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Things to Know before Tearing Walls Down in Your Home

Many homeowners have at one point or another considered tearing down a wall to extend a narrow room, connect two rooms or simply adapt the floor to their needs. Tearing down a wall opens up a lot of design options.

However, this project is not as simple as it may sound. Tearing down a wall takes a lot of planning, which is why it is best to leave this aspect of home remodel to San Diego experts you can trust. There are several factors you need to consider before you bring a wall down, and in this article we will cover the basics.

Wall Type

There are two distinct types of wall in every home. While some simply serve to separate two rooms, others are the ones holding the roof above your head. An expert can help you determine whether the wall that’s getting in your way is load-bearing or is simply there to keep rooms separated. A load-bearing wall will often be closer to the middle of the house. In the event that a wall cannot be torn down, there are other ways to make a small room look bigger.

However, if it turns out the wall is load-bearing, there could still be some alternatives like support beams and wide doorways to consider. These have to be handled by a professional to make sure the substitute support construction is strong enough to compensate for the removed wall.

If a wall turns out to be a load-bearing one, contractors will often place temporary walls to support the weight while the original wall is removed and the substitute solution is installed.

Open Space Living Room - Home Remodel San Diego

Mind what’s inside

Another important point to consider before tearing down a wall is what may be inside it. This wall could be home to electrical wiring, pipelines, HVAC vents or various cables. If this is the case, you might have to look for a plumber or an electrician to come up with a plan to reroute whatever may be inside.

What to do with what’s left?

Once you’ve removed the wall, you have to take care of what’s left in its wake. And what’s left isn’t pretty. The ceiling and the floor will have to be painted and repaired. This is best left to professionals, as you will want to have the area around the wall to be seamless with the rest of the room.

When is the best time to do it?

If you are looking to tear down a wall inside your home, a good time to consider this would be at the same time when you are planning to change your flooring. This will make the whole undertaking a lot easier for both you and the contractor. Bear in mind that this project is really messy. There will be a lot of dust and debris, which is why you will have to find a temporary home for your family. The project can last up to two weeks, not including flooring and other fine touches.

Other factors to consider

Removing a wall in a single-story home is different to a two-story home, and the latter project is significantly more expensive. If you are looking to tear down a wall in a two-story home, you will definitely need an expert structural engineer. This has to be done without error so the second story does not put too much strain on the other load-bearing walls.

Expert Home Remodel San Diego

Opening up a wall can give you a much needed change if done right. This is why it’s important to only hire trustworthy general contractors to plan and handle the project and make sure the wall is torn down safely. If you need a reliable partner, contact Murray Lampert for a free consultation.

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Gregg Cantor, a third generation contractor and owner of Murray Lampert Design, Build, Remodel has successfully remodeled thousands of homes in San Diego County. Gregg's is experienced in all phases of construction and home remodeling including design development, project management, best building practices, code requirements, and contract law. He also writes articles for examiner.com and is co-host of The Home Pro Show Saturday's at 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. on A.M.600 KOGO San Diego. Follow Gregg's posts.

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