Removing load bearing walls and redirecting pipes and vents

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Posted by: from Markham
6/12/2012 at 5:00:53 PM

We recently purchased an old home in Markham and we are looking to remove a load bearing wall that divides the kitchen and dining room. We were told that there are pipes and vents along the wall that has to be redirected as well. It seems to be a very complicated job and we're not sure where to start.

I know that we should get a structural engineer to draft out a blue print. Do we also need to hire plumbers for the vents/pipes?

Thanks in advance for your advice.

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Date/Time6/12/2012 at 6:21:22 PM


The way I do them, is that I have my architect to draw up an plan to be approved by an engineer for the City for your building permit. You definitely need a permit for this kind of job.

You may have to had additional support in your basement also. You will find electrical, maybe plumbing and mechanical. Whenever you add 90 to your mechanical, you will lose heat for your upper rooms, the more turns you make with your heating pipes, the more heat you will lose. Try to keep this in mind.

Try to hire a real contractor and try not to also go with the cheapest or you will be calling us back.

So yes, you would need all trades, a licensed contractor. It's not a complicated job when you know what you are doing.



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Date/Time6/12/2012 at 6:37:31 PM

You will definitely need a plumber and a ventilation guy (us framers call them "tin bashers"). Probably not too much work for a good contractor just to do the one wall.


Sabre construction 2011 Inc.

Richmond, B.C.

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Date/Time6/12/2012 at 6:46:53 PM

Hi Christine,

Before any walls are removed, an experienced contractor should determine whether the wall is weight bearing (holding up a floor above).The next items he looks for are cold air returns and heating ducts. Electrical outlets and thermostats are noted and finally water lines and drains are located.

Sometimes you need to cut holes in ceilings to get this information, and sometimes the basement is finished and it is difficult to see what you need to see.

If what you are saying is that the wall you want removed is weight bearing, you will need an Engineers' letter indicating the proper beam to install and whether you need better/more basement columns.

The contractor will look after the licensed plumber, electrician and heating/mecanical trades (all the necessary trades)

You will need a general contractor who has access to a structural engineer and a licensed architectural draftsman, who can provide you with a Code compliant Building permit

I hope that this answers your question

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Date/Time6/12/2012 at 8:46:47 PM

Hi Christine,

We have performed the procedure many of times with great success, basically this is how we work.

We attend a site visit, provide you with a price for the complete job, have our staff engineer attend and design a beam and repair procedure, carry out the demo, re routing of all mechanical services, using lic' plumbers, electricans, and hvac contractors. Have the engineer inspect the beam and all the structuall reinforcing prior to drywalling, he provides a written report signing off that the repair has been

performed to his design, stamps the drawing, and report, and we repair any damaged drywalled area.

Let us know if you need any assistance



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Sanjay from Jay's Construction in London
Date/Time6/12/2012 at 11:01:05 PM

First of all we want to know, is this a main floor and nothing on top or is their floor on top? Either way you can remove the wall in proper steps.

Make sure that their is a load on this wall. If their is a load. Then how many feet wall you want to remove (8feet, 10feet, 12feet or wall to wall). Provide all this info.

And yes if it is a main Plumbing involved, you have to get licensed plumber to do the job. An less if you know what you doing.

Good luck!

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Date/Time6/12/2012 at 11:24:08 PM


I am not sure if you are planning to do the work yourself or hire your own trades/workers but the procedure is the same either way except that a renovation contractor will take care of the plans, engineering of the beam/wall, permit application and arranging the trades.

It must be determined if the wall is load bearing and if there are any mechanical pipes, electrical wiring or pluming lines running in the wall. By all indications in your information I feel there are and yes a carpenter/framer, plumbers, electricians and mechanical trades would be required.

Also not to be overlooked is that some structural work could be required in the ceiling of the basement or the floor joists to support the columns for the new beam over the opening.

I do not want my reply to sound like we are renovating the CN Tower but I also do not want you to take it too lightly as whenever a bearing wall is removed then the proper structural supports and work must be undertaken otherwise you can weaken the structure as it could affect the second floor right down to the basement.

When it comes to this type of work it is not a matter of price but finding the right company to do the proper construction and support work that will not weaken your home.

If you require any further information please do not hesitate to contact me.

Lou Frustaglio


416-989-5890 cell

416-736-6828 off

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Christine in Markham
Date/Time6/12/2012 at 11:38:17 PM

Thank you for all your input.

The length of the wall is about 11ft. It's on the main floor of a two storey house. The basement is not finish so we know for sure there are vents right underneath that would need to be redirected as well as at least one electrical outlet where the fridge is located.

How much would this type of job cost approximately?

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Date/Time6/13/2012 at 9:15:27 AM

There are a number of considerations to be made when removing a load bearing wall in a residence.

Without question, a structural engineer should be consulted. The cost of an engineer for this work is not extreme - one should assume about $1500 to $2500.

While a beam may replace the wall, what supports the beam (walls and floor below) may also need to be substantially revised to deliver proper support. Furthermore, if it is a principal wall in the house, one would expect some cracking of finishes elsewhere in the house as weight is redistributed during the work.

Plumbing, electrical and ductwork located in the wall will need to be relocated - this may result in bulkheads elsewhere at ceilings and walls - not always desireable.

An HVAC contractor would address the modifications to the duct work, and deal with any city permits required.

A plumber would also be needed for plumbing, which will likely result in opening up existing ceiling areas (assuming there is plumbing in the wall - not always so).

I trust this helps.

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Date/Time6/13/2012 at 11:39:51 PM

Wow, this is price quoting on line, really cheapens the proffesionalism the we provide in our business,

But here it goes:

We charge $800-$1k per foot, to complete this modification, (varies on site ) our past customers are confortable and happy, with us in there homes,


p..s. hi lou

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James in Brampton
Date/Time6/14/2012 at 10:13:21 AM


I completely disagree that this type of price estimating cheapens the industry. How many of us complain that consumers expect too much for too little all the time?! This is mainly due to the fact that most consumers are completely oblivious when it comes to the actual costs associated with most work. Beyond some sort of online automated estimation tool (hint, hint), these types of discussions may prevent the occasional tire kicker from wasting our time and educate the serious consumer about the true costs.

Remember Joe, there's a good chance that other consumers with similar projects will be reading these forum posts. Your responses will not only provide assistance to the person posting these questions but to others as well.

Regarding Christine's question, this is not my forte so I'll let the others help you out.

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