How to Remove a Non-Load Bearing Wall in Your Home

If you are looking to remove a wall in your home as part of a renovating or home improvement project, you can do it yourself. The following instructions will guide you through the process.

The very first thing you need to do is determine if the wall you are going to work on is a load bearing wall (meaning this wall helps to support the weight of your home). If the wall is a non-load bearing wall, meaning it is for partition or looks only, then proceed on with the following instructions:

First, you need to gather your supplies. For this job you will need the following:

Safety glasses

Dust Mask

Sledgehammer

Electronic Stud Finder

Pry Bar

Utility Knife with sharp blade

Hammer

Nails for testing for studs

Pencil

Now you are ready to begin the physical labor. Use your stud finder to locate the studs in the wall and mark them as applicable with your pencil. Use the hammer to put nails in at these spots to ensure that they are truly studs and not something else detected behind the wall (such as plumbing).

Turn off the electric that is going behind the wall, if there is any, at the power box within your home. If fuses are involved, mark the fuses you turned off to better remember where they are located when it is time to turn them back on.

Carefully remove your baseboard and molding for later use. Pry any caulk beads carefully away prior to tugging to ensure their integrity. If you are not reusing these items you can simply tug them away with a pry bar.

Put your dust mask on for protection. Use your utility knife to slice through a section of the drywall where the tape is holding together a seam on your drywall board. Then you want to put your pry bar into this place to help you pry back a piece of the wall so you can tear it out. Take a good sized chunk out and pull it firmly away from the studs so that your internal framing is fully exposed. Determine if the wall truly is non-load bearing before continuing. Also make sure that you carefully remove drywall if plumbing or electric is behind the wall. If the wall has neither, and the wall is not a bearing wall, you can commence tearing it down by pummeling into the drywall with a sledgehammer. Remove any studs with your sledgehammer as well. Be sure to have your mouth and nose protected and your eyes as well. This is messy, dusty work, to be sure.

Once your wall is removed you can clean up and proceed with any further renovations that need to be done in this area.

If you want to remove a wall that is a load-bearing wall, it is vital that you create supports to temporarily hold the weight until you are finished with the wall removal and then build a new and permanent support.

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