How Much Does it Cost to Remove a Load Bearing Wall?
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A load-bearing wall is a wall that rests upon the foundation structure. These walls may also house different systems of the house such as electrical wires and plumbing pipes. While some walls are not necessary to uphold the structure of a house, a load bearing is. In order to open up a living or kitchen area, many homeowners may find that they will have to remove a wall. It is no secret that removing a wall can make your home look much bigger and more open. The outer walls of the house are also load bearing, and one of these may need to be removed or renovated if you want to put in something like a porch. While some walls can easily be removed without any obstacles, homeowners have to proceed with caution when removing a load bearing wall. If this wall is removed the wrong way, it can potentially cause damage to the home, allowing the outer wall to become unstable and even lead to it collapsing. The cost of removing a load-bearing wall will come down to the size of the wall, the contractor being used and the complexity of the job.
How much is it?
- For a professional contractor, plan on spending anywhere from $2,500 to $14,000 for a wall that is about 10 to 15 feet wide. While this may sound like a higher price, you have to keep in mind that a lot of work has to go into tearing down a load-bearing wall such as reworking the plumbing, electric, ducts and if beams have to be reworked, factor in even more in terms of costs.
- On a forum thread on the website GardenWeb.com, users claimed that they paid anywhere from $2,500 to as much as $10,000 or more to remove a load-bearing wall. The lower costs, however, were for walls that were not considered load-bearing.
- ReliableRemodeler.com claims that it is really hard to pinpoint an exact price point. He claims that you should budget anywhere from $3,000 to as much as $6,000 to have a basic load-bearing wall removed.
What is going to be included?
- With a load-bearing wall, the contractor will want to size up the situation and determine what needs to be supported. Once the situation is figured out, the drywall will be stripped and a temporary support wall will be put in place. You will be able to make some decision regarding this support beam, such as style and material, but the placement of the beam may not be negotiable.
- After the support wall has been installed, the main bearing wall will be torn down completely. If any wiring, plumbing or ductwork is within the wall, this will have to be routed to another wall nearby.
- When the wall has been completely removed, a new permanent beam may be set to replace the old beam.
- When the job is finished, the company will clean up the excess.
What are the extra costs?
- Depending on the city and state, some may require a permit when tearing down a load-bearing wall. If this is the case, permit fees may be required. Check with your local ordinance. The city’s webpage may have information regarding these fees.
- If electric wires, plumbing or ducts have to be moved around, the costs can go up due to the complexity of the job.
- Adding a door frame or new door can add to the costs.
- Once the company has removed the wall for you, you will need to finish things off. This may include things like repairing drywall, painting, and decorating. Depending on the look of your home, you may want to get a more decorative beam or cover the existing one with something more pleasing to the eye.
Tips to know:
- Because of the complexity of this job and the fact that it can cause damage to the house if it’s done incorrectly, it is one that is best left to the professionals. You would not want to harm the house in any way.
How can I save money?
- It is hard to give an exact quote or even an estimate over the internet. With that being said, it is best to get at least three quotes in your area. If you do not know where to turn, free services such as HomeAdvisor.com can help you get multiple quotes for free.
- While this type of job can be done on your own, make sure that you do it only if you know what you’re doing! By doing it on your own, you can potentially save thousands. FamilyHandyman.com recommends that it will cost up to $500 to remove a load-bearing beam.
- DON’T go for the lowest price possible. Instead, find a contractor that is legitimate and reputable in your area. What you’re going to find is that every contractor is going to have their own way of doing things.