If you’re considering downsizing or right-sizing because you need more family-gathering space, removing a wall may be a less-expensive and less-stressful option than moving. Here’s a brief article on where to start, written by Debbie Webb.
“The walls are coming down! Rooms for family separation seem to be in the past. Today’s home buyers are looking for wide open spaces. If they do end up purchasing a home that has a family room, for instance, a future plan will probably be to open things up.
New Family Trend
Families spend more time together than their predecessors who wanted a place separate from the children. The trend of today is to include the children in choices the family makes when deciding on home entertainment. If a television program is not rated “PG,” it probably will not be shown on the television that is most likely visible from every vantage point from the kitchen, dining, and living areas. Gone are the days of children being seen and not heard.
Tear Down Those Walls
Taking down walls is not hard to do but you need to consult with someone who can tell you if they are load bearing or not. Older homes were often built with beams that held the weight, but, if not, an engineer might need to install some in order to remove the walls.
You need to recognize that once the walls are down, you will most likely need to replace floor coverings and at least patch ceilings. If the ceilings are different heights in each room, it will take extra work to make them even.
Before beginning a project to open your floor plan, call a contractor who can answer your questions and help you realize your vision. After you have determined what is to be done, the contractor will draw a plan of your new open space. They will take the plan to your city or county or city center to secure a permit for the work to begin. At this point, you should draw up an agreement with the contractor to clarify what you expect the finished product to end up looking like and what the costs will be. Some contractors will give a bid for just the labor without supplies. If the contractor will let you shop with their discount, this may be the way to go. It enables you to choose your own flooring and paint, or if the remodel is more extensive, maybe appliances or lighting. If you plan to finance the improvements, you will need a complete cost break-down for the lender.
Regardless of how it’s done, it is obvious that those walls are tumbling down.”