The so-called “open floor plan” is all the rage in architectural and realty circles, and it would seem that all it takes to achieve a more spacious living space is a sledgehammer and a dream.
But before your impromptu audition for an HGTV home improvement show, there are some things you should consider.
Most importantly, is the divider in question a bearing wall? In other words, will removing it so that you can watch television from the kitchen compromise the structural integrity of your house?
Especially in two-story homes, determining whether the wall you want to raze is crucial in making sure the second story is properly supported. It’s best to call in a structural engineer to make this assessment.
As for removing the entire wall, or just particular parts of it, might be best decided by an architect, as opposed to a general contractor. The contractor can make the initial consultation, but the architect will have the best ideas for creating your new space at the least cost. Also remember, there might be important stuff inside the walls, like HVAC, gas lines, or electrical. You need a pro to figure this all out.
Next, it’s important to consider the continuity of the two rooms that have become one. Consider the flooring, ceiling, and even small details like molding. How will you make your new large space come together?
As with any home-improvement project, funding is always a huge issue. Here are some rough guidelines to help you plan:
- To remove a non-load-bearing wall: $2500 to $3500.
- To remove a single-story, load-bearing wall: about $10,000.
- To remove a two-story, load-bearing wall: between $20,000 and $30,000.
In addition, it is suggested that you set aside another 20% for unexpected things that are hiding in the wall.