Fast Company

Is it hard to knock down a wall?

If you are thinking of knocking down a wall to join two spaces or make a room seem more open, good news: it's not hard. The major thing you need to know before taking a rotating saw or huge rubber mallet to it is if it is load-bearing wall or not. A load-bearing wall is one that holds up a significant amount of weight of a structure, sending the force down to the foundation beneath it. This type of wall can not be simply 'punched out' as a non-load-bearing wall can. Something needs to replace it, such as a beam spanning across the new opening you intend to make. By using some simple calculations, a designer can specify the size beam your builder will use. Contact me at info@thinkdwell.com with a brief description of your project for more specific help.

Knocking down walls can be beneficial in older homes, especially those built in the 1950s through 1970s. Most homes built during this time had rooms with dimensions we find too restrictive for the way we live today. More often than not, these homes also have some very unhealthy layers of materials underneath all those layers of Benjamin Moore paint jobs you've done. The majority of wall materials carry disturbing amounts of asbestos and formaldehyde, well known carcinogens. Once demolition starts, these chemicals fly through the air in dust particles, and are very harmful to inhale. Make sure your family is not affected by staying out of the house when the banging starts and that the builder cleans up well, and you clean up extra well. Proper ventilation is necessary and those white face masks that filter some particulates are a must.

STAY GREEN OR GO GREEN!

~SUZY

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