Both the kitchen and the living room are crucial to your interiors. Removing a wall that connects them is no less serious a project than building one that separates them. In this comprehensive guide to remove wall between kitchen and living room before and after, we’ll be talking about the cost, tools, and steps involved in the job.
But before you begin learning how to remove a wall in a house, we’ll try to give you the reasons why you can still think of putting your effort into it.
Should You Remove the Wall Between Kitchen and Living Room?
Considering the investment (look at the next section), you cannot go ahead with the project just because one of your neighbors advised. Think about the following benefits and ask yourself if they mean anything.
- You’ll see a larger and open space connecting the living room and kitchen.
- There is access to improved ventilation and ample natural light.
- You’ll get easier access to both spaces and other areas of the house.
- Many potential home buyers value homes that have an open floor design. Thus, you can expect a higher resale value.
What Is the Cost to Remove Wall Between Kitchen and Living Room Before and After?
Does the wall bear any structural load? The answer is crucial since the cost becomes significantly low if the wall doesn’t bear the weight of any part of your building’s structure. Removing any wall within your house may cost as little as $300 and the figure can go up to $10,000, based on the type of the wall and the scope of your project.
A non-load bearing wall can cost anywhere between $300 and $1,000 depending on its size, required repairs (to your ceiling and floor), and the post-removal effort for adjacent walls if any.
Removal of a weight-bearing wall costs at least $2,500, but you may need to spend up to $10,000 or even more, especially if yours is a multi-level home. The figure may be appalling, but it is essential because you must build a structural support post and beam to make up for the load that the wall is currently bearing.
As you’re only planning, not doing the removal, you must know if the wall in question is bearing any weight/ load. You can apply a few techniques to discover the fact.
How to Tell the Wall Between Your Living Room and Kitchen Is a Load-Bearing One?
Your external walls are likely to bear the load, but the interior ones may not be like them. Your identification has to be accurate, and an architect or a structural engineer can be the right person to be allowed to check that. A qualified building contractor can inspect everything surrounding the wall and advise whether you should remove that wall in the first place.
With proper knowledge and confidence, you can carry out the inspection yourself. Here are some ways to identify a load-bearing wall.
Checking the Home’s Blueprints
Finding the instructions on how a house has been built shouldn’t be difficult. Pay a visit to the county or city clerk and gather a copy of your home’s blueprints paying a small fee. Blueprints show the structure as well as any potential changes.
Look at the plans for the basement floor and framing because these are the spots that allow you to know about the direction of the joists. If you are lucky, you may even see the load-bearing walls labeled clearly.
You should also look for any construction permits that can be mentioned on file which might cause a red flag if violated. Make sure the alterations you are planning are compliant with the instructions or code.
Finding Additional Wall Support
There are several reinforcement columns and posts and columns which may not be visible on some floors like the ones in an attic or basement. Here is your checklist to identify if there are additional wall supports for the area you’re going to tear down.
- Two walls have pillars at their seam.
- There are supportive posts around your window frames and door.
- Half-walls having pillars extend to your ceiling.
Determining if Your Wall Goes Through More Than One Levels
If each floor of your house has walls in the same spot, you can identify those walls as the load-bearing ones. Some of these walls include built-in shelves, door frames, structural elements, and other decorative components.
Check if those walls have been built to run through your floors being on top of each other. If that is the case, you’ve got a few weight-bearing walls.
5 Steps to Remove Wall Between Kitchen and Living Room Before and After
After you are done with planning and budgeting, you can proceed to the actual work. Make sure you’ve discussed the scope and potential with a certified building contractor beforehand.
Gather the Required Tools, Materials, and Safety Gear
Removing a wall involves a lot of work from planning to giving a final finish to the space that connects your kitchen and living room. So, you want to gather all that is essential.
List of Tools
Many homeowners have all these tools in their houses. But if you don’t have some or any of them, you may want to shop around, in which case you’re looking at a considerable investment. However, borrowing them from a neighbor or renting some of them from a local shop makes sense if you don’t need these items frequently.
- Electric Drill
- Pry Bar
- Reciprocating Saw
- Stud Finder
- Utility Knife
List of Materials
In addition to the above tools, you need certain materials to patch the ceiling and the floor after removing the wall between your living room and kitchen.
- Drywall (Moisture and Mold-Resistant)
- Ground Limestone (Drywall Compound)
- Non-Elastic Drywall Tape
- Drywall Screws
- Wood Strips (2×2 Inch)
Since you’ll be doing all the demolition, construction, and finishing, you need to be careful about your exposure to dust, sand, and other hazards. So, it is imperative to ensure the safety of your entire body.
- Drop Clothes
- Respirator Mask
- Safety Goggles
- Work Gloves
Make Preparations to Remove the Wall
Everything you’ll do from now will have some sort of impact on the outcome of your project – removal of the wall between living space and kitchen.
- Before any brute action begins, you should cover all the fixtures, vents, and windows that are close to that wall. You don’t want them to catch debris, do you?
- Use plastic or clothes to create a partition between the kitchen/ living room and other rooms. Dust may travel and find its way into other surrounding rooms.
- Ask some of your neighbors, friends, or anybody you can work with to assist as you start demolishing the wall.
- Use the hammer and pry bar if you need to remove any baseboard, door, or trim.
- Make sure you have a dumpster or similar container where the construction debris can be dumped. Don’t rely on curbside/ kerbside collection services because they may not want to handle this kind of cleanup.
Chances are your wall hosts quite a few things that you don’t want to damage. We’re not talking about any hidden treasure but some essential setups.
Look for Electrical, Plumbing, and HVAC Fixtures
Inside the wall might be HVAC vents, electrical outlet/ wires, plumbing pipes, and so many things which you may not remember without giving some time to figure out. You need to prepare to knock them down safely.
Call an electrician or plumbing professional who can handle the uninstallation or removal of pipes, fixtures, and ventilations with caution. Do your research to find a contractor whose job is to move, eliminate, or cap off those utilities.
Some DIY enthusiasts can handle the whole thing on their own. But you must be careful to not violate any code specific to electrical or plumbing work. Houses constructed before 1978 typically have lead paint and asbestos. Follow proper precautions if yours is one of them.
How to Remove a Wall Between Kitchen and Living Room?
This is perhaps the set of actions you’ve been waiting to know about. Proper understanding of the steps and thorough completion of them can bring you fun.
- If your plan only includes the removal of a section of the wall, you should use a pencil to outline the specific area that is going to be torn down.
- A junction needs to be cut between your wall, ceiling, and all other walls that are adjacent. Use the utility knife for this.
- Use the sledgehammer to create a small but proper hole in your drywall. The hole is just a starter.
- Locate the panels of the drywall between the studs and put the reciprocating saw into action by removing those panels.
- Interior walls don’t usually have insulation. But if yours comes with such, you have to remove it.
- After removing the drywall successfully from the side you’ve started with, it is time you started doing the same to the other side. Be a little bit more careful than before to identify the studs.
Maybe, it could be fun to cut sections in small and many pieces, but for this job, you need to do otherwise. You should only cut those sections that can be removed in single and large pieces.
By the time you’ll have completed the whole process, you’ll feel too tired to take the debris out to your dumpster. Also, you want to avoid any tripping hazards. So, you can consider dumping the debris as you tear down.
Start Cutting and Getting Rid of Plates and Studs
There are several beams to support your home’s entire frame, which are called studs. To proceed further, those beams have to be removed.
- Look at the wall’s bottom and try to locate the position of the studs. Use the reciprocating saw to cut through them.
- Ask your buddy or volunteer to hold each stud tight and in place throughout the time you’ll do the cutting.
- After finishing the task (cutting through all nails and studs), you should pull them out.
- With the studs removed, you should look at the base and top plates. Start with the top plate and use your pry bar. Your helper should hold the plate firmly to prevent it from falling, and you’ll do the removal.
- Work together with your volunteer and follow the same steps to remove the base plate.
Repair Your Ceiling and Floor
Once all plates and studs are gone; you can consider that your way forward is clear. This is where you start seeing both spaces (kitchen and living room) together.
For this, you have to patch your ceiling first and then repair the floor that has been torn down. Don’t try to make haste. Take your time and handle each step carefully.
Patching the Ceiling
Now you’ve already removed the wall, you can easily find out where exactly the wall was before being demolished. Mark that particular area.
- Use the wood strips by inserting them across the hole in a way that they lay properly in your ceiling. The goal is to bridge/ cover the gap.
- Use your drill machine to screw each end of the wood strips securely to the ceiling. Double check each strip and their ends.
- Measure the hole and use the numbers to cut drywall which should be 1/4 inch smaller than that hole.
- Secure the drywall to the wood strips with as many screws as you see fit.
- You can see a patched hole, can’t you? Spread the topping or drywall compound carefully around each edge of that hole.
- Push the drywall tape quickly into the mold-resistant, wet drywall compound.
- Add an extra layer of the topping compound. Smooth it out to remove any trace.
- You should patch your wall by repeating the process. But consider where the wall that you already removed is/ was.
- To add a finishing touch to the wall, you can use primer and drywall sealer.
- Since a cohesive appearance is a must for the ceiling, you can repaint the ceiling with a color of your choice or the one that matches your interior.
Repairing the Floor
After the ceiling comes the floor. What you need to do to repair the floor largely depends on the type of flooring you are using. The nature of the repair work required for a floor with linoleum, carpet, or a similar covering is slightly different from what is required for a hardwood floor.
With carpet, linoleum, or similar coverings, you can use the available scraps (what is left after the removal) to match the floor covering, linoleum or carpet. Professional help may be required for a perfect finish to exposed patches and holes.
If your floor uses hardwood, especially older hardwood, you may find it difficult to create a perfect patch between the rooms. Wood is definitely harder than carpet when you want to match. So, call a floor expert who can help with bringing a consistent look between your rooms.
We hope you’ve figured out how to open up a wall between kitchen and living room at this stage. Got more questions or suggestions? Feel free to send a message. Happy living!