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Load Bearing vs. Non-Load Bearing Walls

What is the difference between Removing a load bearing wall versus a non-load bearing wall?

Hello, thanks for reading our blog. In this series of blogs, we are going to talk about the difference between removing a load bearing wall versus a non-load bearing wall.

In almost every kitchen remodel, bathroom remodel, or whole house remodel we complete, we are removing a wall of some sort to open the space up.

To start out, removing a non-load bearing wall is much easier than a load bearing wall. Since it is easier, it is usually more cost effective. Below are a few items that you need to be aware of when removing a wall.

  • What electrical is in the wall.
    • Switches and outlets
    • Wire running in the wall leading the upper or lower level that is hidden in the wall
    • Age and type of electrical
      • Knob and Tube
      • Greenfield
      • Romex
    • Plumbing
      • Water lines, and/or vent lines
      • What is running to the upper or lower level that is hidden in the wall
    • Look for any supply or return HVAC runs.
      • What is running to the upper or lower level that is hidden in the wall
    • Flooring will need to be patched
      • Flooring is not usually running under the wall
    • Header! If you are not completing any ceiling repair the wall will most likely need to have a dropped header.
      • Like the header above an interior door

These items do cost money to remove and/or move, so they should be addressed in detail before the work is to begin. Budgets are usually tight and these items if not accounted for can make for a stressful day.

As to removing the wall, it is not about just taking a sludge hammer and tearing the wall down. Start by removing the drywall on both sides of the wall. You want to expose all items in the wall, and confirm that the wall is not load bearing.

After the drywall is removed it is time to remove electrical, plumbing, HVAC runs, etc. Then is time to remove the framing. Sounds simple, and it is, if it is approached in a systematical way.

 

In the next blog we will be breaking down removing a load bearing wall. If you are looking at completing a remodel of any size, give Excel Builders a call at 612.524.5804.

The pictures in this blog are the after and before pictures of a kitchen remodel Excel Builders completed where we removed a load bearing and non-load bearing wall.

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