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Give Your Home a More Spacious Feel by Removing a Wall
by Eric Hernandez on Jan 28, 2013
You don’t always need a new house in order to have a more spacious home. You can convert the space you have and retain all the things you love about the house you live in like your neighborhood, landscaping, and happy memories.
Today’s newer home designs often come with more open floor plans. If you like that open airy feeling, you can convert the home you already love by removing a wall or two. After all, a renovation is cheaper than a new mortgage!
Your first step is to go to a few open houses, flip through some home magazines, or click through a few websites like houzz.com or HGTV to get a feel for the floor plan you want. The next step is to talk to an architect. Removing walls can be tricky if they are load-bearing, so an architect will be most familiar with recommendations that are structurally sound and attractive.
Once you and your architect have a plan, invite a few home remodeling contractors to come into your space, discuss your project, and prepare a cost estimate. Once you select the contractor you plan to hire, you can sit down and plan your project out in more detail.
Can You Remove Walls from any Style House?
Virtually any wood frame home can be opened up, but depending on your home’s style and age, an open floor plan may pose a challenge. For instance, wall removal is more difficult when attempted on homes featuring exterior brick walls and unusual angles such as Tudor style dwellings. Split-level homes are regarded as the most difficult style for a wall removal project. This is because the rooms most homeowners want to connect are typically on different levels. Unfortunately, the only walls in a split-level that can be removed without extensive work are those located between the home's kitchen and living room. Ranch homes or colonial style dwellings are usually the easiest homes from which walls can be removed. Victorian homes are also a style of home in which wall removal projects can be completed without complications. Don’t get discouraged though because there are a variety of solutions!
Remember I mentioned the term “load-bearing?” A load-bearing wall is part of the home’s structure, so you cannot simply pop it out to open things up. If you want to remove load-bearing or weight-bearing walls, the new design must include a source of support for the weight that was supported by the old wall. Your architect will calculate that weight and help you decide how to disperse it. The goal is to prevent structural damage to your home. You and your architect will discuss your best options for working around a bearing wall and then your contractor will make it happen!
Whether you want to take out one wall or several, you will love the outcome. An open floor plan gives your home a more spacious and updated feel. It improves flow from one space to another. You get to keep the house you already love! And when the time comes to sell, open floor plans improve your home’s resale value since homebuyers are always on the lookout for homes that have been maintained and kept up to date.
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