View Full Version : anyone want to help knock out a wall?

08-25-2008, 07:56 PM
We live in a 1955 ranch and the way they built them back then, you come in the back door through the porch, cross into a tiny kitchen and have to walk all the way through the living room to get to the other side of the house. I'm sick of it. So step son just moved out of the 3rd bedroom whose wall is shared by the kitchen wall at the back door. My idea: why not make a doorway there, open it up - now we have a room off the kitchen that we can also walk through to get to the rest of the house!

Anyone do this for a living? Anyone know how much it would cost to get it done professionally? There is an electrical outlet there that we'd have to deal with but it's not a load-bearing wall - although it runs perpendicular into the load bearing wall. In fact, this isn't a very long wall at all. Anyone ever do this before in their house? I'd like to hear about your experiences.

How hard could it be to make just one little doorway?

08-25-2008, 08:05 PM
I am not an expert but I've done stuff like this before. Demolition is a breeze. You may want to do it in small steps so you don't have a ton of drywall to throw away. (You can just destroy enough to fill your trash can each week.) Or you could rent a dumpster... which can get pricey. Be careful around the electrical lines. If you suspect that there is one behind your wall, turn the power off before demolishing that section. Definitely wear a mask. Drywall dust gets everywhere!

We will be demolishing a wall in our Ma. Bedroom this weekend to expand our Ma. Bath. (Sigh) House projects are never ending!!

08-25-2008, 08:41 PM
Well, there's an outlet there so I suspect there's electrical lines there - but what do we do with those lines? do we have to re-route them?

And good luck with your bath project!

08-25-2008, 08:42 PM
Be aware of potential water lines.

08-25-2008, 09:46 PM
I don't think that would be a problem but thanks for the heads up. All of the water pipes run across the basement ceiling and there's no sink or bathroom system up against this wall.

08-25-2008, 09:58 PM
Get an electrician to move the outlet. Other than that, there's nothing more revitalizing than a bit of quality time with a sledgehammer!

P.S. Cover all of your adjacent doorways with plastic, and if you have balloon-framing (in a ranch not likely), expect your basement to be covered in dust.

Silver King
08-26-2008, 01:46 AM
...How hard could it be to make just one little doorway?
If you haven't tried it before, I'd hire a handyman to do the job. It's a little more complicated than just knocking a hole in the wall and creating an entryway.

I'm fairly handy, but I don't mess with doors anymore. They vex me every time and never close properly. Recently I paid someone to replace the three doors leading into my house (front, rear and kitchen that leads to the garage) and expanded one of the entries from thirty-two inches wide to thirty-six. I purchased all of the doors pre-hung, with the frames already built out. The man who installed them charged me one hundred dollars per door, and an extra fifty dollars to widen one of the entries. It took him about six hours to do the work, and he was damn good at what he does.

It was worth every penny, and I was so pleased with his work that I gave him a fifty dollar tip.

08-26-2008, 02:19 AM
I concur with SK if you are installing a door. We just replaced a solid door with a French door that has glass panels, and it took us forever to get it to fit just right. A major trial! If you are installing drywall, you may want to hire someone to do the texturing. They have all the right tools for the job. (This is why I stated that demolition is a breeze... it is, compared to putting it all back together!)

Rolling Thunder
08-26-2008, 05:18 AM
If it's a 50's ranch the walls might be covered with thinset plaster over blueboard. Tough stuff to cut and you have to be careful with a sledge; it tends to spiderweb the plaster you don't want to remove.

Most everyone else has covered the basics and I also advise hiring an electrician. Not only do you have to move the outlet but you'll need to rewire the light in the bedroom for a 3-way switch. Depending on where the power lead comes from you might have to run a new line. Either way, if the current light is a single pole (one switch) circuit the current switch has to go. You can't use it on a three-way circuit.

Also keep in mind: a two bedroom house is less desirable than a three bedroom come resale time.

08-26-2008, 05:56 PM
Yes, I've thought about the 2-BR versus 3-BR thing - I'd still view this as the 3rd bedroom, just with 2 doorways now instead of one.
I was trying to save us money by bringing in friends who have done this type of thing before but I think maybe I'll bring in somebody to give us an estimate.
Thanks everyone for your help!