Getting rid of a wall in your house is one of the only ways that will instantly open up a space and let in more light, but there are a few things you’ll have to consider before you start tearing down a wall. If you don’t have a solid plan in place, you might inflict extra damage or costs on yourself or your home.
Take a look below at a few of the things you’ll have to plan for below.
Why are you doing it?
The first thing you have to ask yourself before you remove a wall is, of course, why am I doing this? Normally you’d remove a wall to add some more space or some extra light into a room, or to change up the layout of your house, but asking yourself ‘why’ lets you plan a little more.
If your main motive is to open up a space, then make sure you plan a new furniture and decor layout, or if you’re looking to bring in some more natural light then make sure that direct sunlight isn’t going to be an issue in the new room.
On top of those two considerations, make sure that the removal of the wall isn’t going to cause an issue in the future if you decide to sell your home. Removing a wall that once created 2 bedrooms is going to cause a major drop in value, so be wary of that.
Getting professional help
This is where things will get a little more complex. Depending on where the wall is in your house, you might just need help from a contractor builder or a few friends, but when heating, ventilation, electrical wires and air conditioning come into play, then you’ll need to speak to professionals for some extra help.
The first thing you should do before removing anything or making any changes is to have a consultation with a professional tradesperson or structural engineer to make sure that you can, in fact, remove the wall and that it isn’t a structural or load-bearing wall. These assessments and consultations shouldn’t cost more than just a few hundred dollars.
If your home is more than one story then you’ll have almost no choice than to speak with a structural engineer before removing a wall. Don’t take the risk here because weight distribution could bring down more than just one wall if you decide to just knock a wall down. Two-story homes are far more complex when walls and load-bearing walls are concerned.
Some wall removal projects will require council approval, so make sure to check that your project is in line with regulation and meets all criteria.
If you’re removing a wall in a home you currently live in, then you’ll want to make sure everything is cleaned up as thoroughly and quickly as possible. You can’t leave wiring and construction material dust sitting around for days or weeks after you’ve removed it as this isn’t just a tripping hazard, but also could cause health issues if you breathe in the dust.
With that said, make sure that you have a professional rubbish removal team lined up either before you begin removing the wall, or during the project. You don’t want to be waiting for days for a space in line to open up for the team to collect your rubbish.
Once you’ve had your wall removed and the material rubbish taken away, there will be one major issue you’ll have to deal with, and that’s patching the ceiling and the floor where the wall used to be. Different flooring materials will make it either easier or a lot harder for you to do this. Hardwoods will be the most difficult here as you’ll need to find an almost exact match to make the patched floor blend together correctly.
If you’re someone who really needs an entirely seamless look you might need to replace the floor in the entire room, as well as patching where the wall was. The easiest flooring material here to patch is carpet and tiling as you can just add a new layer or group of tiles over the spot where the wall was.
When ceilings are concerned, these are typically fairly easy to patch up. The plasterboard or other ceiling materials can easily be replaced and patched over because there’s little deviation in colour and style – however, moulding might need to be replaced entirely to blend the style back together.
Cost and timeline
The overall cost of the project will rest on the size of the wall and the materials it’s made with and whether there are utilities and other connections inside – which will need to be rerouted through other walls in the house. The cost of labour will also rest on which city you live in.
A quick outline of the pricing you can expect is roughly $2,000 to $3,200 for a wall that isn’t load-bearing and is just under 4 meters long. Load-bearing walls can cost a little more and go up to about $5,000. If your wall is a load-bearing wall in a two-story home then expect anywhere from $5,000 to $7,000 the be your overall cost.
You should factor in about 2 to 3 weeks for the removal of the wall, which wouldn’t include the patching and the final touches on the ceiling and moulding. To have the entire project completed you should expect roughly a month.