Have your kids moved out, or have you stumbled upon a house you love that has more bedrooms than you need? Instead of wasting space, you can convert two small bedrooms into one large bedroom. Follow these steps to get started.
Step 1 – Checking for Required Permits
Before getting started, check with your city, county, and homeowner’s association to see what the requirements are for getting building permits and inspections, including any electrical and plumbing permits.
Step 2 – Measuring and Planning
Next, measure your rooms and draw out a simple room-layout plan for your one bedroom. Determine which walls need to come down to create the larger space.
Checking Wall Stability
You also need to check what type of walls you are removing. If they are load-bearing, removing them will alter the structural stability of your home. For signs of load-bearing walls, look in your attic or basement. If you have any of these walls, you must consult with a professional before continuing.
Step 3 – Prepping the Rooms
To begin prepping, remove any furniture from the rooms and items from the walls. Then, with your hammer and crowbar, you can now remove any wood trim around the floor or ceiling, chair rail, or door jams that will get in the way of the wall removal.
Make sure you turn off your circuit breakers to the area if you plan to remove any electrical outlets. Also check out any electrical or plumbing requirements that need to be addressed. Finally, remove the floor and ceiling plates with your hammer and crowbar.
Step 4 – Removing the Drywall or Plaster
Warning: Before beginning demolition, put on the appropriate safety gear for each step of the project, including but not limited to a safety mask, eye goggles, and gloves.
Now, you can start opening up the wall. Remove the drywall or plaster carefully, looking for any utility items inside the wall. You might need to move electrical wires, vents, or pipes before you take the entire wall down. Use your hammer to punch out the drywall and the claw and a pry bar to remove it.
Taking Down Backed Plaster
The plaster can be hard, backed with metal or wood lathe. In this case, use your reciprocating saw with a demolition blade. Cut through the plaster and the lathe all at once, being careful not to go too deep and damage any utilities.
Step 5 – Moving the Utilities
This step will vary depending on your situation. You may have electrical, plumbing, or HVAC to reroute. Make sure the power is off before touching anything electrical. Call a professional to complete this task if you are unfamiliar with this type of work.
Step 6 – Taking Down the Studs
When all the drywall or plaster is removed and you’ve taken care of utility issues, you can then remove the vertical wall studs with a reciprocating saw. Be sure to have someone else holds the stud. Also, make sure the blade in your saw is capable of cutting through nails. You may have to twist the studs to get them to come loose. Cut at the floor and ceiling plates that encase the wall studs, removing any nails from the ceiling or floor where the wall originally was.
Step 7 – Repairing the Empty Space
To create a finished look for your new, larger room, you should clean up the floor, ceiling, and walls where the original wall was torn out. Use a level to make sure the patch and both sides of the original material are all lined up.
Fixing the Floor Gaps
To fill the gap in the floor, use plywood that’s the appropriate thickness to bring the floor to the same height as the other two rooms. This will depend on what flooring you already have down.
Fixing the Ceiling Gaps
To fill the gap along the ceiling, use a 2x4 or plywood cut to size, and nail it in place to bring the new drywall flush with the existing ceiling surface
Fixing the Wall Gaps
Use the same method as above to repair the gap in the walls. If you can't achieve a level surface with the patched-in drywall, it's best to leave the new surface a little below the existing wall or ceiling. Use plaster to build up the difference and feather it out to blend it with the old wall.
Step 8 – Painting
Each of the old rooms and the newly repaired gap will be different in color, even if they were painted the same color at the same time. To blend the two spaces together, paint the entire new room to create a uniform look.
Once your room is complete, decorate your walls as you wish and bring in the furniture to enjoy your new, combined space.