Should I remove this wall

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  #1  
Old 12-18-05, 09:16 PM
Greys_home
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Should I remove this wall

This is my first time posting...but I have been doing a lot of searching on the web to try and get some ideas for my design dilemna. Here it is - we are a young family of 4 who have bought a 25 year old - 4 level split. The house is very long and narrow. The main floor where the front entrance is, has a living room and dining room in a "L" shape with the kitchen filling in the rest of the L to make a square. The front entrance comes off the side of the livingroom with 2 big closets before going into the livingroom. You can see the kitchen entrance from the front door entrance way. There is a big window in the dining room and 2 narrow windows in the living room with a fireplace in between. The windows face east and it is very sunny in these rooms! We are going to be putting in hardwood and I am wondering if we should remove the wall that seperates the living room from the kitchen and the wall that seperates the dining room from the kitchen. (it is the shape of the "L") It would make the main floor all one large open space instead of the division of the kitchen. I have painted out my cupboards in the kitchen (white) and put in new hardware(brushed nickel finish). I have played around with this idea since we moved in but now that we are going to be replacing the flooring, I either do it now or not at all... oh and it is a vaulted ceiling and the wall that goes around the kitchen does not go to the ceiling but at the lowest point is about 3 feet from the ceiling and on the highest point about 5 feet from the ceiling. The stairs going up to the bedrooms and down to the family room are just out side the kitchen.

What do you all think? Should I remove the walls and make it one open concept with perhaps an island in the kitchen and use the dining room table (which doesn't get used much now) as the main kitchen eating area and the island could have stools and a working counter on the other side. I really am torn as to what I should do so I can't wait to hear what you think. I hope I explained myself so that you can figure out what I am trying to say.

One more thing...I don't have a huge bank role!

Thanks alot for any and all advice.
 
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  #2  
Old 12-19-05, 10:19 AM
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Welcome to the forums

That is a hard question for someone not in your family to answer. It shouldn't cost too much to remove the walls since they are not load bearing.

Things to consider are although you are gaining open space you are losing wall space. I'm sure you have electrical and possibly other devices in these walls.
 
  #3  
Old 12-19-05, 11:57 AM
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An alternate to removing the walls all together is putting windows in them. This provides extra light, you can talk to people from the kitchen to the living room / dining room, easily re-route electrical which may be there, etc.

In a 4-story home, you may very well have duct work in those walls. On the second floor of my old home, we wanted to put in a large look-through window (unofficial term :P) between the kitchen and the living room. Once we tore into the wall, we found a heating duct running up to the third floor almost right in the middle of where the new look-through was going to go... rather than re-run ducts, we simply scaled down the size of the hole.

Drywall is easy to repair, you could always cut out some large sections of your walls to find out what's back there before tearing everything out.
 
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Old 12-19-05, 04:38 PM
Greys_home
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More info

Thanks for your help. I have no duct work at all in the walls and one electrical socket on each side of the wall that I am thinking of either a) adding it into the back side of the island or b) I can use the existing wall that is between the kitchen and livingroom, and add on to it to become part of the island, thereby leaving the electrical sockets in place.

I guess the question is really about what it would look like by removing the walls...would it in fact make a skinny house look wider? The first thing you would see when you come into the house would be the living room with the kitchen in the back on the other side.

I am thinking of putting in laminate or hardwood (depends on $$) and I think it would look best if I laid the laminate/wood width ways not lengthwise as this would defeat the purpose of trying to make a skinny house look wider.

Thanks again for the welcome and advise. I know it is hard to visualize something with just a posting on the internet that is why I think what I really want to know is, if it would look wider by removing the walls, and if it would look ok to look through the livingroom into the kitchen. I know it is popular with new homes but what about older homes?
 
  #5  
Old 12-19-05, 06:23 PM
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It really doesn't matter if it looks appropriate as long as it pleases you. Of course if you plan to sell it needs to please prospective buyers. When laying hardwood it is common practice to lay the flooring perpindicular to the direction of the floor joists, this helps to alleviate any sags [however minute] in the sub floor. I don't know if this holds true for laminates.
 
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