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Anyone with construction experience: How much trouble to demo a masonry wall?

 
TropicRose
(@TropicRose)
Advanced Member

I'm in the market for an extended family home. I saw an ad for one that might fit the bill but would probably need some remodeling to really suit out our needs. Is it a big project to remove an interior wall?What kind of tools are required? Is it a job for pros?
Thanks in advance.

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Topic starter Posted : June 4, 2008 8:14 pm
Ronnie
(@ronnie)
Trusted Member

You will first need to figure out if it is a load bearing wall, then you can't unless you have an alternative to support the roof system!

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Posted : June 5, 2008 1:42 am
cresentpoint
(@cresentpoint)
Advanced Member

Double what Ronnie said about the loading bearing wall. Exterior walls can also have steel rebar inside. Just with our experience with concrete walls it generally takes some very heavy duty tools such as large jackhammers, grinders, masonary saws and a bunch of back breaking work. If you don't know the ins and outs of concrete construction you need to hire someone who does. Improper construction can be a really dangerous and/or expensive thing if a hurricane comes.

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Posted : June 5, 2008 2:38 am
Jules
(@Jules)
Trusted Member

Things to consider:

1. (see load-bearing wall in above posts); will considerably add to the cost if it is.
2. Does the wall contain any electrical conduits? If so, you're looking at re-routing the conduits (might involve partial demolition of adjacent walls), fishing new wire, etc.
3. Does the wall contain any plumbing? Could render the demolition plan unworkable.

It may be hard or impossible to even find the answers to the above questions without actually demolishing the wall unless you are lucky enough to have accurate specs for the original construction (and if those plans were actually followed, and if no subsequent remodeling was done). In remodeling, surprises abound. Rarely are they GOOD surprises.

You can get a professional opinion and estimate for the job but if surprises appear (and count on it), all bets are off in terms of cost and time to completion.

If it is non-loadbearing and contains no plumbing or electrical, it's not a hard job. Requires a hammer drill (like a mini jackhammer). The demolition does not take long at all (maybe an hour or two, if a doorway-size wall). If rebar is present, that will have to cut back. The raw edges of the opening can then be finished off with stucco (ie, concrete) and/or wood.

A lot of concrete block construction down here does not contain rebar, especially interior walls.

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Posted : June 5, 2008 10:12 am
TropicRose
(@TropicRose)
Advanced Member

Thanks a lot for the information. That gives me a better idea of what's involved. If anyone has more to add, please do!

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Topic starter Posted : June 5, 2008 1:12 pm
Marty on STT
(@Marty_on_STT)
Trusted Member

If you're on STT, I'd call Andy Heath at 340-643-4051. He'll probably be able to look at it for 5 minutes and tell you what you need to do...even if you could do it yourself. He's one of those 'honest' contractors.....

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Posted : June 5, 2008 3:43 pm
TropicRose
(@TropicRose)
Advanced Member

We're on STX, and I haven't even seen the house yet. I'm hoping to get enough info to see if it worth looking further into. From what I've learned here, the answer is "maybe." 😉

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Topic starter Posted : June 6, 2008 2:15 am
billd
(@billd)
Trusted Member

if it is the house you want andn the price is right go and get an opinion from a construction company. If it sia bearing wall then you will need to shed the weight some place. If it is a hig flat room then you might use steel to span the wall.

good luck

billd

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Posted : June 6, 2008 10:17 pm
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