Contribution by Christine & Jan Price from littlehouseonthecorner.com | March 2015
Christine and Jan are bloggers and DIY enthusiasts. They share their ideas and building projects on their blog.
When we first moved into our dilapidated home, we knew that we’d have our work cut out. It had been neglected for years and whilst the house had a lot of potential, the amount of work needed to bring it up to date was daunting.
From the start we had big plans. Everything needed sorting: new electrics, new plumbing, new windows… the list was endless. But we weren’t going to stop there. We also decided that it would be great to remove the massive load-bearing wall separating our kitchen and dining room!
We’d always imagined having an open-plan kitchen and dining room and this seemed like the perfect opportunity to get out the sledge hammer and realise our dreams of open-plan living.
It wasn't a job we could tackle ourselves, so we hired builders. It took them three days to complete the job and watching them hard at work, knocking down the load-bearing wall, made the job seem fairly straight-forward! It’s definitely a job for the professionals, but luckily it’s not that expensive to have done. Just don’t forget to have a contingency for hidden costs, like making good around the new opening, relocation of plumbing and electrics, the structural engineer and building regulations approval. These things quickly add up.
We used to hate spending time in the kitchen as we felt cut off from the rest of the house and the dining room was just wasted as we rarely used it. Now, having finally knocked down the wall, the new space is amazing and even exceeds our expectations. Instead of two small and uninviting rooms, it’s now a light and sociable area where we tend to spend most of our time.
Yes, the work was messy and dusty, but the difference it has made to the way we live in our home is amazing. The whole house feels more spacious, lighter and much more inviting. Best of all, the work was easier than you’d think - well for me at least, as I just stood back while four men struggled to lift the huge 220kg steel that now supports most of our house into place.