Nowadays, architectural modifications for older buildings are becoming almost a necessity for those who wish to modernize their interior space. These transformations must be accompanied by a modification of the existing structure that only a structural engineer can perform.
Generally, the old houses have two load-bearing walls forming the corridors in the middle of the building or apartment. These two walls are installed perpendicular to the road starting at the main door and continuing towards the rear facade and from the ground floor to the top floor. The floor joists rest on these two load-bearing walls that transfer the load to the two main beams in the basement or crawl space.
Thus, these two load-bearing walls together participate in transferring the imposed load to the main beams. These loads are: snow loads, material weight loads (dead load) and live load (people, buildings, etc.).
Removal of a load-bearing wall
the removal of a load-bearing wall without first consulting a structural engineer will inevitably cause a collapse or collapse of the structure. Indeed, it is necessary to replace these load-bearing walls by a structural system which must transfer the accumulated loads down from the roof to the main beams which are in the basement or in the crawlspace. This new structural system is composed of columns and beams according to the specifications of a civil engineer. Not to mention that the latter must take into account the appropriate structural connections to ensure a safe and adequate transfer of loads in the structural elements from the roof to the floor.
Finally, a check of the condition of the components of the structure that are not subject to replacement (main beams, columns, foundations, footings, floor joists) is essential to ensure that the structure does not contain any deficiency that may affect the structural integrity of the building.