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Is Tearing Down a Wall a DIY Project?

  • Transcript

    LESLIE: Sharon in Georgia, you’ve got The Money Pit. How can we help you today?

    SHARON: Hi. I’m interested in tearing down a wall that’s between two rooms. And I’m wondering if I can do that by myself – I don’t have any experience at all – or if I – it’s something that I would need to have an expert do.

    TOM: Maybe, maybe not.

    LESLIE: It depends. What’s in the wall? Is it load-bearing?

    TOM: Yeah.

    SHARON: Yeah. How do you tell that?

    TOM: Where is this wall? First of all, what kind of house do you have? What shape is your house? Is it Colonial, ranch?

    SHARON: I have a – what do you call that – bi-level, where there’s an upstairs part and a downstairs part?

    TOM: Bi-level? OK. Alright. And where is the wall?

    SHARON: The wall – it’s two bedrooms and the wall is right between the two bedrooms.

    TOM: Hmm. So is it parallel with the front wall of the house and the back wall of the house or is it perpendicular?

    SHARON: It is perpendicular.

    TOM: It’s most likely not a bearing wall; that is my sight-unseen assessment. I could be wrong but it’s most likely not. Because usually in a bi-level, the only bearing wall is the center wall that goes down the middle, parallel with the front and the back wall of the house.

    But even that said, what you can do, as a do-it-yourselfer, is you can tear out the drywall and get to that. But remember, once you do that, Sharon, you’re going to be having – you’re going to be looking at plumbing, you’re going to be looking at heating ducts, you’re going to be looking at wiring, not to mention the fact that you’re going to have to patch all that drywall. So, there’s a lot to it.

    SHARON: Oh, really? I thought I could be a do-it-yourselfer; I really wanted to do the project myself (inaudible at 0:11:25).

    TOM: Well, look, you can do it yourself. We don’t want you to become a do-it-to-yourselfer, alright?

    SHARON: Oh, right.

    TOM: So you really should not be doing the electrical work yourself. What you could do …

    SHARON: I am concerned about that part.

    TOM: Yeah, what you could do is take apart all the drywall. That’s easy to do. But again, if …

    LESLIE: Yeah, take out the trim, take down the drywall.

    TOM: Yeah. Maybe if you get it all ready, you can have a carpenter just come pull the wall out and an electrician rerun the outlet and you’ll be done.

    SHARON: Alright. Well, I just wanted to make sure – advice about that.

    TOM: Alright.

    SHARON: I’m glad you told me before I got in the middle of it.

    TOM: Exactly. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.

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