how to break down a retaining wall??

Linda M
by Linda M
want to break down the wall that devides the bed roon and living room so i can make my living room much bigger...:)
  8 answers
  • KMS Woodworks KMS Woodworks on Jan 08, 2012
    Retaining walls are used in landscaping to keep hill sides from moving or collapsing. Inside a home, walls are either partition or load bearing. The design and layout of your home should provide clues as whether this wall is "load" bearing or not. Another consideration is what may be "in" the wall. Wiring, plumbing...a possible vent stack. If the wall is a simple partition wall this project would be rather straight forward...if it is load bearing ( ie : holding up the roof or second floor) then a supported header will need to be built into some type of arch or "opening". You may or may not need to bring in a structural depends on you homes design etc. A number of years ago my brother opened up a wall in his 1920 bungalow. He had to put in a heavy duty beam as there was second floor ( brick ) wall that needed to be supported. Needless to say is was a big beam.

  • Linda M Linda M on Jan 08, 2012
    ok thanks its a partion wall looking to make two small rooms into one big room any feed back would be appreciated Thank You so much :-)

  • KMS Woodworks KMS Woodworks on Jan 08, 2012
    Your first step is to have a Builder or engineer take a peek to see what type it is. In the case of a load bearing wall the header will need to be supported by columns...this load will need to be transferred Down through the basement or crawl space to a "foundation". In many of these cases a temporary 'support" wall is constructed until the new structural elements are in place. Once the loads are taken care of its pretty simple from there. If the floors are hardwood it may require some fancy "lace in" work to make the place look more like "one" room.

  • Linda M Linda M on Jan 08, 2012
    one room is hard wood floor and the other is carpeted

  • As KMS is mentioning, you probably do want to have an engineer take a look at it or at least a licensed GC in your area. The journal of light construction will have some online articles you can read for info on how to build a new built-up header to take the load properly. We've done 100s of these over the years.

  • Lnda, it would be irresponsible for anyone online to tell you how to take this wall out without strong evidence that it is indeed only a partition wall and not a load bearing wall. You DO need a professional to assess that.

  • Linda M Linda M on Jan 12, 2012
    not doing it till March THANK YOU

  • That is good, because it can take 2-3 months to get engineering and permits done so you are ready to start