Open layouts have been an interior design staple for years. Not only do they enlarge your kitchen space, but they can also create an informal, friendly ambiance. Imagine interacting with guests face-to-face while you whip up delicious dishes for them!
But before you take a sledgehammer to your kitchen walls, you will need to identify which one helps keep your home upright. Removing a load-bearing wall without proper precautions may lead to significant structural damage.
Generally speaking, many Utah homes have a load-bearing wall between their kitchen and living room. With careful planning and consideration, you’ll be able to tear it down and achieve the open space of your dreams. In this regard, let’s explore seven things you should understand about load-bearing wall removal.
- Energy Costs
Lovely as they are, open-concept rooms tend to drain a ton of energy. Since walls create smaller zones, they allow you to heat or cool one space at a time. Without them, the temperature of the entire floor needs to be controlled. This can hike up your energy costs quite a bit.
Fortunately, there are various ways to counterbalance high energy expenses. From using LED bulbs to keeping the refrigerator temperature between 4-5°C (39.2-41°F), there’s a lot you can do to keep your energy bills in check. Or, you can consult a load-bearing wall removal specialist to find a solution that works best for you.
Depending on your location, you may need a city permit to make major changes to your home. For example, the local governments of Ogden and West Valley City require citizens to get permits before altering any structure in their building (including interior walls). It’s best if you talk to your local building services for more information.
Ideally, you should figure out the permitting process well in advance. You don’t want to start a remodeling project without taking the proper legal measures!
Here, we should mention that Load Bearing Pros does not get permits for its clients. This is primarily because:
- We want to focus all our time and resources on our load-bearing wall removal services. Chasing permits can get in the way of that.
- There’s every possibility that you may not need a permit at all, but we’ll still have to charge you for one to cover our costs. We definitely don’t want to do that!
- Replacement Structures
As mentioned, load-bearing walls carry the weight of your home. Once you take one out, you’ll need to replace it with an alternate support system. Usually, this is either a:
- Beam: A high-quality, structurally sound beam that redistributes the load to other parts of the opening. Load Bearing Pros uses beams crafted out of steel or specially engineered lumber (LVLs and Gluelams).
- Beam and Post: Here, the beam has single or multiple intermediate posts between its two bearing points.
Before you install a beam, you must establish temporary walls and supports to secure the load. Otherwise, you run the risk of damaging your home permanently.
If you’re curious about the cost of removing a load-bearing wall, there’s no cut-and-dry answer. Usually, the price quote will vary based on the type and size of your project. While we can’t speak for everyone, we can tell you what our prices include.
- Expert planning for wall removal
- Engineer consultations
- Safe wall removals
- Beam installations
- Load safety verifications
- Post-project cleanups
Instead of calculating the expenses yourself, get in touch with us for a free bid. We’ll get back to you with an estimate, so you set up your budget accordingly.
- Health Hazards
Believe it or not, load-bearing wall removals can potentially harm your health. Here’s how.
When taking down a load-bearing wall, you’ll have to demolish drywall. In cases of homes built before the 1980s, this may release asbestos into the air. Asbestos exposure can cause:
- Lung cancer
- Asbestosis, which often leads to permanent lung damage
- Cancer in the GI tract, kidney, and throat
- Fluid collections around the lungs
It doesn’t stop there. Lead paint is an additional hazard in older buildings, capable of triggering:
- Coma, convulsions, and even death in children
- Renal problems
- Reproductive issues
Besides, drywall can also house toxic mold, mildew, and other types of fungal growth. Considering these hidden dangers, it’s advisable to leave wall removals to the experts.
- Additional Steps
Removing a load-bearing wall with electrical wiring, HVAC ducts, or plumbing may be a little more complicated than you think. This is especially true for walls in two-story buildings and alongside kitchens and bathrooms. Rerouting these mechanical services will likely increase the budget and duration of your project.
At Load Bearing Pros, we’re serious about finishing our job on time. That’s why we have trusted experts on speed dial. Thanks to their help, we can resolve a range of unanticipated problems quickly and effectively. You won’t have to worry about a thing: we’ll take care of it all!
- Professional Help
Who doesn’t want to save a few bucks on a kitchen remodel? Sure, it’s possible to DIY a load-bearing wall removal, but only if you have the right skills and equipment for the job. Truth be told, it’s not everyone’s cup of tea.
For starters, knocking down and replacing a load-bearing wall takes a lot of technical expertise. There’s very little room for error. Although your house won’t come crashing down immediately, messing with the skeleton of a building can lead to severe long-term consequences.
Perhaps more alarmingly, mistakes made during a load-bearing wall removal often appear years later. There’s a fair chance you’ll notice excessive cracks in the wall from an improperly supported load. When this happens, you will either have to spend a fortune replacing everything or vacate your home altogether.
Hence, it’s in your best interest to hire a load-bearing wall removal specialist right out the gate. They can:
- Ensure your home remains safe and sound.
- Match the remodel to your existing décor.
- Deal with any problems that may arise.
Many general contractors do offer load-bearing wall removal services. But few can compare to our expertise. After all, this is the only thing we do! Besides:
- We’ve been in business for a long time and have removed plenty of load-bearing walls.
- Our prices are extremely competitive.
- We have friends in the right places (subcontractors and experts).
- We’re in and out in a day, provided everything goes according to plan.
- We don’t charge finder’s fees for our services.
- We can spot potential problems with your projected layout and suggest suitable alternatives.
The Bottom Line
If you’re ready to transform your outdated floor plan, a kitchen load-bearing wall removal should rank high on your to-do list. Now that you know the fundamentals of replacing load-bearing walls, you’ll have no trouble getting the open kitchen you’ve always wanted! Do you have more questions about kitchen load-bearing wall removals? Are you looking for a load-bearing wall removal expert around Sandy, Ogden, or Salt Lake City? Look no further than Load Bearing Pros! With a little information and a simple plan, we can get that pesky load-bearing wall out of your way in no time! For more information, give us a call at (385) 300-8322 or complete our online form for a free bid.