Removing interior walls
How to remove interior walls:
Is there a wall in your house that you want to remove? Maybe its something you have been planning on doing for a long time but were afraid it would be too difficult to do by yourself or too expensive to get someone in to do. It may be more achievable than you think! Now, obviously, you have to be very careful when knocking down a wall in your house, unless of course, you are keen on the idea of an indoor courtyard from your roof collapsing in on you!
You will need to consult your house plans to determine if your wall is a load bearing wall, you could also go into your basement (or crawlspace) and look at the alignment of the floor joists, if the wall you want to remove is at a right angle to the floor joists, unfortunately, you will not be able to remove this wall without doing major damage to your house. If this is impossible you may need to hire a professional for this step. A professional plasterer may be able to help in this scenario as they will have the knowledge of wall removal. There are several other factors you need to consider with the wall, you need to find out if there is any plumbing, electrical, gas or ventilation running through the wall. When you are planning all this also consider if removing the wall is the only option, for instance, would a smaller pass through or a new doorway solve the issue for you? It is much easier to build a pass-through or a doorway than tearing down a wall.
Execution (the fun part)
- Any plumbing wiring etc that is running up into your wall will need relocation, this is doable of course but will add to the cost of your project. If you have a wall that has very little that needs to be moved this will obviously be beneficial. These services will have to be relocated completely before you can carry on, while you are waiting you are free to remove the drywall to expose the studs and utilities in the wall. Once they are relocated you can proceed.
- Demolishing a wall will be very messy, make sure to clear the area / adjacent rooms and areas of any possessions you do not want to get damaged or dirty. Cover any vents you have to prevent dust from getting blown into them also put down drop sheets to protect your floor. Once you are set up and you are relatively sure that the wall is void of any obstructions get a small hammer and smash a small hole in the wall at about shoulder height.
- Start to break the wall away from the small hole you have just made, wear gloves! Once you have a decent amount exposed do one final check of the area with a flashlight, making sure there are no other obstructions that are going to hinder you in any way. Now is the fun part when you are sure nothing else is going to get in your way, get your sledgehammer and start knocking out the rest of the drywall.
- Once the drywall has been removed you are free to start removing the wall studs, take a saw and saw into the 2 X 4 upright studs, grab the ends and pull as much as you can out. Make sure the saw is fitted with blades that can cut through nails, run the saw along the floor and wall plates where the upright studs are attached to cut through the nails.
- Once you have all the studs removed, you can remove the floor plate. You can do this using a crowbar, get someone to hold the floor plate and you can lever it out. Make sure to remove any nails or obstructions that are left in the way.
- Now that the wall has been removed you will obviously have a gap in your ceiling, you will need to patch that up. You can hire a plasterer to do this!
Ok, I understand this is just a very basic guide to doing this, I hope it was at least a little bit of help. We had to remove a wall at my house just recently and it went pretty well considering we were all novices! We hired a Perth plasterer to do the finishing touches for us!