Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Removing Interior Walls

Here's a word of advice for any contractor, Carpenter, handyman or homeowner that is planning to remove an interior wall from your home or someone else's. Beware of removing interior walls, to eliminate your fears of the house collapsing. Some of the interior walls inside of the house are important structural components of the building.

Some of these walls hold up floors, roofs and other loadbearing sections that could create safety problems within the structure of the house itself. This is an area where an expert with framing skills should be consulted. What is the definition of someone with excellent framing skills? Some one with at least 10 years as a master framing carpenter.

My home building experience consists of three decades for over 30 years of assembling some of the most difficult sections of a home. During these years I have seen damage done to houses from removing structural interior walls. Most of this damage could be repaired with a little structural engineering. Some of the damage could not be repaired and caused other damage to different sections of the house. The damage caused in some cases to the floor and the roof framing had to be completely rebuilt.

I'm not telling you about every single thing I have ran into but you would be surprised if I started to make a list of all the homeowners and professionals in the building industry or home selling and buying business that contacted me to remove a structural component of a building. There have even been a few of these people that told me everything was going to be okay just go ahead and remove the structural building component.

Needless to say I would leave these people very irritated but I'm sure they found someone to do the job. The bad news is I was normally the person they would hire to go back and repair the damaged building after these people were gone and out of business. There have been cases where people have removed an interior walls against my better judgment and over the years of driving by in these homes I personally got to witness the structural damage that was occurring on the outside of the house.

I have no idea what the inside of the house looked like but could only imagine. My advice again when removing interior walls is to hire an experienced contractor or at least get some advice from an experienced framing carpenter. This does not include your basic know it all that has basic construction experience like your father in law, parents, friends, golfing associates or people you work with that tell you not to worry about it, just do it, everything will work out just fine.

Greg Vanden Berge is working on the internet to promote the education for creating simple to follow guides and home building books to help professional building contractors as well as the weekend warriors. He is currently working on more Building and Remodeling Library and adding useful content to help solve problems created by the lack of construction knowledge in the building industry.

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