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Today I am sharing why knocked down an interior wall at the lake house which ended up being the best decision ever! The interior wall was not a load bearing wall and it was not providing any function other than a tiny dark hallway that led to a dark bedroom.
Knocking down the interior non load bearing allowed us to gain natural light into the bedroom, add a new side entry door and open up the living room space by eliminating the small hallway.
Removing an Interior Wall
The picture below of the lake house wall (behind the couch) we removed was more like a partition wall that separated the living room from a bedroom.
FAQ – Removing A Wall
Determining what type of wall you have is imperative before you start any demo project. If your wall is a load bearing wall, meaning it supports the structure above, you will need to hire a general contractor and an engineer to have a load bearing support beam constructed and installed. You will also need to check with your local building department regarding permitting guidelines.
You should hire a licensed general contractor and if you live in the central Massachusetts area, you can hire Jim! 🙂
Yes, you can remove a wall with electrical wires but you will need to hire a professional to relocate them (you don’t want to shock yourself or worse, cause a fire!) and check with your local building department for permit requirements. Some towns require permits and some do not.
The view below (original entrance to the house) is not the best quality picture but I can’t seem to find my pictures from last year showing this wall.
How to Remove an Interior Wall
- The first step to removing a wall is to determine whether the wall is a load bearing wall or a non load bearing wall. Thankfully in this case, the interior wall was not load bearing. It’s much cheaper to remove a partition wall than a load bearing wall. If you want to see a load bearing wall being removed, click through this post, removing a load bearing wall to see the process at the split level remodel project.
- Have a professional remove and/or relocate any electrical wiring or piping inside the wall
- In our case, we dismantled the wood planks on the wall with a hammer and sawzall.
The picture below shows the partition wall we removed and the dark narrow hallway leading to a bedroom.
The living room and kitchen was originally open and already had great natural light but the wall behind the couch area, had a tiny hallway that separated the bathroom and bedroom from the living room area.
We originally did not plan on removing the interior wall but after a month or so living in the space on weekends, we decided that the house needed another exit and a couple more feet in the living room for additional seating.
In order to install a new entryway and door, we needed to steal some space from the bedroom and remove the interior wall.
Tearing Down Walls
Removing the walls in the house was a simple process as there were no studs and thankfully no drywall! Removing drywall is very messy and dusty.
Jim and his guys worked from each side to break down the wall between the two rooms removing the wood planks that created the interior wall. The overall wall demolition process took a couple hours which was fast!
The wall actually came down very easily and because it was not drywall, it was fairly clean! If you know anything about drywall, it’s dusty and very dirty during a demolition.
The picture below shows the existing bedroom wall with 2×4’s and sheetrock (see white wall below). We saved the old wall planks to install on the new bedroom wall so that the new wall coordinates with the rest of the house design.
The above image also shows the new kitchen layout and new kitchen cabinet wall. If you missed the kitchen before and after, click through this post budget kitchen remodel at lake house. It’s a great post showing how to remodel a kitchen on a strict budget.
Removing A Wall Cost
Is it expensive to knock down an interior wall? The cost to remove a wall that is not a load bearing wall is fairly simple and affordable.
Depending on the size of the wall and a handful of other variables (ie. relocating wires, plumbing ect), the rough cost to knock down an interior wall (that is not load bearing) is $500-$3800.
This particular wall involved 3 guys labor cost during the demo portion of the project. Once the wall is removed, there will be additional cost associated with finishing the exposed wall space as well.
This interior wall was not a normal interior wall with a 2×4 frame underneath drywall.
The interior wall was constructed of cedar planks that literally were tongue and groove.
You could actually move the wall in some spots with your hand. It was essentially a “makeshift” partition wall.
Removing Interior Wall Before & After
By removing the wall between the living room and bedroom, we opened up the living space and provided enough space for a floating couch and accent chairs. Additional seating was important to us so sacrificing a couple feet from the bedroom was worth it.
Here is another picture of the living room and kitchen before we removed the wall. You will notice that there is a door and window at the far end, we removed walled this off and added more kitchen cabinets, creating a bigger kitchen which we needed!
I need to get a wider angle picture but you can see, a drastic improvement once we removed the interior wall, painted the interior white and remodeled the kitchen by addressing the window and door along the far wall. We kept the original counters and existing cabinets but ended up removing and reinstalling the existing kitchen cabinets as they were originally hung to low by the previous owner. By purchasing new cabinets to match the existing, we were able to save money.
We had no intentions of painting the interior white as the cost and time involved seemed overwhelming. As I was searching google and pinterest for updated modern lake homes, I kept showing Jim pictures of white modern cottage interiors and while I really didn’t think we would bite the bullet (I was honestly dreaming that maybe someday we would) and paint the interior white.
Without me knowing, he secretly painted the entire inside white and when I showed up one Friday afternoon I almost fell over when I walked inside with excitement :). I couldn’t believe how amazing it looked and I was so surprised! Jimbo pulled off the best before and after ever!
Here is the living room before we knocked down the interior wall. Honestly, the house was super cute before and if you like the rustic, log cabin style it was great. We originally planned to keep it this style below and tweak the kitchen and bathroom but as you can see, that didn’t happen.
Here is the living room below after we removed the wall and finished installing the new floor. If you would like to see the new bedrooms, check out this post, adding board and batten to walls, for a full before and after.
Knocking down the interior wall opened up the living room and provided a larger open concept living space.
The view from the kitchen end of the room below shows a full wall along the backside.
The loft space is something we are working on for my son. We need to figure out a ladder that attaches to the wall for easy access and we will have two twin floor mattresses on either side of the opening. It will be super cute when it’s done! 🙂
Here is the same view after we removed the wall and added a “new” exterior door and set of windows at the far end of the room.
This image above shows the view from the kitchen as well as the new flooring we installed. I will share the flooring post soon!
By knocking down the interior wall, the loft space opening was now exposed. The loft was exposed before but hidden behind the wall we tore down. If you look closely you can see a ladder with carpet attached to the wall. The view from that cute little space of the lake is amazing now that the wall is gone!
We also decided to the leave the ceiling beams the existing cedar color as the contrast with the white is beautiful. Click through this post, take a tour of our lake house, to see more.
We did lose some square feet in the bedroom which originally was large enough for a queen bed but we opted to turn that bedroom into a bunk room which is perfect for kids or honestly, even adults! I have slept in the bunk room and it’s super cute and comfortable :).
What started as a hobby, Jessica’s blog now has millions of people visit yearly and while many of the projects and posts look and sound perfect, life hasn’t always been easy. Read Jessica’s story and how overcoming death, divorce and dementia was one of her biggest life lessons to date.