Costs (labor) to remove interior wall

mickimaxJune 16, 2006

I have two interior walls I would like to remove; can any contractors out there give me a ball-park estimate? I live in Iowa. The walls are on the first floor, plaster & lath, and each about 10 feet long, 8 feet high. I am opening up rooms and will not replace these walls. I do not know if they are load-bearing or not, but since my house is 150 years old, I would ask the contract to assume they ARE, and install temporary support beams before removing the walls, just to be sure. One handyman told me that a wall can be taken down in 1/2 a day, and figure another day for finishing work. But I figure adding temporary supports before knock-down will raise the cost and time needed for the job. Estimates anyone? Time estimates too?

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Sorry, I am not a contractor, but we are into a major remodel and had an interior wall removed from what was our living/dining area. It turned out to be load bearing and they needed to install a new beam (actually a pair of 2x12s) spanning the room in order to hang the ceiling joists that were previously supported by the wall. Kind of a big deal since a lot of drywall had to comedown from the ceiling and the walls to which the new joists would be supported. I don't have any idea of the cost but it was a few days work for the demo and framing. I would get a few detailed estimates based on actually seeing your house.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2006 at 5:16PM
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You're asking for the impossible. There's no way to know if it will cost fifty cents or fifty million without seeing the job in person and being familiar with local costs. Ask around for good contractors, talk to a few, then get bids from two or three you feel comfortable with.

One other thing. Unless your handyman has a crystal ball, I'd ignore his advice.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2006 at 10:04PM
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You ask for temporary support beams but not permanent ones? If the walls are load bearing, Permanent support beams are important. Find out first. Get an engineer in.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2006 at 6:27AM
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If the walls are load bearing you can't just install temporary supports while the walls are being demolished. Load bearing means just that, it supports a load. If you remove the support gravity pulls the load towards the ground. Now you're house may not come crashing down but you could create a bunch of other problems -- cracks, sticking doors, windows that won't open, floor sags, etc.

The first step is to determine if the walls are indeed load bearing. Many good contractors can determine what kind of walls you have. You may need to hire and engineer though.

As for price. Sight unseen, it's impossible to tell.


    Bookmark   June 18, 2006 at 6:23PM
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In most cities you have to submit plans with engineering before you can knock down walls. drop in to your local building department. We were able to get a set of the plans for our house from them, and that was a big help. Our house was built in 1974.
In California we had to give 10 day notice because of the possibity that there was asbestos in the walls. Turns out some of the pipes were wrapped in asbestos. None of this is insurmountable. We have moved lots of walls. The electric lines within also have to get moved; and sometimes heating or plumbing lines. You do end up tackling the ceiling as well, and my husband ended up putting large glue lam beams in to span and carry the load; in other locations they used
other solutions. On the level of difficulty chart--moving load bearing walls is high. Good luck.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2006 at 8:55AM
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