It costs $600 on average to remove a non-load-bearing wall, while it costs $2,100 on average to remove a load-bearing wall for a single-story house.
If you need to remove a load-bearing wall on a house with multiple floors, the average cost to do so is $6,500.
The cost of removing a wall is highly influenced by labor fees for skilled tradesmen like plumbers and electricians. They will help you relocate the affected pipes and electrical wiring within the removed wall.
Load-bearing walls are more expensive to remove since they require the assistance of structural engineers as well as contractors who can safely remove the wall and install support beams in its place.
Cost to Remove a Load Bearing Wall vs a Non-load Bearing Wall
Removing a load-bearing wall is harder and more complicated to do compared to removing a non-load-bearing wall. This section will discuss the difference between the two as well as their costs.
Cost to Remove a Load Bearing Wall
A load-bearing wall is a wall that is used by your house as structural support. This type of wall can’t simply be demolished without risking weakening the structural integrity of a house.
Removing a load-bearing wall costs $1,500 to $3,000 if your house is only a single-story home. However, if your house has multiple levels, then expect to spend between $3,000 and $10,000 to remove a load-bearing wall.
The cost is heavily affected by how much of the house is supported by the load-bearing wall.
If the load-bearing wall is on the first floor of a three-story house, then expect the removal to get really expensive due to the number of replacement support beams that need to be added.
How much do support beams cost?
Most of the expense of removing a load-bearing wall comes from the replacement support beams that needed to be installed. Two kinds of support beams can be used: steel beams and laminated veneer lumber beams.
The steel beam is the more expensive support beam and costs $252 per 14-foot piece. Steel beam installation costs $2,500 on average, materials and labor included.
Its high cost is because it’s the more durable option.
Laminated veneer lumber beams are less expensive and cost $84 per 14-foot piece. Laminated veneer lumber beam installation costs only $900 on average, materials and labor included.
This type of support beam is good due to its cost-effectiveness and high supply, making it the more accessible option.
Take note that it’s impossible to remove a load-bearing wall without replacing it with support beams. Ask your structural engineer about which support beam is the best and how many you need for your situation.
Cost to Remove a Non-load Bearing Wall
Non-load-bearing walls are simpler to remove. Thus their cost starts only at $350 and can’t go higher than $1,000.
Most of the cost will go to paying a skilled tradesman to assist you in moving any affected electrical wiring and water pipes while removing the wall.
Other additional services like cleanup may add to the overall cost, but they’re not necessary.
The cost to remove a non-load-bearing wall can go down further if you intend to do most of the work by yourself. However, it’s still a good idea to do it while under the supervision of a professional to avoid any complications.
Can you remove exterior walls?
Removing an exterior wall is not recommended unless you plan to expand your house.
Exterior walls are almost always load-bearing and support a significant portion of the building.
If you want to remove an exterior wall for whatever reason, make sure that a structural engineer and an architect will be able to supervise its removal.
Unsupervised removal of exterior walls is dangerous, as they are important supports for your house. Removing them can significantly weaken the structural integrity of a building.
Even if you plan to expand your house, most engineers will usually recommend that you instead build a doorway through the exterior wall instead of completely removing it.
Factors Affecting the Price of Removing a Wall
Here are some factors that may affect the total price when removing a wall:
A plumber is necessary if there are water pipes within the wall that will be removed.
Hiring a plumber can cost $50 to $230 per hour depending on your area.
This price also includes the materials your plumber will need to divert the water line to another area of your house.
Hiring an electrician to assist you in relocating any electrical wiring can cost you $50 to $100 an hour. They might need at least 2 hours to fully divert the power lines away from the wall marked for removal.
However, they can charge you higher for materials should they find electrical wires that are too dated or too damaged to still be used.
After the wall has been removed, some of the house partitions the former wall covered up will be exposed. You can paint over the exposed parts directly or after installing drywall to cover it up.
Latex paint can cost you $35 per gallon on average. This factor is one of the cheapest since this is something you can entirely do by yourself with no help from a professional whatsoever.
After removing a wall, some of your home’s partitions might be exposed. In this case, you’ll need to install drywall to cover them up.
An 8ft x 4ft drywall with half an inch of thickness costs $15 on average.
While it’s possible to do this part on your own, hiring a drywall professional can add another $45 per panel. Therefore, a drywall installation with both material and labor costs included is $60.
In addition to the factors listed above, you might want to avail of additional services to design and add features to your new space.
Some services like installing wallpapers can cost you an additional $750 with both materials and labor included.
You can also attach new cabinets and fixtures to the new space. The price is highly dependent on the cabinet you would like to be installed, but a handyman who will install the cabinet for you can cost you $80 per hour.
Can you DIY wall removal?
While in most cases it’s best to leave wall removal to a professional, removing non-load-bearing walls can be a simple task that you can do by yourself.
However, you’ll still need to seek professional help if the said wall contains electrical wiring or water pipes. An electrician or plumber can help you plan out where these lines can be placed instead.
The same case can’t be said when it comes to a load-bearing wall.
These walls first need to be examined by a structural engineer who can determine how to replace the wall with new support beams to avoid compromising the structural integrity of your house.
After an engineer inspects and devises a plan to safely remove a load-bearing wall, then it’s safe to do the wall removal by yourself.
Despite this, we still recommend that you hire a contractor to do the job, as they’ll have sufficient manpower and expertise to ensure the plans laid out by the structural engineer are carried out to the letter.
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