Framing an Opening for a Load Bearing Wall

A man works on a wall.
  • 5-6 hours
  • Advanced
  • 300-500
What You'll Need
2x4 studs
Plate brackets
Wall support beams
Eye protection
2 mounting screws
Tape measure
Stud finder
Table saw
Nail gun
Drop cloth

It is important that you are able to get your load bearing wall replaced and taken care of in the most effective way possible. A load bearing wall is extremely important when it comes to the construction of your building. It will be what supports the roof and floors. If you want to determine whether a wall is load bearing or not, then look for the joists and see what direction they are going in. If the wall happens to run parallel, then they are not load bearing. However, joists that run perpendicular are usually load bearing.

Step 1 - Protect Floor

The first thing that you are going to have to do is cover the surface of the floor in the area that you will be working on. A drop cloth is usually going to be your best bet when it comes to properly protecting the floor.

Step 2 - Remove Wallboard

The load bearing wall that you will be working on will need to be completely removed of all of the wallboard that is on it. This will allow you to see what is actually in the wall. Should there happen to be internal support, then you will post it along with the standard studs. Just make sure that you do not remove the existing wall unless a professional has taken a look at it.

Step 3 - Find Studs

You will need your stud finder and your ladder so that you can find all of the parallel studs. These will usually be about 3 feet from the actual load bearing wall. Make sure that you take the time to mark the stud locations in the area. Once you have done this you are ready to get your 2x4 stud put up against your ceiling. This will be parallel to the load wall and about 3 feet from it. Use a nail gun and nail your stud to the ceiling in a few different locations that are evenly spaced. The ceiling joist will need to be nailed to the drywall or the sheetrock.

Step 4 - Frame

You are now ready to get a 2x4 stud and place it against the floor and parallel to the load bearing wall. This will end up being the frame for your support. Use a tape measure so that you can figure out the distance between your floor and ceiling stud. A 2x4 should be cut a little bit longer than the actual height so it will fit snuggly.

Step 5 - Finish Up

The stud needs to be wedged between the boards and tapped into place. The support posts are now ready to be installed for the new beam. Remove the end sections to do this. Get rid of the rest of the remainder of the load bearing wall and install the beam on top of the support posts.