Currently, open concept living is one of the most desired and most popular layout options for homes. Many people want to have large areas to entertain and relax in, but this is often difficult to find.
Whether you are looking to build your own home from scratch or are looking to renovate your current modular home, it is possible to get the desired open concept living that you want.
How to Remove a Load Bearing Wall in a Modular Home?
Removing a load bearing wall from a modular home is possible and can help you achieve the ideal floor plan that you want. While it is possible to remove a load bearing wall, it must be done by a professional to help ensure that the load is displaced correctly and the beam you use is strong enough to support the weight.
What is a Load Bearing Wall?
The load bearing wall in any home is the wall within the home that holds the weight of the entire house, the roof and the weight of the upper floors (if they exist).
These walls are typically thicker than other walls and cannot be removed without proper planning and help.
In a modular home, it is often easy to see where the load bearing wall, or marriage wall, is located. The load bearing wall in a modular home is often about four inches thicker than all other interior walls.
This is because it is the wall that joins the two sections of the modular home together. It is essentially the marriage of two interior walls to one another.
Identifying A Load Bearing Wall
If you know that you want to expand your living area and want to eliminate a wall from your home, it is important to see whether or not the wall is a load bearing wall.
Typically, in a modular home you can find a load bearing wall just by looking at the blueprints of the home or looking for the thickest wall of the house.
The load bearing wall in your home is also the same as the roof line of your house. For instance, in most ranch style homes the front, back and middle wall of the home are load bearing homes.
The middle of the house is often the marriage or load bearing wall. Follow the roof line to determine if it is parallel or perpendicular to the street.
If you are uncomfortable or unsure of whether or not the wall you want to remove is load bearing, you need to speak with a professional contractor. Many contractors will offer you a free estimate to determine the cost to remove a wall from your home.
These professionals will be able to walk the home, tour the attic, inspect the roof line, and tell you immediately where the load bearing wall in your home is.
Options for Removing a Load Bearing Wall
The most affordable option to remove a load bearing wall from the interior of your home is to reduce the size of the wall and leave only part of the wall there. To do this, you will still need to hire a contractor to do the work, but it will be for a fraction of the cost.
This design style will not completely open up the floor plan of your home because there will still be a partial wall present. It will, however, give you a larger room size and better views of the home.
The next option for removing a load bearing wall from your home is to completely remove the wall and add a beam to the ceiling. You can add a beam that rests below the ceiling, which is often referred to as a dropped header.
This will allow you to open up the floor plan of the home, but it will create a defined space in the ceiling. It is moderately more affordable than the next option, but will still show evidence of a previous marriage wall.
The final option for removing a marriage wall in a modular home is to completely remove the wall and install a beam in the ceiling. This option is the most expensive, but will give you the look you are after.
To do this, you will need to hire a contractor, get plans from an engineer and may need to attain permits. This option allows you to place the beam inside of the ceiling and add fresh dry wall to the ceiling. It will create a unified space in the home and completely open up the area.
Finding the Right Beam Size
The most crucial thing that you need to consider if you are looking for how to remove a load bearing wall in a modular home is the proper beam size.
You will need to use a beam to hold the structural weight of the house if you remove the wall. The beam will give you more space, but will need to be strong enough to hold the entire load of the home that the marriage wall previously held.
Finding the right beam size is not something that you can do on your own. You will likely need to look at the blueprints of your home and hire a contractor or engineer to help you find the right beam size.
After looking at the plans and getting help from professionals you can find a beam size that meets your needs and keeps your home sturdy, safe and stable.
Benefits of Removing a Load Bearing Wall
If you are looking to remove a load bearing wall from your modular home, you will immediately notice many benefits.
Removing this wall will increases the overall design and functionality of your home. You will be able to increase the open floor plan of your home and style the home in any manner that you choose.
Removing a load bearing wall will also help you understand the structure and integrity of your home. Having a professional contractor or engineer look at your home will help alert you to any issues that may exist in your home.
The sooner that you learn of any problems, the less it will cost you in the long run.
Challenges of Removing a Load Bearing Wall
Removing a load bearing wall from your modular home is a challenging task to take on. You will often need to spend money on a professional contractor and engineer to do this.
Therefore, it requires a lot of planning and a financial commitment.
Removing a marriage wall incorrectly can pose many safety concerns for you and your family. It can also lead to roof leaks, weakened structural integrity and more.
These are all concerns that should be addressed with the professionals you choose to hire.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I Remove the Wall Myself?
No individual should ever try to remove a load bearing wall by themselves. It is always best to hire professionals to do the job for you.
They have the experience and education to understand the proper way to identify and replace a marriage wall.
How Can I Find a Reputable Contractor?
If you want to remove a load bearing wall and are looking to hire a contractor, you may want to ask friends, family members, and neighbors for any recommendations.
Once you have talked to a few contractors in the area, ask them to come to your home and give you a free estimate.
Remember, that money is not all that matters. Ask the contractors to give you a time frame and references that you can check with to ensure that they are high quality and honest contractors. Only hire contractors that are insured so that you are protected in case of an emergency.
How Do I Know For Sure If the Wall Is Load Bearing?
There are many ways that you can guess which walls are load bearing or not, but the only way that you can know for sure is to check with a professional. You can check with the manufacturer of your home or call a licensed contractor to your home.
Some methods of looking at the roof line or researching the design of your home will help you see if the walls could be load bearing. If you do not have the experience to climb into your attic and see where the weight of the roof falls, it is best to get help from a professional.
How Much Does it Cost to Remove a Load Bearing Wall?
The cost to remove a load bearing wall will vary with the type and size of your home. Some walls may cost only about one thousand dollars to remove, while others can cost in excess of ten thousand.
Removing a load bearing wall in a modular home is an ideal option for people and families who are looking for increasing living space and an open floor plan. The ability to remove a wall in the home allows you the space you need to entertain and enjoy the home as you want.
While removing a load bearing wall will require the help of professionals, it is well worth the investment. Removing the wall can help you get the home you want without having to deal with the frustration of a move.
If this is something that appeals to you, it is always best to hire a professional, get multiple quotes and ask for references to ensure that you get the job done right.