Have you ever wanted to knock down a wall with a sledgehammer? It would be so physically satisfying, like the feeling you got as a child when you knocked down sandcastles or toy blocks. However, learning how to remove interior walls isn’t as simple as demolishing sandcastles, so it’s important that you thoroughly understand the process before you begin. The idea of tearing down a wall seems simple at its core (can’t I just run at it with a sledgehammer?), but if you make one wrong move, you could destroy your home’s plumbing, electricity, gas, or ventilation. Worst case scenario: the wall is load-bearing and the ceiling, the floor above, and the roof collapse! So before you begin, let’s discuss how to remove interior walls.
How to Remove Interior Walls
1. Learn about the wall. Before you destroy a wall, you need to find out more about it. Is it a load-bearing wall? If it is, you can’t knock it down without adding some other form of support for the floor above (a column, a beam, etc). Does the wall contain electrical outlets or light switches? Is it hiding wiring, plumbing, or ventilation? If so, you’ll need to have them relocated before you can continue learning how to remove interior walls.
2. Prepare the room. If the wall isn’t load-bearing and you don’t believe it contains any obstructions (wires, plumbing, ventilation), you can start prepping the room. If you’ve added a new load-bearing structure and/or relocated any obstructions, you’re also ready to begin. Start by emptying out the room as much as possible and covering any furniture you can’t remove with a plastic tarp or canvas. Then, cover your vents as well (so that they don’t inhale any of the dust and debris). Finally, cover the floor with drop sheets. This is going to be a messy job!
3. Start demolishing. Now that the wall has been evaluated and the room is ready to go, you can start the fun part: smashing. Use a regular hammer at first, creating a hole at shoulder-height. Then (wearing gloves), you can start pulling apart the drywall. When you have a hole about 12″ in diameter, use a flashlight to look inside the wall. If you don’t see any obstructions, you can pull down the entire area. Continue this process for the whole wall: creating a hole with a hammer, checking for obstructions, and tearing it apart. If you have reason to believe there will be an obstruction, shut off your electricity and turn off the water main before you start and get ready to call your electrician/plumber.
4. Remove the wall studs and plates. When the drywall is lying on the floor in pieces, you can demolish the wall studs. Saw through the studs horizontally in the middle and pry them free. Then, pull up the floor plate and pull down the ceiling plate. Remove any excess nails as well.
That’s all there is to it! You’ve just learned how to remove interior walls! Of course, you’ll still need to remove the debris and repair the holes left by the wall on the ceiling and floor, but you’ve accomplished your main goal: the wall is no more!
Learning how to remove interior walls is fairly simple, but if the wall is load-bearing or contains obstructions, the process can become quite tricky. For best results, we recommend that you hire a professional contractor. If you live in southwest Missouri, give The Bailey Company a call. We can help you tear down an old wall or erect a new one. No matter what stage of the construction process you’re currently in (design, demolition, pre-construction, construction, etc), we would be happy to step in and help you finish the project. For more information, please click here or give us a call at 417-887-6177.
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