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6 things to consider before removing an interior wall

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by Alex Gasca, architects. Mediterranean
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If you've ever wondered how to pull down a wall in your home, then we think you've probably already made some tentative enquiries with architects and builders, but just in case you haven't gotten that far yet, we've got a few considerations to tell you about first! 

There's no doubting the fact that demolishing a wall will give you access to that fabulous open-plan living aesthetic that is SO popular right now, but before you commit to anything in the name of architectural fashion, you really need to know how to pull down a partition safely. Come with us now, as we tell you al about those critical considerations and then see if a larger living room is still at the top of your wish list!

1. Is it load-bearing or just a partition wall?

Demolishing interior walls demands that you know what type of walls they actually are, before you get started! Partitions are fairly simple and straightforward to get rid of, but load-bearing versions will cause you A LOT of trouble, if you don't identify them correctly.

Looking at the thickness of your walls will give you a good idea of what type you are dealing with, but don't risk it. Look at your home drawings, if you have them and ask a professional to confirm for you. Trust us; this is not something you want to get wrong, as your roof could collapse!

2. What material is it made of?

When you've identified what type of structure you are looking at, you also need to then ascertain what material has been used, before you start pulling down a wall. This is so that you can wear the right protective clothing and account for the expected mess. Plasterboard, bricks and in older houses, even asbestos could all be materials that you come face-to-face with, so plan ahead!

3. Are there any pipes to be wary of?

Let's always be aware of electrical cabling and water pipes, as they are frequently hidden in your walls and will cause big problems, if sheared or pierced! Naturally, if there are radiators attached to the wall you are removing, will will want to get rid of them, and their connective pipes, first, but always make sure there aren't more that you can't see. This is also a job that is better tackled by professionals!

4. Remove it with care, to prevent wider damage.

You know that your wall is suitable for removal and you're aware of what its made of, so surely, now's the time to go buck-wild with a sledgehammer, right? Well actually, as much fun as that sounds, you need to try and be a little cautious, so as to minimize the risk of causing damage to surfaces that will be left. The last thing you want is to have to re-plaster other walls!

5. Don't forget to install a lintel.

Even if you are simply removing a light partition wall, you need to add a lintel, just to give the newly created gap a little support. If you don't, you could be at risk of a sagging ceiling, which also means a damaged floor in your upper rooms. Lintels are very inexpensive and come in either steel or concrete and fitting them is a task easy enough for an amateur DIY fan.

6. There will be a lot of clean up.

Finally, lest we forget that there will be a huge amount of clean up necessary, once you remove an interior wall. The sheer amount of dust and debris, which will spread out throughout the entire floor, WILL be surprising, so don't underestimate how impactful this process is! A fun project that can add serious value to your home, removing an interior wall will also really affect your day-to-day life, for at least a couple of weeks, so plan ahead!

Fore more DIY advice, take a look at this article: DIY garden ideas you could easily recreate.

Are you thinking about going ahead with a wall removal project?
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