There are various reasons for breaking through a wall in a home. For example, placing an extra doorway or pulling a living room and kitchen together that are separated by a wall. Whether you can apply such an opening or simply remove the wall depends on whether the wall in question is a load-bearing wall or not. But how do you find out if it is a load-bearing wall?



Hoe kan je een dragende muur herkennen?How can you recognize a load-bearing wall?

There are different ways to find out if a wall is a load-bearing wall:
1. View the building plans for the home. The building plans usually show which walls are load-bearing walls and which are not. However, this requires a trained eye of a structural engineer to see the difference. The legends used for the shading of the walls often differ.

2. View the thickness of the wall. The thickness of the wall itself also gives a good indication of the type of wall. A good rule of thumb is that if the wall is thinner than 10 cm, the wall is probably not a load-bearing wall and if the wall is thicker than 10 centimeters, the wall is usually a load-bearing wall.

3. See if the wall continues on the upper floors. If the wall continues on the upper floors, then there is a load-bearing wall. Walls directly above each other are used to distribute forces from a roof and floor construction and transfer them to the foundation. An outer wall, a house separating wall and a wall between the living room and kitchen are often load-bearing walls.

4. Check whether the floor beams are resting on the wall. If the beams of the storey floor rest on the wall, the wall is a load-bearing wall. The taxes on the first floor are in fact transferred to the foundation via the load-bearing wall. Unfortunately, the beams are no longer visible in especially modern and renovated houses. It may then be worthwhile to take a look at the attic floor. The floor beams are usually still visible here.

5. In the case of a concrete floor, look in which direction the seams are running. Concrete floors are usually laid in a certain direction. In most cases, this is also the direction in which the load is transferred to a load-bearing wall. So if a seam runs towards a wall, then this wall is almost always a load-bearing wall.

Hoe kan je een dragende muur herkennen? The wall to break away is a load-bearing wall. What now?

Have you determined that the wall is a load-bearing wall, can you break it away? If the wall is a load-bearing wall, you cannot and cannot simply remove it. A so-called steel portal construction must first be installed. This portal takes over the function of the load-bearing wall and thus absorbs the overlying load. Because you make a constructive change by placing this portal, this must be approved by the municipality. This is done by applying for an environmental permit. Such an environmental permit therefore requires a constructive report, in which the constructive modification is calculated by a constructor. Construction drawings must also be made of the existing situation and the situation after the constructive intervention.
In addition to applying for the environmental permit, it is advisable to have a professional contractor carry out the construction work.

Do you have trouble determining whether the wall you want to break away is a load-bearing wall or do you have no idea how to apply for an environmental permit? Studio Flex can help you with this. Our structural consultants and constructors are ready to provide you with advice.