Monday, December 2, 2013

Family Room / Dining Room Wall DIY Removal - Phase One

Our house is pretty typical of its era (1979), with a partition wall between the dining room and the family/living room.  It didn't make sense for the way we live, and made everything feel cramped and dark.  It was especially dark because there was no overhead lighting installed in the living room (thus the need for the sad little floor lamp).  When I let my four year old watch TV while I did the dishes, I'd always feel like I was consigning him to the dungeon or something, and hated the fact that we were now in totally different parts of the house because of the dumb wall.

We knew that if we removed the wall we would have a really nice, large, open space and we were excited about the idea of opening things up.

We first had my contractor brother take a look at the walls and the attic to make sure the wall wasn't load bearing.  After getting the all-clear signal, we decided to go ahead with opening up the wall.  Because there are a few wiring/electrical issues we need to get checked out later this week, we decided to start off by removing only the portion of the wall around the existing pocket door.  

We had a lot of excited helpers for this phase of the project:

After a little bit of hard work (mostly by the big guy shown below), we achieved this:

I'm so thrilled by how much more open everything looks already and can't wait to see what happens when the whole wall is gone.  This week we have contractors coming out to make sure our wiring and HVAC in the wall is properly handled, and then we'll pull out the rest of the wall.  After that we'll have an electrician install recessed lighting and we'll get busy putting up casings and painting both rooms.  (I'm excited about that too - we inherited these colors when we bought the house and they are not my favorite.)