When thinking of a remodel project, often times clients wish for a more open feel in the room they are renovating. Whether it be a new Santa Monica master bathroom, a basement or a great room (open concept kitchen and living area) sometimes removing just one wall can make all the difference for your space.
There are several things to consider before choosing a wall to remove. First of all, you will certainly need the assistance of an experienced Los Angeles contractor. Second, make sure you know if the wall you’ve chosen is a load-bearing wall or not, which is a wall that helps support your home’s weight. Make sure to move all furniture and valuables out of the way, as demolition can be very messy. You may want to use things such as drop cloths, plastic sheeting, and safety goggles.
Next you will need to remove wall molding and trim (GENTLY!) with a pry bar or hammer. If you have any light fixtures on the wall, shut off the power, unscrew the fixtures, disconnect attached wires, and cover the bare ends of the wire with tape. If you are working with drywall, knock a hole in the wall with a hammer, and then pry large sections of the board off the studs with the pry bar. Once you remove the drywall from one side, you can easily loosen it on the opposite side by pushing from the backside. If you live in an older home, remove plaster with a sledgehammer, and pry off the lath. At this point, you will be able to see the electrical boxes which will need to be removed (shut off the power first, then remove conduits to a point that’s not in the wall). Also, you will need to remove any wall insulation.
Next, with the reciprocating saw, cut through the top plate on either side of a vertical support stud. Remove the chunk of the 2-by-4 top plate and use a pry bar to remove the two sections of the top plate. Then, cut along the base of the wall, horizontally, with the reciprocating saw. Once that is done, the wall will need to be lifted and removed. Pry the base plate from the floor using a crowbar. Since this will make a pretty large mess, you will need to use a shop vacuum to clean up. Smooth the edges of the cutout area on your permanent wall. Cut and install a patch using a power drill and drywall screws. Cover the joints of the patch with drywall tape. If you are removing a load-bearing wall, you will also need to install a load-bearing beam above the wall you remove (so you will need to use a temporary support system while you are removing the old wall).
The picture above shows a newly demolished wall that separated the family room and the kitchen. The drywall around the frame is new and there is now a more open concept area in this home in Santa Monica, CA. Check back soon for more information on renovation projects around your home!