I am considering to do a fairly major renovation and I hope you can point me in the right direction. I understand I will need to hire a contractor, but first I want to educate myself about what is the work involved so that I don't get ripped off.
My living room shares a load bearing wall with my one-car garage. (The house is built with cement blocks.) I am thinking about either:
1. Taking down the entire portion of the wall (about 5 meters) that is shared betwen the garage and the living room to make it one giant open room. (This would require a very big reinforced beam to replace the wall?)
2. Putting a doorway (standard size, maybe a double) into the wall, and then turning the garage into a nice master bedroom with ensuite bathroom. (Our kids share rooms, so an extra one for us would be nice.) (This would require
a smaller reinforced beam?)
Both ideas involve taking down part of the wall, and would need to put up a reinforced concrete beam so the 2nd floor of the house doesn't come crashing down.
So what I am asking about is how it works to actually remove the block wall and put up a load bearing reinforced beam. It seems like a catch-22. I can't take down the wall until I have a load bearing beam to replace it. But I can't put in a load bearing beam until the wall is gone.
So... how does this work?
(BTW - the entire wall is about
10 meters long, but only 5 meters of it actually shares the living room wall area. (So if I went with option #1, then the "hole" would be about 5 meters wide in the middle of a wall that is 10 meters long.)
Why risk your business anywhere else?
I am just an ordinary housewife but have seen load bearing walls taken out. The contractor puts "braces" from floor to ceiling on each side of the wall before taking the wall out and then he puts the beam in and then takes down the braces. Quite a lot of work but will be good when you are done. As to price, I have no idea.
You need to have a structural engineer evaluate the building to see what needs to be done. What needs to be done depends on the load above.
I suspect you'll need some sort of structural beam installed, how big and if it needs some support in the middle of the 5 meter span can only be determined by someone on site who checks the loading and overall existing condidtions.
Any advice given here is general in nature and is not necessarily valid for your given area. If in doubt check with your local codes enforcement department for what is required when doing electrical, plumbing or structural work on your house. Permits may or may not be required in your area and home owners may not be able to DIY some tasks. I have no way of knowing if you have the skills needed to complete the tasks you are asking about, when in doubt seek professional assistance.
My advice may be worth exactly what you pay me for it. :-) For the record I did not stay in a Holiday Inn Express last night.
hstraf, do you plan to remain in this home permanently or for many years? I understand your desire for a master but that may be an expensive renovation project.
Sometimes it's more cost effective to move up to another home that meets your needs b/c it's difficult/unusual to recoup all or even the majority of construction/renovation costs upon resale - especially if your home is over-improved compared to others in your area.
I apologize - that wasn't your question but it was my concern when I read your post.
Best of luck to you. It's only my .02!
Hstraf, it would help some to know where this house is; put your location in your profile as I have done so we won't have to ask again.
May has the right idea: the contractor would have to brace one or both sides of the ceiling/roof while removing the block wall.
I have a couple questions you need to address before getting serious about this: Is the floor of the garage the same level as the rest of the house? Typically it would be lower.
Next, is there a ceiling in the garage or it is bare framing? And is it the same level or higher than the ceiling in the rest of the house? As mentioned above, you need to pay a structural engineer to address these two items so plans can be drawn.
You need detailed plans for a building permit, and even if you don't get that, you will need plans so you can get comparison bids on the work. Without a permit and inspection you may never be able to sell the house, or even get a loan on it.
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