A common renovation goal of our clients is the desire to create a more open floor plan by removing a wall. In doing so, they aim to sometimes make a space bigger, create more flow, and at times, welcome in more light. Depending on where the wall is located, removing it can also help in the redesigning of a room, for example, in a kitchen remodel, a wall removal can make room for a peninsula, or an area for additional seating.
While creating an open floor plan can be alluring, there are several factors to consider prior to doing so. We’ve put together a list of some of the main aspects you should consider when removing a wall; some may be obvious while others may not be!
Budget – As with any home remodel or renovation, considering your budget should be among the first things to do. Without proper consideration, taking down a wall can seem like a cheap, easy feat to accomplish, but can quickly add up! Establish a budget first and always factor in a little more for the unexpected.
Location – After budget, location of the wall will be one of the next most important considerations to make. Depending upon location, the wall may be load-bearing, and deciphering if it is or not can be difficult. We strongly recommend hiring a structural engineer for this, especially if you live in a two-story home and the wall is located on the first floor.
Electrical & Plumbing – What’s in the wall? Again, taking down a wall can seem simple enough, but rerouting plumbing & electrical can become challenging and costly. Additionally, consider if any ducts or HVAC will be impacted, too. If any of these features are within the wall, a professional will be needed!
Flooring – When removing a wall, you’ll also want to think about what will happen to the floor. Will the flooring be continual, or will there be two different materials meeting in the middle? Hardwood floors can be difficult to patch and blend for a continual appearance, whereas carpeting can be easier. On the contrary, also consider what will happen to the ceiling, too!
Age of Home – This may not seem as obvious, but you’ll want to consider the age of your home. Asbestos can be uncovered depending on how old your home is, and if uncovered, it will need to be properly abated.
Permitting – Last but not least, will a permit be needed? This varies from place to place, but depending on where you live, a permit may be required. It’s best to call your local building department to learn more about local codes and what renovations require obtaining a permit.
Removing a wall can be an easy endeavor or a major structural renovation. And, with either situation, proper consideration will be needed, as will enlisting the help of a contractor. A contractor will be able to easily navigate any potential challenges and suggest different solutions if the wall cannot be removed, such as expanding the doorframe or creating a passthrough. Creating an open floor plan is a popular, alluring renovation goal, but can easily require more than just a sledgehammer!