Things to Know Before Removing a Wall

Open concept living is all the rage in home renovating right now. Tearing down a wall seems like an easy task. All it is is swinging a hammer, right? Many renovators feel this is a good opportunity to save money and tackle the demo themselves. We love an open concept layout just as much as you do, but did you know there is a lot to consider before you pick up the sledge hammer and tear down a wall? 

  • Is it load-bearing? 

Thanks to renovation television and the internet, most have heard of “load bearing walls” at this point and know to have this evaluated before removing a wall. If you remove a load-bearing wall without the proper support you can cause major structural damage to your home including the roof caving in. This is one of the most important considerations when it comes to demoing a wall. 

  • Where is the electric at?

Any wall you may remove will (almost always) have electricity somewhere that needs to be removed or rerouted. It is extremely important to know where any wires or outlets may be hiding and to get them properly taken care of by a professional. Hitting electricity can cause major damage to your home and also can be extremely unsafe for anyone involved. 

  • Where is plumbing located?

Just like electricity, it is extremely likely there will be plumbing somewhere in your wall. Hitting a pipe while demoing can cause your home to leak or even flood. Hire a plumber before you begin any demo to tell you where any water lines or pipes may be and how to avoid damage. 

  • Check local permit laws. 

Depending on your local laws, you very well may need a permit before doing any renovations to the layout of your home. This is to protect the current and future homeowners to ensure these renovations are done safely. 

  • What is your plan after the wall is down?

As we’ve already said, taking down the wall is the fun and “easy” part, now you have to remove the debris and come up with a plan for the space. The ceiling and floor will have to be patched, as well as connecting walls. What about furniture? What is going where? Are you losing a bunch of storage space? What is the new flow of the space? These are all design elements to think of before removing a wall. 

  • Resale value. 

Tearing down a wall may seem like an amazing idea now, but what about in the future? Are you removing a bedroom? Is it a historic or older home? Many people look for original details when on the hunt for an older home and having designated rooms may be a big draw to a home. Think about what happens in the future as well before doing any major renovation to a home. 

So what now? You’ve called an electrician, you’ve called a plumber, and you have a permit. Time to knock out the wall? You could, but we still recommend hiring an independent contractor and professionals for any major renovations. Surprises always come up and accidents happen. Using professionals is always the safer option, and often it ends up saving you money in the long run because things are done correctly the first time around! If you’re ready to knock out a wall or for any other renovation big or small, contact Elite Improvement at 262-716-6663 today for a free consultation!

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