How difficult is it to move a wall to enlarge a room?
That will depend on what kind of wall it is, there are two different kinds of walls in a home that you could end up having to move;
Non-structural wallA non- structural wall is a wall that does not support structural loads from the roof or from a second story. It can be removed without worrying about anything starting to sage or buckle in the home.
There are two different types of non-structural walls;
• Blank wall. This is an interior wall with no windows, doors, plumbing, electrical, gas, water or hvac duct work in it. These are the simplest to remove because there is no reason to worry about having to relocate anything.
• Non simplified interior wall. These are non-structural walls that do have windows, doors, plumbing, electrical, gas, water or hvac duct work inside the wall or on the surface of it. These walls must have the drywall removed before you attempt to remove any of the framing material. This will help locate anything that needs to be relocated and will have to be handled with care. When removing, capping or relocating any of the things mentioned above a qualified professional should be hired to do the work. This will ensure that no one is harmed and no damaged is caused to the home.
Structural load bearing wallA structural load bearing wall is the most difficult wall to remove and is also the most expensive as well. This should be done by a qualified professional that has knowledge of removing structural walls. A structural load bearing wall is holding up either the roof or the floor directly above it and removing it improperly will cause damage to the home and endanger the people that are working inside it.
When removing a load bearing wall you must remove all the drywall, than have all the mechanical, electrical, water, plumbing and gas relocated or terminated.
After utilities are taken care of then you must build two temporary stud walls, place one wall on each side of the wall that you plan to remove. Do not place these walls to close to the wall you are going to remove because you need room to work, but do not place them too far away that the floor above sags under the weight because the span between walls is too great.
Once you have the upper level properly supported with your walls then you can go ahead and carefully remove the bearing wall.
Once the bearing wall is removed you then have to place a beam of some kind or material to transfer the load to the basement. This is a mathematical equation and should be worked out by a qualified professional or an engineer.
Once your beam is installed before you remove your walls you must make sure that you have installed the proper posts at each end of the beam to transfer the weight of the beam to the basement. This will require you to not only install posts under the beam but it will also require placing blocking or posts in the floor below.
You must also determine if the concrete foundation or floor can support the new weight, you might have to remove some concrete floor to install a concrete footing to take the load.
Once these are all installed then you can remove your temporary walls, the beam if done right should hold the weight by itself.
When completing structural work I must insist that qualified professionals do the work so that the building or anyone working in the building does not get damaged or hurt.
Village Builders Inc.