Are you considering removing a wall in the kitchen to give your home a more open, welcoming feeling? In the older neighborhoods of Colorado Springs, many homes were built it seems to maximize the number of rooms, resulting in small and dark kitchens and dining areas. But in the last few decades, many Front Range homeowners want a kitchen design that incorporates into a “great room” open feeling for the dining and living areas.
Many homeowners looking for kitchen design ideas in Colorado Springs come to us wondering if they get a great room feel by removing a wall that separates the kitchen from the dining room or living room, or both. The answer is usually yes because just about any wall can be removed. But the question becomes how much will it cost to remove the wall.
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Before Removing a Wall in the Kitchen You Need to Determine if is a Bearing Wall
The key factor that will drive the cost of removing a wall in the kitchen is whether the wall is bearing wall or not.
Bearing Wall vs Non-Load Bearing Wall
A bearing wall - also called a load-bearing wall or structural wall - is an interior wall of your home that is used to hold up something above the wall. All exterior walls are bearing walls since they are usually instrumental in holding up the structure of the home.
However, interior walls are often non-bearing or non-load bearing walls added to divide up rooms. A non-bearing wall is not active in holding up anything above the wall.
Removing a Bearing Wall in the Kitchen?
Removing a kitchen wall that is load-bearing is much more complex and expensive than removing a non-bearing wall. This is because removing a bearing wall requires you to install a strong, heavy support beam in the span where you want to remove the wall.
Cost Factors of Removing a Bearing Wall
The reason removing a bearing wall is so expensive is because you or your remodeler will typically need to work with a licensed structural engineer familiar with the Colorado Springs building codes. The structural engineer is needed to “engineer” a solution to hold up the load along the newly removed wall.
Then, in addition to the cost of the structural engineer, you need to buy the new beam and other building materials such as joist hangers, studs to support the beam, cost to pull a permit, materials to use as temporary support while the beam is installed, and extra drywall and paint to cover or wrap the beam.
You may also need to add new supports below the posts you add that support the new beam. You may need new posts in your basement plus you may need foundation work to carry that load.
All of the above cost factors also come with a time cost. Removing a load-bearing wall may require up to a week or more in your kitchen remodeling schedule.
How to Tell if a Wall is Load Bearing
Before we give you some tips on how to tell if a wall is a bearing wall please note you need professional help to determine if a wall is a load-bearing. Do not make the decision yourself that a wall is non-bearing based on these few tips.
Check the Basement
Check below the wall in the basement or crawl space and look for structural supports immediately below the wall you want to remove from the kitchen. If there is a beam or wall located directly below the wall in question then you probably have a bearing wall above.
Check the Joists in the Attic
If the attic is above the wall you want to remove then you to take a trip up there to see what direction the joists run. If you are removing a wall in the kitchen that runs parallel to the floor joists above, it is usually not a load-bearing wall. But if the wall runs at a 90-degree angle to the joists, there is a good chance that it is load-bearing.
Check the Home Blueprints
The blueprints for older homes in Colorado Springs are not often available but if you are lucky and have the blueprints you can look to see if the wall in question is marked as “S” which means structural. If you see the “S” you can add a line to turn it in a dollar sign “$” because that is what you will need to remove it. (just kidding).
Look inside the Wall
If you are starting to feel confident the wall is non-bearing then you can take the first construction major step and remove the drywall and reveal the interior framing. If inside the wall you only find standard 2” x 4” studs and no larger posts or stud clusters in the wall, then there is a good chance its not load-bearing.
Remember, you need professional help to determine if you have a load-bearing wall. Do not make the determination yourself without consulting with a remodeling contractor or licensed structural engineer.
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Inside the Wall
One last factor you must consider when removing a wall for a kitchen is what’s inside the all. Many interior walls contain hidden wiring, water/waste pipes, gas lines and ventilation elements. In most cases, what’s inside the wall are not major cost factors. During a more major kitchen remodel project you will have electricians, plumbers, and HVAC professionals working on your kitchen project and they easily move these elements that are hidden in the wall.
Is Removing a Wall in the Kitchen Worth It?
Removing a wall and giving your home an open-concept can help make your kitchen more inviting and attractive. We know from experience with older Colorado Springs kitchen remodeling projects that creating an open-concept can increase your property value significantly. In many cases, the increased value more than compensates for the expense of removing the wall, even if it is a bearing wall.
Get a Free Kitchen Design 3D Rendering
A great first step to help you decide around removing a wall for a kitchen is to get a 3D rendering of your new kitchen design that shows your home with a new kitchen without the wall. At Designer Kitchens, we offer free kitchen designs that include creating a 3D image so you can see all the rooms and cabinets before deciding on removing the wall for your kitchen remodel.
Please contact us in Colorado Springs at 719-228-9400 to reserve your time for an in-home kitchen consultation today.
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