Do you want to make your boxy bungalow feel more spacious and bright? If so, you’ll need to hire a general contractor to remove a portion of a load-bearing wall – a wall that’s an active structural element of your home.
In most cases, your general contractor can remove as much of a load-bearing wall as you’d like. However, the general contractor must have a way of redistributing the weight of what it was originally supporting. If you simply remove part of a load-bearing wall without adding support, your roof could buckle or collapse.
Below we discuss the ins and outs of load-bearing walls and why you should consult an expert.
Homeowners should always hire a general contractor to tackle a remodel, especially if that remodel involves removing walls. Your general contractor can confirm if a wall is load-bearing by:
Generally, load-bearing walls are thicker than non-load-bearing walls. If your wall is less than 15 centimeters (about six inches) thick, it’s likely a partition wall.
Load-bearing walls typically cross floor joists and beams perpendicularly, forming a 90-degree angle. If a wall runs parallel to a joist, it should be non-load-bearing.
If the wall you’re knocking down is decorated with a column, it’s probably load-bearing. Though decorative columns are common, most play an important role in the structure of a home.
Do you want more elbow room in your master en suite? Or maybe an open kitchen concept that’s ideal for entertaining? No matter your vision, removing part or all of a load-bearing wall is very technical work.
Since a simple mistake could compromise the structural integrity of your home, you should always hire a general contractor. They can determine if a wall is load-bearing and safely redistribute the weight once the wall is removed.
Generally, when a contractor removes a load-bearing wall, they’ll replace it with either a:
Changing the layout of a home can make it brighter and more inviting without breaking the bank. To remove a load-bearing wall in a single-story home, expect to pay between $1,000 and $3,000. For a house with multiple levels, expect to pay $10,000.
As with any home renovation project, you’ll also need to prepare for additional costs. For example, you might have to pay for:
When your contractor opens up your walls, he or she may find unforeseen problems like mold or termites. To avoid further damage to your home, these issues must be addressed.
Some home improvement projects are easy to DIY. However, removing part or all of a load-bearing wall is a more complicated task that, if done incorrectly, can lead to huge costs to fix.
Before wading into this major remodel alone, consider the benefits of hiring a contractor to remove your load-bearing wall:
If you have a cramped ranch-style or boxy bungalow, removing a load-bearing wall (or two) could open up your living space. However, if executed poorly, this home renovation project could compromise the structural integrity of your house.
When a load-bearing wall needs to go, your best bet is to hire a professional. At Portico, our vetted and reputable general contractors can easily and safely modify the floor plan of your home. What’s even better? We offer free project estimates.
Contact us online or give our Charlotte general contractors a call at 704-742-2720 today for more information.