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Remove Interior Non Load Bearing Walls

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Step By Step to Removing Interior Walls

Step By Step to Removing Interior Walls

© Lee Wallender; licensed to About.com
When looking at the issue of removing interior walls, you need to understand a bit of structural carpentry and how loads are carried.

See Step-By-Step: How to Remove Interior Non Load Bearing Wall

When a structure is at rest, and when there are no other factors involved, the main issues hat you’re concerned with are downward loads. Exterior bearing walls and interior bearing walls rest on a foundation, typically concrete, and bear the load of the house and everything above it.

Now, as soon as we mention the idea of interior bearing walls, it is important to note that not all interior walls are bearing. In fact, contractors often find that one of the most frequent reasons they give estimates on a house is to take down walls with the idea of opening up smaller spaces. For instance, older houses typically have many small rooms, designed to better control heating and cooling. Newer houses, beginning in the 1950s, began to have what is called the open floor plan. We have all seen open floor plan houses: these are the houses that may have a single large communal area that includes kitchen, dining room, family room, and perhaps even other rooms.

Consult an Expert Before Removing

Determining whether an interior wall is bearing or non bearing is tricky business. You can get the opinion of a contractor, or if you are particularly concerned about getting an expert opinion, it is also possible to have a structural engineer come in and issue an opinion. Of course, the structural engineer will charge a fee and this fee is often quite high. Also, the engineer may have a minimum charge, so it may not be possible to have him or her come in for just half an hour.

Utilities within Non Load Bearing Walls

Removing an interior non bearing wall is as simple as demolishing it and sending all the waste materials down to a roll container. While this is not a job that can be accomplished within 2 hours on a Friday evening, you may find that it is easier than expected. In fact, the main thing that you need to be concerned about is utilities running through the interior wall: electrical, plumbing, cable, and telephone.

If your interior non bearing wall has utilities, then you have the added cost of hiring a plumber or electrician to come in and “cap off” those utilities. For electrical, you will be left with a junction box that is covered by a blank face plate, which can usually be painted over. Plumbing can also be capped off, though the stub maybe a bit more obvious.
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