What to Consider Before Tearing Down That Wall

Open floor plan as a modern concept of living is one of the most popular trends nowadays. There’s no homeowner in Rancho Bernardo who hasn’t been thinking about having a large gathering place for their friends and family. Appealing and spacious, with the kitchen and living room combined, the open floor plan has become the heart of the home. If you are a DIY kind of person, you may have even considered tearing down walls to adapt the floor to your needs, expand a room or connect it to another one.

It is not as simple as it sounds. Like whole house renovations or room additions, removing a wall is a serious project that takes plenty of planning, so the smartest thing to do is leave it to the reputable Rancho Bernardo home remodel experts. It can be a relatively simple task for your contractor, but there are several factors you need to consider first. Here are the basics.

Wall type

Depending on their function, there are two types of walls. Non-load bearing walls only separate the rooms and can easily be torn down, while load-bearing walls are part of the structure. They carry the weight of the roof and hold the house up. Usually, a load-bearing wall will be closer to the middle of the house. Often it is the kitchen wall.

Have in mind that whole house renovations that include wall removals are best to be handled by an experienced contractor. First, a structural engineer or an architect will determine the type of the wall in question, assess the situation and maybe offer another solution.

Demolition or substitution

If a wall turns out the wall is non-load bearing, the contractor will demolish it, reroute the electric lines, have a chase for an HVAC installed inside the wall and then patch up the flooring and the ceiling.

A load-bearing wall needs to be replaced with some other support strong enough to hold the construction, such as support beams or architectural columns. Contractors will install temporary support walls until the substitute solution is placed.

In case a load-bearing wall cannot be torn down, you may consider wide doorways and partial-height walls. You don’t have to knock the entire wall down to get that open feeling.

The inside of the wall

Watch out for the electrical wiring, plumbing, HVA vents and sewer and gas lines. Even with no electrical outlets or switches present, there’s a good chance the cables are inside the wall. They will need to be relocated and installed somewhere else. Therefore, you should look up several electricians and plumbers in Rancho Bernardo and have their contacts by your side.

The timing

The best place to knock down a wall is when you are planning to change the flooring or doing the whole house renovation. Being really messy, with plenty of dust and debris, the project may last up to two weeks, without the flooring work. Finding a temporary home for your family sounds like a good idea.

Single-story or a two-story home

Tearing down a wall in a two-story home is much more expensive and complicated than in a single-story house. There’s no room for errors, so you should definitely hire an expert structural engineer.

Think twice

Before you go for the open floor plan, you might consider a few reasons for not taking down that wall. As your kids grow, you will want more privacy and some alone time. With the kitchen and the living room connected, there’s no door to close when unexpected guests show up and you haven’t unloaded your dishwasher. Even watching a movie, reading or just contemplating in peace can become quite challenging. Sometimes a wall is a good thing. If you tear it down, there’s a chance you’ll be thinking about room additions very soon.