The growing trend we are finding today is to create a more open plan style of living. Of course, with any new build or extension we perform it’s easy as the plan and design is specified to create this feeling. It is with existing properties which we renovate internally that the challenges can be a bit more demanding. The reason for this is that the initial concept was created to distribute loads from the roof onto walls and footings below (hence the term commonly thrown around “load bearing wall”), but where there is a will there is a way!
Home Renovation Considerations
When a customer approaches us to renovate a property for them and one of the items on the to do list is to remove an internal wall or make an existing opening wider there are typically two options:
Option 1: When a larger opening is desired such as removing an internal dividing wall an LVL beam is installed inside the ceiling space. The function of this large wooden beam is to pick up any load bearing members inside the roof space and have the existing loads then transferred through to other load bearing walls further apart. By doing this it then allows the wall below to then be removed as it is no longer serving their purpose of holding a weight from above.
Option 2: Creating a door way or window opening is not as involved as removing a load bearing wall. When we are performing a task such as this an item called a lintel will be installed (in brick walls). A section of the mortar between the bricks above the opening will be removed either side of the opening and this piece of steel will then be inserted to hold the load of the remaining courses of bricks in place above the new opening. This method can be used for doors, entrance arches and window openings.
Open Plan Living
Creating an open space certainly does give an overall feeling of togetherness it allows for families to all be together at once no matter if someone may in the kitchen, lounge room or dining room they all still see one another and communicate while enjoying life. If you are thinking of renovating and would like to create a more user-friendly space let us help you to understand just what can be achieved using the correct building practises, you might be surprised at just what can be achieved.