Supporting load bearing walls - how to tell?

I have finally become, after a couple years of home projects, I have finally become a moderate competent DIYer. No fear in starting new projects finally ;^)
One question still aludes me. On TV home repair shows and in other literature, they always refer to taking out studs or walls (for windows, room enlargements, etc) and to "make sure its not a load bearing wall." But they never actually tell you how to tell this. Are there any obvious things too look for? Any pictures on the internet?
Thanks Todd
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Yes, the obvious thing to look for is the phonebook. Call a structural engineer.
This should not be left to consensus from a newsgroup or generalizations from a book.
A DIYer needs to know when to seek expertise that's beyond their abilities given the critical nature of load bearing structural design.
On 29 Jun 2003 08:31:51 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@uc.edu (Todd W. Roat) wrote:

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On 29 Jun 2003 08:31:51 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@uc.edu (Todd W. Roat) wrote:

Load bearing walls are simply walls which hold a load above them. There's no rocket science to most of them, and there are a few tricks that make it easier. First, outside walls at the rafter ends are load bearing. End walls may not be, but you should usually treat them as such. If you have a two-story home and walls from the second story sit on top of walls on the first, they're likely load bearing. If you have rafters that don't run from side wall to siade wall, the wall below where they end is a bearing wall. Walls above horizontal steel beams are bearing walls in most cases.
But, if you're not sure, treat the wall as if it were a bearing wall.
Jeff
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Thanks for the replies. That helps. Bills web site is also extremely helpful
snipped-for-privacy@uc.edu (Todd W. Roat) wrote in message

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snipped-for-privacy@uc.edu (Todd W. Roat) writes:

Just chop a hole in the ceiling and see if anything is sitting on top of the wall. If there is, you will need to replace the wall with a beam. If not, tear away.
If you don't want a beam hanging down into the living space, many times you can mount the beam in the attic and header ceiling joists into it. Supporting floor joists is trickier, but you can often use a steel beam and hangers, if headspace between floors is limited.
--
http://home.teleport.com/~larryc

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