If you’re considering taking down your kitchen’s load bearing wall, it’s probably because your space is too cramped or the dining room is too blocked off. You want to open up the space for your own use and enjoyment.
Additionally, as open-home concepts gain popularity, more people are removing the walls between their kitchens and dining rooms. Who doesn’t like spacious interiors? They’re good for your personal use and for future resale values.
However, before calling a load bearing wall removal specialist, you should consider some crucial factors. You’ll need to answer all of the following questions:
1. Why Do You Want to Remove the Interior Wall?
Knowing why you want to remove any wall in your home is crucial.
Some homeowners choose to do so to remodel their kitchen and merge it with the dining room to create a spacious area. Others may decide to remove a wall to let more natural light into their home. Some may want to modify parts of the kitchen, perhaps by adding a skylight in the roof, which may require that a specific wall be brought down.
Regardless of your ultimate purpose, prioritizing your goals will help you make better decisions and get the most bang for your buck during the project.
2. Is It a Structural Wall?
A home is made of two types of walls: load bearing and non-load bearing. Load bearing walls are responsible for holding up your house, as well as the partition walls that divide the rooms.
Although both types of walls can be removed, taking down a load bearing wall comes with certain considerations and risks. Load bearing walls are crucial to maintaining the structural integrity of your house, so removing them without adding another support structure can be extremely dangerous. That’s why it’s recommended to install a beam for the load bearing wall before taking it down.
When it comes to removing a non-load bearing wall, you should check to see if it supports your ceiling joists. If not, another support structure will need to be put in place before its removal.
3. How Much Will Removing a Load Bearing Wall Cost?
As we mentioned previously, removing a load bearing wall can be costlier than tearing down other, less crucial walls. That’s why homeowners usually consider it as a last option during their remodeling projects.
However, if the purpose of bringing it down justifies the cost to remove a load bearing wall, you should go ahead with it. You just need to find out the total cost before making any big decisions.
4. Are There Any Internal Wires and Pipes?
In most homes, you can find electrical wiring, plumbing, cables, HVAC pipes, and ducts running through the walls. Even though not all walls include plumbing pipes or ductwork, most walls almost contain at least some electrical wiring.
If your wall has any of these elements inside it, removing the wall may affect the way you live in your home – at least for a couple of days. Additionally, re-routing the wires and pipes will make the project more complex and mandate the assistance of a plumber, electrician, and maybe even an HVAC technician.
5. What About the Floor and Ceiling in Your Kitchen?
Tearing down a wall leaves a part of the floor and ceiling suddenly exposed. You’ll want to think about what will happen to these areas after the wall has been removed.
Ideally, you should patch the unfinished areas. However, this may be difficult to do if you have hardwood floors that you don’t want to damage or popcorn ceilings, which require scraping and refinishing.
As far as hardwood floors are concerned, patching them and making them merge together seamlessly between the kitchen and the dining room may be a tricky task. In such a case, you might want to plan the wall removal for when you decide to get your flooring replaced.
6. How Old Is Your Home?
It is important to know the year of your home’s construction – not to calculate its age, but for another reason. Before 1978, homes were colored with lead-based paints. These paints aren’t hazardous to walls, but they can cause serious health issues if inhaled in particulate form. Lead dust is toxic to humans.
If you’re facing this situation in your wall removal project, you should hire an experienced load bearing wall removal specialist to do the job. They will use the right gear and equipment, they’ll know how to take down your load bearing wall in the safest manner possible.
7. How Many Floors Does Your Home Have?
The number of stories in your home will greatly affect the scope of your wall removal project.
If you live in a two-story house, removing the wall will pass the stress of the second level onto the first-floor walls. If there are no or inadequate support beams/pillars/posts in place, this can be extremely dangerous and leave your property in ruins.
Taking down a load bearing wall in a two-story home is more complex and expensive, and will certainly require you to work with a professional.
Can Any Wall in Your Home Be Removed?
Ask any load bearing wall removal specialist and they will tell you that no two walls are the same. Removing some walls in your home will be costlier than removing others. Plumbing, wires, ducts, and pipes in their interior of the wall can make removing it more expensive and complicated.
The role of a load bearing wall removal specialist is crucial. They will be able to determine how and to what extent the home’s functionality or structure will be affected and plan the process accordingly.
Is Removing a Load Bearing Wall Worth It?
If you’re removing a load bearing wall to create an open-concept kitchen, you should know that the project can be expensive. It’s important that you design your new kitchen space with affordability in mind.
A total kitchen remodel is a major endeavor, which can be costly, but it can also increase your home’s value significantly. If you budget permits, you should definitely consider removing a load bearing wall and make your kitchen remodel a success.
Homeowners may have a number of reasons for wanting to remove walls within their interior space, including the kitchen. Typically, this is done to increase the usable floor area and create an expansive interior area. Other homeowners may do so to improve their home’s value and mimic the popular open-space concept.
You need to consider several complex factors before removing any wall, particularly a load bearing one.
The simple fact is that it is possible to remove a kitchen load bearing wall, as long as you’re aware of the considerations, the available options, and your budget. Hopefully, the above pointers will help you come to the right decision. Good luck!