TEMZA DESIGN AND BUILD GUIDE-HOW TO REMOVE INTERIOR WALLS
Step by step interior design guide to taking down interior walls
With the trend of open plan living on a continuous rise, it’s no surprise, that Temza Design and Build gets asked to knock down internal walls down on a regular basis. And if you do work with us, we will talk you through the process and take care of everything for you, but for those not lucky enough to be under Temza’s wing for their home renovation project, we created an insanely useful ‘dummies checklist’ on how to remove interior walls. We do hope that you will find it helpful!
- Before anything else, you will need to get an engineer on board to access the situation.
- They should let you know whether the wall is loadbearing or not. Without knowing this, there’s no point planning any further.
- Sometimes stud walls can be loadbearing, and sometimes solid brick walls aren’t, so common sense only won’t suffice in this situation, you do need an engineer.
- If you do think the wall is loadbearing, some companies who sell structural beams also employ engineers who can provide you with their service free of charge, see if that’s something you can get!
- It’s the job of the engineer to calculate how much steel you need for the building to be stable. But it’s down to you, your designer or your architect to make it look lovely.
- The longer the wall span you want to knock down, the more steel you will need. To save costs, you might consider only opening up the spaces partially.
- You can leave small ‘nibs’ of the existing wall on each side for the steam beam to rest upon. This is one option that lowers the amount of works, thus the cost.
- The steel beams will be boxed up in fire rated plaster board. However, it’s up to you if you want these boxings to be ‘open’ of if you rather dropped the whole ceiling to create a smooth look. You can incorporate the beams into a more complex ceiling design and make it part of ceiling coffers if that’s the look you are aiming for.
- You want to be able to draw up a rudimentary budget for yourself, but to do this you need to take a look at a number of thigs first to be able to put allowances against these items.
- The first thing to take into account is the floor level and the ceiling level between the areas. Differences in the ceiling are easier to handle you can have a drop detail or create a suspended ceiling to level any differences out. Levelling the floor might be more difficult. If the difference is large enough for a step detail, hopefully you can incorporate that into the design. I the difference is small however; you will need levelling works.
- Consider if you need any new skirting and coving with your new layout. Would you be able to fill the missing section in materials you could retain from other areas? Or do you need to buy all new?
- Same goes for the flooring – do you have a plan to patch up the missing sections, or will you need new flooring throughout?
- You don’t know what’s under the wall you are taking out. It could be concrete that you need to dig out to be able to level the two rooms completely.
- Lastly, take a look if you need reposition any switches, sockets and radiators.
- Once you have some of this information, you can think about budgeting.
- If you determined in the first step that you do need the steel, get pricing on this item before you go to see any contractor or builders.
- Whatever your final number, leave a minimum of 10% contingency
- This is the perfect time to review your home insurance and see if it still covers you while the works are going on, and if not, you need to get in touch with them to upgrade it.
- Before starting any works, you will need to submit a notice to the planning department at your local council.
- You will also need to have a building control officer to sign off your plans, then sign off each phase of the build on site.
- The building control officer, amongst other things will ensure fire safety and the correct use of fire boards and fire doors where needed.
- Most of the time, you won’t need planning permission. However if the building is listed, or the walls you’d like to take down were providing a fire escape (eg. walls around a staircase) you will need permission.
- You also need to get a Party Wall Surveyor involved, if the new beams will rest on any of the party walls making up the boundary line between you and your neighbor.
- If this sounds somewhat overwhelming to you, our suggestion is going with a contractor who will take on full project management for you. They will hire all the consultants, inform all parties involved and obtain necessary permissions and certificates. You will likely save a lot of time, and avoid any mistakes if you go down this route.
Work in progress:
- This is the part people get concerned about the most, however, you see that most of the work is done before the walls actually come down.
- It takes very roughly 1 week for a section to come down. This includes removal of the wall, inserting the beam, plastering and painting.
- Dust is your main enemy at this point, but you have many tools to fight it if you do need to stay in the property while the works are taking place. Although our recommendation would be to be as far from it as you possibly can.
- Seal all openings to the area where the works are taking place. Also place protecting sheets on the floor above, as the dust can sneak though the floor boards. You can consider hiring a dust extractor unit.
Final words of advice:
- It can be very stressful, but if you communicate clearly and treat people (including your family!) nicely throughout the whole process everyone will work hard for you. Try to be as cooperative as possible when unexpected things come up and get the energy from the visual image of having a nice cup of tea in that dream room you are aiming for. Have a look at our Drakefell Road Project and Uverdale Road project to get you inspired and motivated to take the next step in transforming your dream home.
Want to learn more about the subject, check this engaging article by 2LG studio!