Opening up, modifying, or entirely removing one or more walls is relatively easy but guaranteed to make a mess. In addition, you must patch the floor, walls, and ceiling.
Before you remove any wall studs, you must determine whether or not the wall is a bearing wall—part of your Boston home’s structural system
Be aware that plumbing, wiring, or other mechanical equipment within a wall can make removal far more involved. Rerouting plumbing, in particular, can add significantly to the work. If this proves too difficult a task, your Boston plumber is trained to quickly and efficiently remove walls.
To prepare for demolition, mask off the area with plastic sheeting to prevent the dust from permeating your home, and protect the floor with drop cloths. Turn off the electrical circuits that supply power to receptacles, light switches, and wires in the wall. Pry off any moldings.
To remove gypsum wallboard (drywall), punch through the center of the panel with a hammer and use a prybar to extract the pieces. To dispose of plaster and lath, smash the plaster with a sledge hammer and then pry off the lath.
1. Pry any remnants of surface material off the studs of the wall you intend to take out. On the walls that adjoin it, remove the surface material back to the first stud. Pull any remaining nails from all exposed studs.
2. Make sure water and electrical circuits are turned off and then remove any wiring or plumbing from the wall; properly cap pipes and terminate circuits. If you’re unfamiliar with this type of work, call an Boston electrical or Boston plumbing contractor.
3. Knock out any fire blocks between the studs. Cut through all the studs except the end ones a few inches up from the floor. Pull and twist the upper lengths of the studs to free them from the top plate. Using a hammer, knock over the short stud blocks at the base and pry them up. Pull out or cut off any remaining nails.
4. Make a diagonal cut through each end stud at a downward angle and then pry out the two pieces, beginning with the lower half. Pull them free from the top and bottom plates and the anchoring studs in the adjoining walls.
5. If the top plate goes through the adjoining wall, cut it flush with that wall’s top plate. Remove the top plate by making a diagonal cut across it and then wedging a prybar between the two halves and pulling downward. Pull out any remaining nails.
6. As with the top plate, if the bottom plate goes through the adjoining wall, cut it flush at the end first. Then make an angled cut across it, taking care not to cut the floor. Pry up the plate and pull out any remaining nails.
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