Open Concept Kitchen Renovation | Elimination of load-bearing walls (2023)

Written by Alex Rodriguezam 6. April 2020

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One of the most popular kitchen remodeling trends in Los Angeles over the past 5 years has been enlarging the kitchen by removing walls to create an open concept kitchen.

(Video) Time Lapse kitchen remodel with wall removal (load bearing)

This often involves removing shared walls between the dining and living rooms. Many homeowners worry that the walls they are about to remove are unsound, which is why you need professional help. Most often, the walls in the kitchen are load-bearing, and if you remove them, you can face serious problems. In this article we cover how to deal with the load bearing wall in a major kitchen renovation and what you need to do to create an open concept kitchen.

I've been a kitchen remodeler in Torrance, California for over 20 years and I want to share some of the things I've learned over the years. If you live in South Bay and are looking to remodel your kitchen, you will love this article on open concept kitchens.

What is a load-bearing wall?

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A structural wall is any interior wall that is an active structural element, i. H. it carries loads (weight) from the floor or roof structure above to the foundation below. It is an integral part of the foundation of the home and must be considered as part of an open concept kitchen remodel. In the photo above, a load-bearing wall is in the center of the room, just below the ceiling joist framing system.

What load can load-bearing walls carry?

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In one-story homes, load-bearing walls support roof beams and gravity loads from roof beams. These rafters transfer the weight of the roof to the load-bearing wall. In a two-story building, the retaining walls support the floors above and the roof. In the image above, you can see that the bearing walls are near the center of the structure and "transport" the load from the roof at the top to the foundation at the bottom.

Is removing load-bearing walls expensive?

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Most South Bay homeowners are concerned about the price. How much does changing walls affect construction costs? Removing a load-bearing wall requires installing a heavy beam, which in turn requires an engineering solution. A licensed structural engineer will help design a solution to ensure the integrity of the structure. A new framing solution must be designed to properly transfer gravity and structural loading along the newly replaced beam. In most cases, removing a load-bearing wall and installing a stud will cost between $10,000 and $20,000, depending on the length of the wall. Longer walls require PSL supports, which can cost up to $5,000. Engineering plans can cost anywhere from $5,000 to $8,000 depending on the size of the building. Condos and apartment buildings have greater liability and therefore require more work at a higher price.

Is it worth moving a load-bearing wall?

Open kitchens are nice, but they can be expensive. It is important that you design a project that you can afford to build. A major kitchen renovation can be a serious investment that can add significant value to your property (depending on your neighborhood). If you have a large construction budget, you should seriously consider removing a load-bearing wall as part of your kitchen remodel. The overall function and layout is greatly improved when you remove one wall, creating a smooth transition between the kitchen area and the dining area.

(Video) Time lapse kitchen remodel with wall removal- load bearing with posts

What do I need for a kitchen renovation permit if I plan to remove a load-bearing wall?

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If you want to remove load-bearing walls, you need a set of construction plans. A structural engineer or general contractor who has hired an engineer can help you with this requirement. You will need a complete site plan showing the entire property in relation to the yard, how the house looks today and what the planned renovation will be like. An engineer must also draft the construction drawings detailing the size and dimensions of the beam and frames needed to create an open space. The engineer must also detail the new foundation blocks that will be installed under the new posts that will support the new beam. The project must be accompanied by static calculations that defend the project and its viability, these plans will be verified

Open concept kitchens in the South Bay

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Over the past 20 years we have built over 12 open concept kitchens on the South Bay, many in Redondo Beach, CA. Here are just a few of the open concept kitchens we've built in the South Bay.

Tall and thin on the beach at Hermosa

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The most common home type in Hermosa Beach, Manhattan Beach, and Redondo Beach is Tall & Skinny, and if you have a tall and skinny home, 95% of the time you will have to remove a load-bearing wall. of rudimentary construction, almost all the walls in a tall and narrow building are load-bearing. In the photo above you can see how two load-bearing walls have been removed to create an open space. A large beam was installed to take the load previously borne by the existing walls.

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The original kitchen was small and narrow, so our designers got to work and removed a walk-in closet to increase the kitchen footprint. You can see that the size of the kitchen has more than doubled, allowing the installation of a large center island with a WOLF induction hob. The new layout is much more functional and also offers sea views.

If the kitchen is on the second floor, the static load must be transferred to the concrete foundations in the foundation. This can get costly as there is a lot of drywall to be removed throughout the ground floor and the foundation also needs to be retrofitted.

(Video) The fastest ways to tell if your wall is load bearing or not!

Open kitchen in Torrance

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As you might have guessed, remodeling a kitchen in a one-story house is much easier than in a two-story house. We remodeled this kitchen in Torrance to give it more flow and a lot more space. The owners are grandparents to a large family and love to host a Sunday brunch every weekend - with this in mind our team designed a new L-style kitchen that flows better than the old galley kitchen.

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You can see in the photo above that the kitchen had an existing beam running through the kitchen and dining room, but we replaced it with a larger beam to be installed flush with the ceiling for a truly seamless transition create. By removing the wall, we created a larger footprint for the kitchen; The L layout offers more storage and room to install a large center island with a cantilevered edge for additional seating. We upgrade the kitchen and living room in form and function.

Open concept at Rancho Palos Verdes

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The typical Rancho Palos Verdes kitchen is big, but it's stuck in the 1960s (that's when most Rancho Palos Verdes homes were built). Building an open concept kitchen was almost impossible or prohibitively expensive in the 1950s, but modern building techniques allow us to project open-plan designs into older homes, and that's exactly what we did with this RPV kitchen remodel.

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The original kitchen felt small despite its large footprint. The kitchen style was the wrong choice and the partition between the kitchen and living room made it seem even smaller. We knew there was so much potential to create a great space simply by removing the load-bearing wall and re-doing the kitchen. As you can see in the photo below, thanks to its new layout, the kitchen now has plenty of storage space. There is also additional (secret) storage on the center island.

Open plan kitchen in Palos Verdes Estates

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(Video) Can I Afford An Open Concept Living Space?

This kitchen is Palos Verdes Estates is our latest open plan kitchen remodeling project. This two-story PVE house requires more thought and consideration due to the larger dead veins supported by the structure (the second floor is heavy), so removing a critical wall will require extra attention. Our plan is to create an open kitchen by removing two walls. The project requires a new beam to carry the load on the second floor.

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Our first step on this project was to remove the stucco in certain areas to reveal the framing, allowing us forensic demolition'See what we work with'and design for these field conditions. We've encountered bottom beams that have changed direction multiple times, but our engineers created a frame solution that accommodates this. Since we will be placing new loads on the foundation, we need to reinforce the slab with new foundations where we intend to install new posts. All of these conditions increase renovation costs (remember, "more work = higher price"), but you don't have to worry about such things if you have a one-story home. We are currently building this kitchen but you can expect to see more photos of this kitchen on our social media channels.

Watch our Open Concept webinar:

Would you like to find out more?

If you want to learn more about kitchen and bathroom remodeling, I have 200+ articles for you to learn the details of South Bay home renovations. Here are some articles that I think you will find helpful.

  • How much does it cost to remove load-bearing walls?
  • Top kitchen trends in the South Bay
  • Cabinets 101 - solutions for blind corner cabinets

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Download our free kitchen remodel calculator below.

(Video) How To: Removing a Load Bearing Wall! (EASY STEP-BY-STEP)

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