Bearing Walls: Can They Be Removed?

Short answer: yes!

Here in this project, to open things up to the rear deck, and enlarge the kitchen, we took out a bearing wall. But isn’t that really expensive and difficult?! Not always! With careful planning, it doesn’t have to be a big deal. “Bearing walls” are walls that support the roof and/or the floors, but walls aren’t the only way to get the job done – you can replace those walls with beams and columns, like we did here. In this case, we also hid the beams and columns inside the walls and ceiling, so that the room looks clean and open.

The extra space allowed us to make a direct connection to the rear deck with a new door, and also to sneak in this coffee station and prep area with a ton of storage. The island orientation separates guests from the host’s meal prep tasks, while giving plenty of space for informal gathering. All this from removing one 8′ section of wall! The lesson: keep an eye out for bearing walls, but don’t be too ruled by them – especially if removing one can make a huge difference in a project. ⁠

More on this project here >>>

Before: Bearing wall is behind sink/dishwasher.
During: Wall removed, LVL beam installed [visible in upper right corner] and new door to desk installed.
After: wall removed, kitchen expanded!

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