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There are many reasons you could want to remove a wall in your property. Some of the most common include:
- Moving a wall, to slightly change the layout, making a room bigger or smaller.
- Removing a wall entirely, to create an open plan area.
- Creating an opening such as a doorway.
However, when removing a wall there are a couple of considerations. Firstly, is it a solid wall or a stud wall. If the wall is solid you will then need to determine if it is load bearing.
If you are removing a stud wall, then a carpenter would usually be the best option. In general, this is a relatively simple job, they will remove the plasterboard, or lath and plaster and then dismantle the wall.
If you are moving the wall, the carpenter would dismantle the original wall, then build another in the new desired location.
Removing a stud wall is not very complicated, so in many cases, a decent building contractor could also do this work. However, a carpenter would definitely be slightly better, especially if another stud wall needs building.
For solid walls, this is not considered a carpentry job and a builder would be a far better option. The main consideration with a solid wall, is whether it is load bearing.
If the wall is not load bearing, then removing it is pretty simple. This work would not be that complicated for anyone with a reasonable amount of knowledge. With that said, there are other considerations, such as any electric or plumbing that may be affected during removal.
For this reason a competent building contractor would still be the best bet.
What if the wall is load bearing
In general, a carpenter would not be the ideal trade to remove a load bearing wall. Many will have the required knowledge to do this job. However, it is certainly not considered a carpentry job.
The more appropriate trade to identify and remove a load bearing wall, would be a builder.
You may be able to get a rough idea yourself if a wall is load bearing. In general, a load bearing wall will pass through every floor of the property. This means, you should be able to see the wall starting from the lowest point in your home.
For example, the wall may be present in your cellar, then directly above it on the ground floor, then directly above again on the first floor, all the way up into the roof. This wall is clearly structural and is providing important support to the building. If removed incorrectly, this could cause serious structural issues.
To remove a structural wall, you will usually need to seek advice from a structural engineer. When the wall is removed, a steel beam will need adding to take the load the wall once carried. The structural engineer will be able to advise the size of steel beam required.
Following this, the builder will remove the wall. This will be done by adding props and supports to stop any movement. As the wall is removed, the steel beam can be placed on padstones either side, to provide a solid structural beam.
Following this, you will need building control to come and sign the work off. Providing they are happy; you can then proceed to finish the job and redecorate.
Removing a simple stud wall is very different to removing a main load bearing wall. The latter can have serious implications if it is done incorrectly.
This could include movement in the property, which can result in serious structural damage throughout the building. For this reason, talking with an experienced builder and structural engineer is highly advised. A carpenter would not be the correct trade to hire in this scenario.
With that said, if you are just moving stud walls and removing non load bearing walls, a carpenter may be a good option. They will certainly be the best choice for building new stud walls. This is a common carpentry job that they will have lots of experience in.
Also, if any new walls need linings, doors, architrave, skirting. These are all carpentry jobs.
If you are in any doubt, the best thing to do is talk with a local building contractor. Most will come out and give you a free quote, and they can tell you if the wall is solid or studwork. As well as whether it is load bearing or not.
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