Wall removal to update living room

Particularly in today’s challenging economy, more homeowners are seeking to make somewhat minor changes that have a major impact on their existing homes. Many also want to do some or all of the work themselves to reduce costs. A wise homeowner understands that it is necessary to work with a licensed, professional remodeler who can handle structural or unforeseen issues and who is also willing to allow the homeowner to handle portions of the project that they are capable of successfully completing themselves. We struck that ideal balance in a recent project.

Palmer’s Project Goals and Challenges

This homeowner wanted to update the main living spaces of his compartmentalized 70’s style home in advance of his upcoming wedding.

  • We wanted to remove a structural wall that separated the home’s two main living areas to create a single, open and flowing space.
  • Since the wedding was approaching, the homeowner wanted to do some of the work himself to reduce costs. His budget also was too tight to allow for a complete refinishing of the hardwood floors that would be impacted by the removal of the wall.


  • We engineered the project to allow us to remove the center load-bearing wall by installing a beam that spanned the distance from side to side while simultaneously building out the support posts. We also completed some additional structural work in the crawl space to ensure the stability of the project.
  • We removed very dark, stained molding that dated the space along with several substantial hand-hewn cedar ceiling beams that were too heavy for the homeowner to safely take down on his own.
  • In the space where the wall once stood, we did a spot patch of new hardwood flooring. To successfully blend the new pieces with the existing flooring we put the material through a planer and stained it on site. The resulting color and texture is very close to a seamless match to the existing materials.
  • To accommodate the owner’s desire to do some of the work himself, we first established a thorough understanding of the scope of the project and designated the party who was to be responsible for each part of the process. Essentially, Palmer Custom Builders completed the structural framework and heavy work, while the homeowner completed the sheetrock and painting. This allowed him to conserve financial resources and have a hand in the project without tackling more than his expertise or time allowed.
  • The result is a much lighter, larger, more livable space that the couple will be proud to come home to and begin a new life together in.