How to demolish interior walls in six easy steps

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How to demolish interior walls in six easy steps

Lindsay Whitney Lindsay Whitney
Ristrutturazione di baita in montagna: Case in stile  di Parchettificio Garbelotto Srl -  Master Floor Srl, Rustico
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Have you been feeling a bit cramped in a particular room in your house that you think should be a bit larger, a bit more open? Well the most sure-fire way expand a room's atmosphere is to literally expand the room by taking out a wall. 

Since open floor plans are back in trend now in the architecture world, the rates of interior wall demolition have soared. That's why we're presenting a how-to guide to demolishing inside, non-load-bearing walls – that is, the easiest and most straightforward walls that can be removed DIY-style in a house. Let's go!

1. Load-bearing, structural or non-load-bearing?

Check your blueprint or floor plan to see if the wall you want to demolish is a load-bearing wall or a non-load-bearing wall. In other words, is it essential for your house to stay held together? A load-bearing wall is tied to roof support or has ceiling joints resting on it, and a structural wall literally makes up the core structure of your house. If you discover it is load-bearing or structural, then your demolition process is a bit more complex, requiring lots of bracing and precise removal. It will definitely require the help of a professional. This article, therefore, will only deal with demolish non-load-bearing walls.

Because demolishing a load-bearing or structural wall can cause your floor to sag or even demolish your house, we at homify urge you to consult a professional to determine whether the wall you want to demolish is, in fact, load-bearing or structural. Determining whether a wall is load-bearing is not so straightforward, so do not rush into anything without an expert!

2. Removing things

Before starting, you must remove all doors, door frames and wall hangings including fixers for sliding doors or windows. To remove things, you will need an electric screwdriver, hammer, face mask, steel-toed boots and good, thick gloves. 

A thing to note is whether or not any pipes run in the wall, in which case you should call a plumber. If any electrical wiring is in the wall, we recommend calling an electrician.

3. Remov skirtings

 in stile  di Mille Couleurs London, Moderno
Mille Couleurs London

Skirting boards covered in leather

Mille Couleurs London

Cover all the floors with a tarp or plastic sheet, taping it securely to the floor. Then, remove all floor skirtings at the base of the wall between the wall and floor by carefully using a flat pick or a hammer and your hands to gently peel them off, so as not to damage the floors.

4. Remove plaster or wood and insulation

The method you choose to removed the outside coating of your wall will depend on the material: if it is made of wood, like in this photo, you will need to saw in sections, removing them in a downward motion. If it is plaster, you may cut out easy-to-carry-away sheets, peeling them off relatively easily. Unfortunately, this article will not cover how to remove brick walls, so for that, we recommend going to a professional. 

Once you have removed all the plaster or wood, remove the inside insulation - wearing gloves! Touching insulation to your bare skin will cause irritation and leave you itchy for some time.

5. Clean the workspace

 in stile  di brush64 , Rurale
brush64

handmade Goat & horsehair brooms and brushes

brush64

A clean workspace is a safe workspace. So, after you have finished removing the plaster and insulation bit of the wall, take some moments to clear the rubbish out of the room, so that it is clean and ready for the final demolition, and so there is nothing in the way that you might trip or fall on.

6. Demolish the beams

By now, you will be able to see how nice your new big room is going to look. All that is left to do is take down the remaining beams which were the structure of your non-load-bearing wall. To do this, simply use your electric screwdriver to unscrew all the screws, then remove them as you remove pieces of the beams. Be sure not to leave any screws lying around!

After you have finished taking all the beams down, all that is left to do is wipe everything clean, pick up your tools, throw the remaining debris in a big rubbish bin and enjoy a job well done!

Did you like this article? If so, you'll love the dramatic rebirth of this Japanese home!

House 1: Camera da letto in stile  di Opera s.r.l., Rurale

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