Do you want to turn a closed kitchen layout into an open floor plan? This is a very popular kitchen renovation for good reasons. Many older homes were designed to keep the kitchen hidden from public view, but modern homeowners want a more inclusive entertainment experience. In addition, many of these closed kitchens lack the space and storage today's owners want.
However, opening up your kitchen by removing walls can be problematic when it includes load-bearing walls. What do you need to know about this important category of walls? And what options might you have to remove them? Here are some answers.
What Is a Load Bearing Wall?
Walls come in two main varieties: load-bearing and non-load bearing (or partition). Load-bearing walls provide the needed support to keep the house upright and carry the weight of the roof. The most obvious load-bearing walls are the outside walls, but interior walls also help take up the burden. These walls redirect the weight along load paths to the footings of the house. Removing them changes the building's structure.
Can You Remove a Load Bearing Wall?
Your kitchen may or may not include a load-bearing wall, depending on its design. If it does, you face additional challenges — but these can be overcome. To safely remove a load-bearing wall, you must replace it with some other structural support to do the work instead. The most common solution is to add a beam above or below the ceiling to transfer the load to surrounding load-bearing walls.
What Are the Downsides of Removing Load Bearing Walls?
While taking away this wall is possible, it also comes with caveats. The biggest is the price tag. You will pay thousands of dollars more for both the structural plans needed to safely accomplish this and the actual work of making this large-scale change. You may also need to alter your plans for the space to accommodate the need for other types of support, such as a beam over a new entrance to the kitchen.
Incorrect removal of a load-bearing wall is an even bigger danger. If the process is not planned and executed in ways that will continue to provide the support necessary, you may experience sagging ceilings or floors, sticking windows and doors, and cracks in surrounding walls.
Where Should You Start?
Because a load-bearing wall can be such a big part of any renovation that removes walls around the kitchen, start by consulting with an experienced kitchen remodeling service in your area. They can help you assess the load and non-load bearing walls around your kitchen to find the best solutions whatever your budget. Make an appointment today to get kitchen remodeling services.