If you’re considering removing a loadbearing wall in your home, you’re not alone. This is a project that can provide many benefits, such as opening up floor space and creating a more open and airy living area. However, it’s important to understand the cost of this project before you begin. In this blog post, we will discuss the process and cost of loadbearing wall removal projects and offer tips.
A loadbearing wall is a wall that supports the weight of the roof and other upper floors of a building. If you’re considering removing a loadbearing wall, it’s important to make sure that the wall is not essential for structural stability. Removing a loadbearing wall can be a risky project, and it’s important to consult with a professional before starting any demolition work. There are several people who would qualify for the evaluation, a PEO certified structural engineer, an OAA licensed architect, an HCRA registered builder, or a general contractor with either municipal licenses or has tons of experience in doing the work.
Once you have identified that you are working with a loadbearing wall and you confirmed that you would like to open it up, it’s time to draft up the drawing for a permit. All renovation projects in Ontario that involve loadbearing wall removal require a permit. An engineer or architect can help you with drafting the plan. A BCIN designer can also help you with plan drafting, their rate is usually lower than the engineer and architect. The engineer Hestia Hearth Design work usually requires two weeks to finish the drawing with PEO stamp. Before the drawing is completed, the length and methods must be pre-determined. A longer wall may require a steel beam and post compared to LVL for shorter walls. There are two methods for doing the beam, a flush beam, and a drop beam.
A flush loadbearing beam is a type of beam that is installed in such a way that it is hidden from view. This type of beam is a good option for walls that are not very wide, as it doesn’t require a lot of space to be installed. A flush loadbearing beam can be LVL or steel depending on the requirement and it can be used to support the weight of a roof or other upper floors. A drop beam is a type of beam that is installed in such a way that it is visible from below. This type of beam is a good option for walls that are wide, as it can support more weight than a flush beam. A drop beam can be LVL or steel depending on the requirement and it can be used to support the weight of a roof or other upper floors. From an affordability standpoint, LVL is lower in pricing however steel beams are easier to secure. The engineer can start drafting up the drawing once the method and length are confirmed. Drop beam will be more affordable than a flush beam, if cost is a concern, drop beam is recommended.
Once the plan is received, Hestia Hearth will prepare all the other documentation required for permit submission, such as the application form, conservation approval, etc. Depending on the municipality, each has a different approval time. The quickest turnaround we have seen is around 15 days. During the period, many materials need to prepare for the project, the beam, bracket, post base and cap will all be bought during the waiting period.
The cost of removing the loadbearing wall depends on structural work, methods, and any mechanical relocation work involved. There usually is heating, air return, or plumbing inside the wall and those come with a cost. The price for a loadbearing wall removal usually starts at CAD $10,000.
Before you begin demolition on a loadbearing wall, it’s important to make sure that the wall is structurally sound and can support the weight of the roof and other upper floors. Temporary support is necessary when removing a loadbearing wall, as it helps ensure the safety of the building during the demolition process. Setting up support and removing drywall usually takes about a day to complete. next is to relocate all the mechanicals inside the wall, this may take a day or multiple days. Next is to install a beam which would take around one to two days. Lastly is to repair drywall and paint which would take another day. There will be several inspections in between to fulfill permit requirements. The whole process should take around two weeks to fully complete assuming no surprises. Some of the surprises we have seen when taking down loadbearing walls include but not limited to missing footing, misalignment of the load, difficulties in relocating mechanical, etc.
Hestia Hearth Design is an HCRA register builder that works with PEO licensed engineers on loadbearing wall removal projects. If you have a need for the service. Please reach out to us through the contact us form or by phone at 289-337-2293.