Are you considering adding space and function to your home, but not ready for a full addition? You may consider removing a wall to really open your home’s floor plan and encourage active flow.
Years ago, homes were created with smaller, compact rooms divided by walls because of older heating technology, and the styles of those eras. But today, those confining walls can feel cramped and restricting. In recent decades, interior design trends have shifted toward utilizing open layouts. Kitchens that conveniently adjoin casual dining areas and larger great rooms have become ideal goals in home renovation. That trend has carried over to remodeling projects. Perhaps you want to watch your family in the living room from your kitchen or do some last-minute work in your home office while keeping up with the big game. This and more can all be within reach for you.
Clients often seek to open up their homes’ layouts to take advantage of more space, and the question of whether a wall can be removed is a common one that often comes up early in the design process. There are some important considerations: Should you remove it, and how will it be removed?
Should The Wall be Removed?
Homes are designed to distribute the weight of their upper floors and roofs in an equal and safe manner by strategically positioning certain walls to be load-bearing. Check your attic – these walls often run perpendicular to the joists or rafters. Another way to tell is to head to your basement or crawl space. Inspect the wall from beneath. If there is a beam directly under the wall, it is a safe bet that the wall is bearing some of the weight of the upper stories.
If you are ever not sure if the wall you are targeting is load-bearing, seek out the help of a professional engineer or architect. They are trained to see the tell-tale signs of load-bearing walls and their expertise will be crucial in the planning of the removal.
Haphazardly removing a wall without making the correct examinations could be disastrous and disrupt the stability of your home, leading to collapse and damage. Most counties and cities require proper inspections and plans from an approved architect or engineer and of course permits for the job.
If the wall in question is not load bearing that’s great news, but there still could be more to your project than you might think.
Another professional to consult may be an Interior Designer. It is their job to examine the spaces in your home and craft them to function in an ideal manner. You can use a room how it was originally designed or obtain similar freedoms by just enlarging a gateway or doorway or removing a smaller portion of a wall. Architects and Interior Designers can help you examine all of these possibilities – including ones you may not immediately consider.
How will it be removed?
Your skilled architect can collaborate with a contractor or construction firm to form a safe plan to remove the targeted wall. If it is load-bearing, the usual plan is to redistribute the weight to temporary walls or columns before any demolition takes place.
Demolition is an entire process unto itself. You or your trusted carpenters will need to consider where to dispose of waste, proper safety equipment, if lead or asbestos is present, etc.
Once the wall is safely removed and disposed of, the next major step will be hanging a beam across the space where the wall was to redistribute its load to other joists, guiding the responsibility down to your home’s foundation.
When this is safely completed, any temporary walls or columns may be removed as well and then you can set to work repainting and setting up your space as you wish.
At Agape Construction, we operate using the Design Build Firm model. That means we employ all the professionals we mentioned above; including Architects, Engineers, Interior Designers, Project Managers, Carpenters and bring in dependable subcontractors that we trust with your home. The challenging task of collecting all these skilled tradesmen are no longer your hassle; you will be freed up to focus on the potential of your home and how it can affect your family.
Interested in creating an open floor plan in your home by removing an annoying wall? Contact us today for a complimentary consultation.