Removing a Load Bearing Wall

by Rachel Blackburn in ,

This was a busy, exciting week!  The load-bearing wall between the family room {soon to be kitchen} and sunroom is gone!  

We hired a contractor for this job, and he was great.  He let Michael do all the demo and buy the supplies so that all we paid him for was labor and his expertise, and he hooked us up with an engineer who didn't break the bank either.  

The beam was one of the most expensive parts.  Because the house is so low at the eaves we needed as short a beam as possible that could span the width.  That wound up being a 16 inch tall x 3.5 inch wide x 20 foot long parallam beam.  Basically, they glue a bunch of wood together to make it super strong.  It's expensive.  When I called the lumber store the guy on the other end of the phone was so aghast that I was ordering his most expensive beam {and probably also because I flat out told him I felt like i was speaking another language to him while I was telling him what I wanted to order!} that he gave us a discount and told me to take the difference and go out for a nice dinner with my husband.  Nice guy!  The beam wound up costing just under $600.

I find that before pictures help me really picture what was done.  So, here are some before shots.

From the dining room.  The wall to the right is the one we removed:

From the new kitchen area, facing the sunroom:

From the sunroom, facing what will be the new kitchen:

Here is the beam going in:

And here are a couple of how it looks now.  The first one is looking from the dining room towards the kitchen (beam on the right):

From the sunroom looking into what will be the kitchen:

We are SO excited!  The room feels very open and airy.  

Our contractor also showed us how to take the window that was in that wall out intact, which is great because we're going to try to re-use the glass for the backsplash.  If it works, I'll post a tutorial.  It will be a nice money-saver as well as being eco-friendly.  

Grand total for the wall coming out was $1900.  That's the permit, contractor, engineer, beam and supplies.  A steal of a deal!  To do this project our budget was $2000.  God sure pulls off sweet deals.  He even saved us 100 bucks!

Total time: about 2 days when you include demo and prep work done before hand.  The actual beam went up in about 3-4 hours.