Knocking Down A Wall

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Knocking down a wall in your home is often considered by homeowners as a DIY (Do-It-Yourself) project.  Before you grab a hammer and start knocking down a wall, there are several factors to consider.  Rushing into knocking down a wall in your home can result in increased costs and dangerous safety hazards.

Sledge Hammer

Structural Knowledge

It is not easy to determine whether a wall is load bearing or not. Removing a wall in a one-story house is much different than in a two-story house, and the cost of your project can be significantly more in a two-story home. Unless you have experience or knowledge of how your home is constructed, it is always best to hire a  licensed Contractor or a Structural Engineer to determine if a wall can be removed.

What is Hidden Inside of That Wall?

Next, you will need to determine what, if anything, is inside of the wall.  Plumbing, gas, electric, and HVAC lines, can often be located inside of a wall. Removing one small wall could end up requiring the services of a plumber, an electrician, an HVAC technician, or a general contractor.  Hiring someone to remove or transfer these lines can increase the cost of your project.

Flooring and Wall Treatment Considerations

Consider the flooring and walls and what will be left when you remove that wall.  When removing a wall, you are generally left with an unfinished floor and wall.  Will the flooring in the two joined rooms need to be replaced to leave one cohesive floor treatment?  An unfinished area on your wall will need to be patched and painted.  These costs can add to your remodel budget.

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Steps to Knock Down A Wall

  1. Turn off the electricity.
  2. Enclose the area you’re working in with old bed sheets or large sheets of plastic to eliminate dust throughout the building
  3. Wear safety equipment. Safety glasses or goggles will prevent dust or debris from getting in your eyes. Safety gloves will prevent you from getting splinters.
  4. Remove baseboard, crown molding, or door trim from the wall. Remove trim using a crowbar.
  5. Outline the area. If you are knocking down a section of the wall, mark the area with a pen or pencil to serve as a reference.  Use a utility knife to cut through the opening along the mark.  This will help you avoid tearing down a part of the wall you meant to keep.
  6. Knock through the drywall with a sledge hammer. As you knock through the drywall, pull the drywall off of the studs.
  7. Remove the studs. Cut through the studs with a Reciprocating saw to remove them.
  8. Clean up any excess debris.