1) This is in kitchen on main floor of a small townhouse - so it is just the top part of the wall that I want to remove - so can see into the living room (and get natural light into kitchen too). Whole wall length is approx 10'L x 8' H
There are bedrooms above on 2nd floor + a cold air return runs down inside this wall, don't think there is any wiring inside wall and there is no plumbing for certain.
2) Also wondering if I need a structural engineer for a job this small and roughly what it would end up costing to have her/him visit the site and do up papers - as want to ensure it is all legal and approved.
Yes, you should get an engineer even for small wall removal.
In my area generally around $450 plus HST.
Paul, I agree with Dave in that you should get the structural engineer. The peroject is certainly workable and sounds great but you want to have it done without creating any issues down the road. It may cost a little more than you anticipated but, for safety sake, it is worth the expense. Also, consider the point that if you ever move, this improvement may very well be a plus in the sale.
Enjoy the new look.
We did this job too many times as we know exactly what we have to do. We are a structural consultation firm and General contractors at the same time.
Please let us know in case you need a free in home consultation and estimate.
First of all, installing a new window requires few initial steps to follow to avoid costly damages and any legal action against you or your property from your neighbouring parties as follow:
- Verify on your certification of location if you have the right of view or any servitudewhich can limit you from installing (For privacy reasons, may city laws and by-laws prohibit you from having a window or door to close to your neighbouring property)
- If you are allowed, move to he next step by identifying the exterior finishing of your wall on which you will install the new window (Concrete, stone, block and brick walls are heavier than wood or vinyl finish and they require stronger reinforcing lintel)
- Identify if any of the interior finishing object can be costly to remove or relocate such as breaker box, water heater, etc...
Once you have identified these steps, you are ready to contact a reliable contractor of your choice for detail estimation.
Make sure to remind your contractor to take the following precaution:
- Installation of lintel in respect to the Building Code
- An energy efficient (star) window
- Making sure the building envelope (moisture barrier) is air sealed with the window
- Access to a baseboard or other source of heater below the window to avoid condensation
We hope this information was helpful.
Management Build Canada (MBC) Inc.
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