited. May require the placement of temporary supports for certain types of remodeling projects.

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The Comprehensive Guide to Home Renovations